A nurse practitioner is being recruited in eastern P.E.I. to take patients of her own off the list of people waiting for a family doctor.

Health PEI currently has a nurse practitioner in Charlottetown who has her own patients. This nurse practitioner, based in Montague, will do the same once the pilot project finishes.

The Canadian Nurses Association is pleased to hear about the expansion of the pilot program.

"It is the way that nurse practitioners can offer their best care to patients and to be most effective in our system, is to enable patients to access them directly," said association president Barb Mildon.

Mildon said experience in other provinces has shown nurse practitioners can treat around 80 per cent of a patient's concerns without consulting a doctor.

Melinda Ells, a nurse practitioner working in Central Queens, said she's intrigued by the possibility of being assigned her own patients, but wants to see how the Charlottetown pilot project works out first.

"When something is a new program there's going to be bumps in the road here and there. So identifying what those are and trying to stay the course is going to be key," said Ells.

The Charlottetown nurse practitioner pilot project wraps up at the end of this year.

For mobile device users: Would you be happy to sign up with a nurse practitioner instead of a doctor?