Quebec looks to 'super nurses' to alleviate health-care backlog
Province wants 2,000 nurse practicioners by 2025
Quebec will use $25 million from the new health accord it signed with the federal government to boost the number of nurse practitioners in the province.
The province wants to have 2,000 of the so-called "super nurses" by 2025. There are currently 428.
Nurse practitioners are considered by many to be key to alleviating a shortage of access to primary health care in Quebec.
They can, for instance, prescribe medication and provide pre-natal care.
But to reach the provincial target, nursing schools have to increase their number of graduates.
There are currently only 100 students registered in university programs for nurse practitioners in Quebec.
Health Minister Gaétan Barrette announced Sunday he wants that to increase to 270 students annually by 2022.
The province is also injecting money for training, scholarships, internships and salaries once the nursing students graduate.
The pledge to bring in 2,000 nurse practitioners by 2025 was a campaign promise by the Couillard government in 2014.
Lucie Tremblay, head of the Quebec Order of Nurses, welcomed Sunday's announcement, saying it will improve access to care.