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Ontario nurses can now admit, release patients

Today at the official start of construction on the new Nurse Practitioner Clinic at Sault College, Sault MPP David Orazietti announced a big change to the legislation governing Ontario hospitals.

Today at the official start of construction on the new Nurse Practitioner Clinic at Sault College, Sault MPP David Orazietti announced a big change to the legislation governing Ontario hospitals.

"Ontario is now the only province in Canada that gives nurses the authority to admit and release patients from hospital," he said.

Orazietti said the Province recognizes the vital role nurses play in patient care and the expertise they bring to its acute care facilities.

He also said the new nursing practitioner clinic will bring the Sault much closer to its goal of having a medical primary care provider for everyone.

It's expected the clinic, which is now under construction, will be ready for patients this summer.

The full text of a news release from David Orazietti follows.

************************* Orazietti announces launch of construction on the Nurse Practitioner Clinic

Province invests over $1 million to expand access to primary care and improve frontline services

SAULT STE. MARIE - The provincial government is investing over $1 million in the new Algoma Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic on Sault College Campus, which will create 10 new nursing and administrative support jobs and provide greater access to frontline health care services for approximately 3000 local residents, David Orazietti, MPP announced today.

"Our government is committed to increasing access to primary care and this new Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic builds on the significant health care investments and improvements we have made since 2003 by making it faster and easier for more residents to receive the services they need," said Orazietti. "This new frontline health care facility improves access to high quality care and will have the added benefit of relieving pressure on the hospital."

The new Algoma Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic will require hiring four full time nurse practitioners, two full time registered practical nurses as well as using the services of a registered nurse, social worker, pharmacist and consulting physicians for a total of 10 full time positions.

The clinic is expected to open this summer and it will include eight exam rooms, seven offices, a reception area and a meeting room for patients.

"After several years of dedication from many stakeholders including our board of directors, we are thrilled to be entering this next stage in the development of the Algoma Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic," said Debbie Graystone, president of the board of directors of the Algoma NP-led Clinic. "It is with great pride as a Nurse Practitioner, that we are moving closer to the reality of providing increased access to primary care using this innovative model of care to help to maintain and improve the health of those in our community."

"This Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic is an important health care addition to our community that the Board has worked diligently with the provincial government and Sault College to accomplish," said Christian Provenzano, vice-president of the board of directors of the Algoma NP-led Clinic. "This frontline clinic will improve health care services throughout the Algoma region and provide local residents of Sault Ste. Marie with greater access to primary care."

Nurse practitioner-led clinics are the first of their kind in Canada and a made-in-Ontario health care initiative.

Nurse practitioners provide comprehensive, accessible and coordinated family health care services using a collaborative model in which an inter-professional team of health care providers, such as registered nurses, registered practical nurses, collaborating family doctors and others use knowledge and skills to the benefit of patients.

Additionally, today the province is also announcing proposed changes to the Public Hospitals Act to give NPs the authority to admit and discharge patients from hospitals.

Hospitals would have the ability to allow NPs to discharge patients beginning July 1, 2011 and the ability to admit patients in July 1, 2012.

This change will make Ontario the first Canadian province to allow NPs to admit and discharge hospital patients. Nurse practitioner postings: Local advertisements will be posted in the coming weeks.

Interested nurse practitioners are invited to view the Health Force Ontario website at for more information.

The province has made significant investments to support nurses and to improve patient care in Sault Ste. Marie and across Ontario since 2003 including:

- Created over 10,700 new nursing positions since 2003: 5,000 more nurses in hospitals, 3,000 more nurses in long-term care settings, 1,600 in family health care, 900 more nurses in community settings and 200 in public health.

- Building 25 new Nurse Practitioner Clinics, which are the first of their kind in Canada.

- Ontario is one of the few jurisdictions in the world to guarantee a work experience opportunity to every nursing graduate.

- Increased the number of seats in the Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner Education Program from 75 to 176.

- More than 9,000 new nursing graduates have been matched to a work experience opportunity through the program.

- Increased the percentage of nurses working full-time by 14.5 percent, from 49.5 percent in 2003 to 63.9 percent in 2008.

- Invested $40 million in Nursing Retention Fund, managed by three major nursing partners, to help hospitals retrain and retain nurses.

- Funded 1,200 registered practical nurses (RPN) positions in LTC homes, ensuring at least one new nurse in every home.

- The Late Career Initiative is supporting more than 12,000 experienced nurses.

- $646,777 for Sault Area Hospital to create Assess and Restore Unit in 2010.

- $475,000 for Extendicare/ Tendercare - Nurse practitioner support.

- $364,641 for Canadian Red Cross S.S.M. for new assisted living program and purchase of a minivan for their transportation program.

- $316,652 for Geriatric Emergency Management Nurse Program at SAH.

- $215,000 for nurse practitioner at Algoma branch of the CCAC for seniors home services.

- $208,222 for new Seniors Supportive Housing Attendant Services through Ontario March of Dimes.

- $54,500 for Alzheimer Society - S.S.M. & Algoma for First Link Program.