Six new nurse practitioners will be added across the province, announced P.E.I.'s health minister Friday.

That will bring the total number of nurse practitioners to 11, said Doug Currie.

Nurse practitioners improve access to health care and reduce wait times, said Currie.

"I really feel that Islanders are getting more and more comfortable with the role of a nurse practitioner, which is relatively new in the last five years," said Currie.

"So it's about better care, better access. You know, supporting Islanders in managing their chronic disease in communities and hopefully continuing to allow us to address those wait times, particularly for individuals that may or may not have access to a family physician."

In September of 2011, the University of Prince Edward Island started a nurse practitioner stream as part of its masters of nursing program.

The first three graduates are among the six new nurse practitioners who have accepted positions. They'll work in collaboration with family doctors.

The six new health professionals will be located across the province: one each in East Prince and Kings County and two each in West Prince and Queens County.