Strengthening care for nursing home residents
Alberta is modifying regulations to allow nurse practitioners to provide expanded care to nursing home residents during COVID-19.
Changes to the nursing home regulations will allow nurse practitioners to act as primary care providers in nursing homes, admitting and assessing residents, as well as offering follow-up care. Changes will also enable nurse practitioners and other qualified health professionals to prescribe medication and order treatments in nursing homes, according to their scopes of practice.
“Nurse practitioners’ advanced skills and knowledge are needed now more than ever. Removing barriers so they can fulfil their role as independent primary care providers in nursing homes is part of our commitment to do everything we can to protect Alberta’s most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health
Alberta nurse practitioners have the broadest and most independent scope of practice in Canada. Current nursing home regulations do not allow nurse practitioners and other health professionals to work to their full scopes in nursing homes. Changes to the regulations will increase access to quality care for nursing home residents while reducing red tape and duplication for health professionals, service providers and operators.
“Nurse practitioners are important members of the AHS team. These changes support our ongoing commitment to nurse practitioners, enabling them to work to full scope of advanced practice. Maximizing the roles our clinicians play in our response to COVID-19 will be critical to providing comprehensive and quality care to continuing care residents.” Dr. Verna Yiu, president and chief executive officer, Alberta Health Services
“Nurse practitioners are in a unique position to provide a broad scope of services in Alberta nursing homes. We look forward to working with government and AHS to reduce regulatory red tape and identify more ways nurse practitioners can help meet the province’s health-care needs.” Mary-Elizabeth Cooper, president, Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta
Changes will remain in effect until Aug. 14, unless the ministerial order is terminated earlier or the public health emergency is reduced or extended.
Alberta has a comprehensive response to COVID-19 including measures to enhance physical distancing, screening and testing. Financial supports are helping Alberta families and businesses.