Last week, the provincial government announced there would be 27 new nurse practitioner positions opening throughout Saskatchewan, with one of those positions coming to Estevan and another to Weyburn.  

“What they really looked at is where we have some capacity shortages, so where we maybe don’t have quite enough practitioners, whether that’s physicians or nurse practitioners, working to be able to meet the current access demand within the area,” explained Jacquie Kennett-Peppler. She is the Executive Director of Primary Care with the Saskatchewan Health Authority.  

The new position that was created in those southeast cities will help out other communities, Kennett-Peppler added.  

“This new nurse practitioner will absolutely help us meet the capacity within those smaller communities in the area as well,” she stated.

In the southeast, nurse practitioners work within a clinic setting, as well as looking after long-term care, the executive director clarified. They are not actually working in emergency rooms in the region, but are more focused on primary health care access.  

The 27 positions that were opened were posted for applications to come in, and the deadline for the applications was originally June 10th.

“The position will remain posted, and as soon as we have qualified applicants, we’ll work through our process of hiring and starting that nurse practitioner within our area,” Kennett-Peppler said.  

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have additional training, and can provide many of the same services as a family physician. This includes advanced assessments and diagnosis, ordering tests, admitting and discharging patients, prescribing medications, performing medical procedures, and making referrals to specialists.