Improving Primary Care for Long-Term Care Home Residents

News Release

Improving Primary Care for Long-Term Care Home Residents

Ontario Investing in Nurse Practitioners in Long-Term Care

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Ontario is increasing the number of nurse practitioners in long-term care homes to strengthen the quality of care received by residents. 

Over the next three years, Ontario will fund 75 new nurse practitioners to help enhance access to primary health care services for long-term care residents, which will help to:

  • Reduce unnecessary ambulance use, emergency department  transfers and hospital admissions
  • Keep residents safer by preventing injuries from falls
  • Reduce the need for restraints by increasing patient supervision
  • Improve resident and caregiver experience

Long-term care homes that successfully apply for funding for a nurse practitioner, but have difficulty recruiting and retaining one, will also have access to the Grow Your Own Nurse Practitioner in Long-Term Care Program. This new program will provide support to allow these homes to recruit and sponsor a registered nurse to receive additional education to become a nurse practitioner.

These initiatives are part of a long-term strategy to create and sustain nurse practitioner positions in long-term care homes in Ontario.

Increasing the number of nurse practitioners in long-term care homes is part of Ontario's Action Plan for Health Care to provide the right care, at the right time, in the right place. It is also part of the government's economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow by focusing on Ontario's greatest strengths - its people and strategic partnerships.

Quick Facts

  • Nurse practitioners have additional nursing education and experience and can diagnose and treat common injuries and illnesses, write some prescriptions and order blood and diagnostic tests.
  • There are 25 Nurse Practitioner-led Clinics in Ontario, providing primary care to more than 43,000 families and individuals.
  • The number of nurse practitioners in Ontario’s long-term care homes will be increased from 18 to 93 over the next three years.
  • Ontario is investing an additional $500,000 in 2014-15, $4 million in 2015-16, and $9.5 million in 2016-17 to increase the number of nurse practitioners in long-term care.
  • Calls for applications will be posted every year for the next three fiscal years.
  • The Grow Your Own Nurse Practitioner in Long-Term Care Homes Program will be launched in 2015-16.

Quotes

Deb Matthews

“Ontario’s nurse practitioners are uniquely positioned to address the increasing complexity of care needs for long-term care home residents. With their knowledge, nurse practitioners will have a positive impact on the quality of care that residents receive in long-term care.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“The Nurse Practitioner Association of Ontario is pleased to hear that the ministry will be funding 75 more nurse practitioner positions in long-term care homes. Research findings show that the integration of nurse practitioners into a long-term care home improves outcomes for the residents, leads to fewer transfers to hospitals and reduced length of stay, and is better value for money. This is good news for the people of Ontario!”

Jill Burkholder

President, Nurse Practitioner Association of Ontario

“This is a wise government investment. Nurse practitioners will advance the timeliness and quality of care for residents in long-term care homes, improving their safety and quality of life and providing peace of mind to families and staff.”

Doris Grinspun

CEO, Registered Nurses Association of Ontario

“On behalf of all registered nurses working in long-term care homes, we welcome today’s announcement for additional nurse practitioners to provide proactive continuity of care to our residents, More nurse practitioners will assist with addressing the multiple care needs of our increasingly complex residents in long-term care and ensure we can provide the support and care these residents deserve.”

Vicki McKenna

Registered Nurse, First Vice-President, Ontario Nurses' Association

“We applaud the government's direction to add nurse practitioners in long term care homes. With their broad clinical competencies, nurse practitioners complement the professional care team in supporting a resident population with increasingly complex and challenging needs.”

Donna Rubin

CEO, Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors

Media Contacts

  • Media Line

    Toll-free: 1-888-414-4774

    media.moh@ontario.ca

    GTA: 416-314-6197

  • David Jensen

    Communications and Marketing Division

    media.moh@ontario.ca

    416-314-6197

  • For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline

    (Toll-free in Ontario only)

    ontario.ca/health-news

    1-866-532-3161

  • Gabe De Roche

    Minister's Office

    416-327-4306

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