Canada's health care system provides lessons for NPs.
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With increasing economic pressures, swaying public opinion and new government policies rationing health care resources, nurses in Canada are again challenging physicians for room to practice as nurse practitioners. Although the last Canadian nurse practitioner program was discontinued in 1983, and it was argued that the death of the role was inevitable in Canada's health care system, nurse practitioners have not vanished. Social plans in the United States are drawing heavily on the Canadian model of universal access and a government-funded health care system, and dramatic changes are taking place in Ontario's health care system. Now more than ever it is important that nurse practitioners understand Canada's health care system, why the NP role in Ontario has not been highly successful, and why the time is right for reintroduction of nurse practitioners into Ontario's health care system.
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