What is a specialized nurse practitioner?
A specialized nurse practitioner (SNP) is a nurse clinician who has a Master’s of Science in nursing as well as a complementary diploma in medical sciences. In addition to nursing activities, a SNP can also perform certain medical acts. Her presence contributes to improving access to care and services.
Role and responsibilities of SNP
- Prescribe medications and some medical treatments
- Prescribe and interpret diagnostic tests (e.g. X-ray, ultrasound)
- Perform invasive treatments and techniques that could previously only be done by doctors (e.g. perform a lumbar puncture, put in a chest tube, remove skin lesions, put in stitches)
- Initiate treatment for some chronic illnesses (e.g. diabetes, cholesterol, asthma)
When should an SNP ask the doctor to intervene?
- When the care required is beyond her skills or area of expertise
- When the signs and symptoms or diagnostic test results show that the patient’s health has deteriorated to the point where the SNP can no longer provide follow-up
- When expected results did not materialize or the patient is not responding to the usual treatment
Where do SNPs work?
Currently, there are 120 SNPs in Montréal. They work in hospitals, CLSCs, FMGs and clinics, in residential and long-term care centres, and in the community. They work in one of five specialities:
- Primary care
- Adult care
- Mental health
To see a specialized nurse practitioner (SNP), contact your family medicine group, clinic or CLSC to find out if this service is offered in their facility.