Integrating Registered Nurses into Primary Care Across Canada

Lay Summary 

Across Canada, family practice nursing offers a feasible and affordable solution to improve access to primary care, reduce costs, and promote high-quality of care. Family practice nurses are Registered Nurses who practice in primary care. When nurses are optimally supported within teams, health outcomes and patient access to primary healthcare services are greatly improved. Competencies will enhance the integration of family practice nurses into primary care. Competencies are the integrated knowledge, skills, judgement and attributes required of a family practice nurse to practice safely and ethically. Competencies are informed by Standards of Practice that define the scope and depth of practice. Nursing organizations in Canada recognize the need to develop family practice nursing competencies to further strengthen the optimization of family practice nursing in Canada. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to identify national family practice nursing competencies to support the integration and optimization of Registered Nurses in primary care. We will develop a defined set of competencies and obtain national agreement regarding competency statements, assess the degree to which the identified competencies are integrated within existing undergraduate baccalaureate and post-graduate family practice nursing programs, assess the learning needs and current practices of family practice nurses with regards to the identified family practice nursing competencies, and communicate/promote family practice nursing competencies to relevant stakeholders in Canada. It is expected that the competencies will benefit patients, primary healthcare providers, and healthcare systems nationally. Findings will contribute to a gap in Canadian literature about family practice nursing and aid provincial governments in actions targeted at the optimization of Registered Nurses into primary care. This project will be completed in partnership with national nursing organizations. 


Adapted from

School of Nursing
Canadian Institutes Of Health Research
Newfoundland and Labrador
British Columbia
Nova Scotia
Health Services
Nurses and Nursing
Industry Sectors 
Health Care and Social Assistance
Start date 
1 Oct 2018
End date 
31 Mar 2020