The Nova Scotia government will spend $2.5 million to hire at least 13 nurse practitioners to bolster support for long-term care residents.
Barb Adams, the minister for seniors and long-term care, said Tuesday the hires will be paired with one or more long-term care homes, as well as perform primary care work.
"It will all depend on how much each nursing home is going to need," she told reporters at Province House.
"Some already have coverage, but they don't have full coverage 24 hours a day, and we want to make sure every nursing home in the province has that kind of care."
Duties to include admissions
According to a government news release, the nurse practitioners will work with facility teams and family physicians to diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, prescribe medications and perform some medical procedures for long-term care residents.
They'll also help with admissions.
Right now, if a long-term care resident has to go to hospital, they can't be readmitted to their facility if they don't have a family doctor or nurse practitioner. That's because the resident needs a new assessment and direction to staff on the new level of care.
"This will help ensure that that does not happen again," said Adams.
The number of seats at Dalhousie University's nurse practitioner program was recently increased to 40 from 15.
Adams said there is capacity to hire as many graduates who want to remain in the province. The Office of Healthcare Professionals Recruitment would be working on that effort.
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