Promoting excellence and advocacy in family practice nursing


Family practice nurses, also known as primary care nurses, are typically Registered Nurses (RNs) who practice within primary care. Primary care represents an entry point for patients into the healthcare system and focuses on the delivery of health promotion, disease prevention, and disease management services. Family practice nurses function as generalists who provide a broad range of health services, including preventative health screening (e.g. PAP examinations, chronic health conditions), health education (e.g. healthy living, chronic disease self-management), healthcare management and program delivery (e.g. diabetes, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), therapeutic interventions (e.g. wound care, immunizations), and coordination of services to specialists and/or community services. Family practice nurses work in partnership with family physicians and other healthcare providers.

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Family Practice Nursing Education Program


The Family Practice Nursing Education Program (FPNEP) is designed to prepare registered nurses to work in primary health care settings. This performance-based certification program supports registered nurses to advance their clinical judgment, critical thinking, and clinical leadership in family practice. The program uses a conceptual learning approach that organizes knowledge and skills into concepts that are illustrated using real-life patient situations. Learners study a concept, actively apply the concept to a patient scenario, and then learn a new concept. Each concept is then integrated with others so, by the end of a program, graduates can apply all concepts to various patient populations in a variety of primary health care settings. This is an active, learner-centered approach that fosters critical thinking and a deeper understanding of clinical knowledge by building on previous knowledge. In turn, learners are better prepared to meet the dynamic and complex needs of patients in family practice settings.

Learners benefit from self-directed study of web-based lessons, online discussions and virtual classrooms. In addition, skill labs support the practice of newly acquired knowledge using simulation, and clinical placements support the consolidation of learning.  Knowledge is assessed in a variety of ways such as through examinations, online discussions and assignments. Upon completion of the program, learners are able to provide safe, effective, and compassionate care to patients and families at the advanced beginner level. 

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