Province names communities that will get new nurses

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The province has revealed the 12 communities across Nova Scotia that will get new nurses for collaborative clinics between now and the end of May.

Last fall, the government announced it would hire 13 nurse practitioners and 10 family practice nurses to join existing clinics. On Wednesday, those locations were released:

- Digby: one nurse practitioner (NP) and one family practice nurse (FPN).

- Shelburne: one NP and one FPN.

- Windsor: one NP.

- Spryfield: one NP and one part-time FPN.

- Dartmouth: two NPs and two FPNs.

- Musquodoboit Harbour: one NP.

- Truro: one NP and two FPNs.

- Westville: one NP.

- Port Hawkesbury: one NP.

- Chéticamp: one part-time FPN.

- Eskasoni: one part-time NP.

- Sydney: two NPs and two FPNs.

The province is putting up $3.6 million to cover the positions, which are expected to provide primary care access to an additional 14,000 people.

Collaborative clinics are meant to draw together various health-care professionals, not just doctors, into one team to better serve patients.

Still work to do

Nova Scotia Health Authority CEO Janet Knox said the hirings help with the effort to boost collaborative networks around Nova Scotia, but acknowledged there is still work to be done.

"We know that regular access to a family practice is a challenge to some people in our province and we are working hard to change that by expanding and creating more collaborative family practice teams."

Knox has previously said creating enough collaborative practices to accommodate everyone who needs it could take up to 10 years.

A great addition

Dr. Mike Gniewek at the Spryfield Ravines Medical Clinic said the new nurses mean the clinic is better able to serve the community's needs. He expects the clinic to be able to take on up to 1,000 new patients.

"Our nurse practitioner, just like our family doctors, will provide care from birth to the end of life."

Gniewek said he hopes to see the clinic expanded at some point to include more nurses and other disciplines, such as a social worker.