Interior Heath and UBC Okanagan partner to promote innovative research

In January 2015, Donna Mendel, Regional Practice Leader for IH’s Professional Practice Office, and Prof. Nelly Oelke, Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing released three videos that have the potential to transform Nurse Practitioner integration in the health system.

The innovative video series shares the results of Mendel and Oelke’s collaborative research project aimed at accelerating  the involvement of Nurse Practitioners (NP’s) in our health system.

At the Interior Health Rural Health Services Research Conference in 2012, conference participants began discussing the challenges around Nurse Practitioner (NP) integration and how they could use research as a means of supporting collaboration between NPs and Interior Health, particularly in primary care.

This conversation sparked an exciting collaborative research project between the School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Okanagan (UBCO) and the Professional Practice Office, Interior Health. Over the last 18 months, research was aimed at improving the ways NPs are included in our health system.

“The videos can be used to increase awareness and understanding of the NP role for physicians, health care providers, patients, the public, decision-makers, policy-makers, nursing students, and students from other health professions,” says Oelke.

The videos promote knowledge of the role of the NP and how they work collaboratively with other health care providers. For many, this is a role that has been unclear.

A Nurse Practitioner is a registered nurse holding a Master’s degree with the ability to diagnose, prescribe, and treat health conditions in primary, residential, and acute care.

With 40 NPs currently working in the region, a better understanding of NP’s capacity can improve outcomes for patients and health care providers by building on the collaborative NP practice model.

The result: benefits that impact patients, families, health care providers, physicians, and administrators.

The three videos answer these important questions:

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