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October 24, 2021

Nurse Practitioner FAQs

Nurse Practitioner FAQs

What is a Nurse Practitioner?

[1] As per CARNA (College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta), nurse practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses who have undertaken graduate education and training in advanced clinical practice, Master’s Program, and clinical practicums.


[2] NPs conduct:

– comprehensive health assessment

– diagnose health/illness conditions

– treat and manage acute and chronic illness within a holistic model of care

– order and interpret screening and diagnostic tests

– Prescribe medications and therapeutic interventions

– Consult medical and allied health providers for ongoing management

What is the age demographic that an NP can see?

At PIH, our NP Debra Bennett, is family all-ages certified, so can see anyone from babies to adults.

Why do we have to pay for NP services when Family Physician services are covered by Alberta Health?

Currently, in Alberta, NPs are not able to bill Alberta Health the same way Family Physicians can. Therefore, NPs charge an hourly rate. Often, NP services are covered by personal and/or employee health plans or health spending accounts. Checking your plan for “Registered Nursing Services” may provide you with the necessary information to see if your assessment will be covered.

Why would I see an NP over a physician?

At PIH, we believe in a collaborative approach where the NP, Physician team and Allied Health team work together with the patient to assist them on their health journey. We recognize that finding a Family Physician can be difficult. While we navigate the current political climate in Alberta at the same time as trying to seek out Family Physicians to join our phenomenal team, the NP model provides an option for those looking for specialized integrative healthcare right now.

If I need more medical care, will I have to keep paying for NP services?

At PIH, we have an established physician referral process developed with our NP assessment. If it appears that there are ongoing medical concerns that require workup and management, our NP will refer you to a physician in the clinic to provide that ongoing Alberta Health-covered care.