"A Nurse Practitioner Available to all Residents of Saskatchewan"

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SANP is a non-profit, volunteer-run, professional organization that supports and advances the professional interests of its membership — NPs, NP students, and nurses who have an interest in the NP practice.

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The current government of Saskatchewan is trying hard to spin positives out of nothing, again. Both on April 9 and April 16, 2013 Rural and Remote Health Minister, Randy Weeks announced, on behalf of Advanced Education Minister Don Morgan, a "new program" that will encourage nurses and NURSE PRACTITIONERS to work in rural and remote areas of the province. The program will forgive Saskatchewan Student Loans of up to $4,000 per year up to a maximum of $20,000 over 5 years if Nurse Practitioners work in under-served rural and remote communities with a population less than 10,000.

As on Nov. 3, 2012, SANP again wishes to loudly decry this ruse. Just as the November Health Canada retention program is inaccessible to Nurse Practitioners (NPs), so is this "new program" announced by the government of SK. The Saskatchewan Association of Nurse Practitioners’s (NP) Nov 3 article states, " a brief random survey of NP students in Saskatchewan proved that none surveyed had qualified for a Canada (or Government of Saskatchewan) Student loan. For example, given a family with 2 adults and 2 children, and an income less than $40,000 per year, even with minimal savings and a vehicle only worth $3000, the nurse would not qualify for a Student Loan.

All NP students are mature learners because RN experience is required for program entry. Therefore many have a partner with income, and also may have assets. These modest means eliminate the NP student from qualifying for the loan.


An NP is a Registered Nurse with at least 2 years experience, with additional graduate level education, and an additional NP license.  NP's are experts in health assessment, diagnosing, ordering tests and X-rays, prescribing, referring and performing minor surgical procedures. The post RN education is not subsidized by health region bursaries, and requires the nurse to reduce or take a leave from RN work, for two or more years.

The Canadian Student Loan forgiveness program announced in November, 2012 is inaccessible to Nurse Practitioners., In reality, this "new" SK government student loan forgiveness program is not accessible to NPs because they typically cannot qualify for a SK Student Loan. There are no financial incentives for this valuable, cost effective, rare health care provider, the Nurse Practitioner.

The people of Saskatchewan deserve political honesty when it comes to recruitment and retention of nurses. Rural and remote areas in SK lack accessible primary care health services. Nurse practitioners can provide quality care that is affordable and accessible. This means that recruitment and retention of NPs must be meaningful and useful, just as it is for other hard to recruit for positions such as physicians and RNs. Nurse practitioners deserve incentives as much as the RN's and physicians in rural and remote SK. This means that Hon Randy Weeks and Hon Don Morgan need to show NP's the money and stop trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.