Steps to Becoming an APN in the Northwest Territories/Nunavut

Get your Graduate Degree in Northwest Territories/Nunavut
Pass the Necessary Examination(s) in the Northwest Territories/Nunavut
Apply for your Registration in the Northwest Territories/Nunavut
Renew your Registration in the Northwest Territories/Nunavut

The Registered Nurses Association of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut (RNANT/NU) (867-873-2745 ext. 0, info@rnantnu.ca) regulates and registers advanced practice nurses in the following category:

Northwest Territories Stats

  • 2011 average salary for nurse supervisors and RNs in Northwest Territories: $81,492
  • 2004, Nursing Profession Act allows NPs to prescribe Schedule F and Schedule I drugs
  • July 2011, New Classes of Practitioner Regulations being revised to allow NPs to prescribe from specific list of controlled substances
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
    • Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner (PHCNP)

In order to become registered as an NP in the Northwest Territories/Nunavut, you must hold a valid, current RN registration:


Step 1. Get Your Graduate Degree

The Northwest Territories/Nunavut follow the Canadian NP Core Competency Framework. As such, the core competency for NPs is a graduate education with a substantial clinical component. The NP program must be approved either by the RNANT/NU Board of Directors or another Canadian nursing registration body if outside of the Northwest Territories/Nunavut.

Nunavut Job Statistics

  • 2008, Collective Agreement between government and Nunavut Employees Union revealed the following:
  • Base nursing salary is $77,532 – $115,616
  • Nurses receive $5,000 sign-on bonus
  • $375/month retention bonus for 0-5 years of service
  • $500/month bonus for mentoring graduates

Within the Northwest Territories/Nunavut, Aurora College offers a Master of Nursing program with a Nurse Practitioner Primary Health Care Stream.

The Master of Nursing program through Aurora College includes two phases. The first phase consists of required courses and focused electives in practice-related theory and research, while the second phase consists of the Nurse Practitioner program, which includes elective and required courses and practice experiences.

The first phase of the program focuses on nursing practice foci, which includes community and public health nursing approaches to population health across the life cycle and within a variety of settings. The practice foci includes: families of all ages, adult health, community health, mental health, maternal child health, neonatal health, and families with ill children.

All students in the Master of Nursing program work with an academic advisor to declare a program of study that is consistent with their specific career goals. This mentoring relationship allows students to increase their expertise within a certain specialty.

To be eligible for this program, students must:

  • Be registered with the RNANT/NU
  • Hold a baccalaureate in nursing with a minimum grade point average of 3.0
  • Have undergraduate-level courses in research, statistics, and family and community nursing
  • Have at least 2 years of clinical experience
  • Hold a personal interview with the Associate Director of Graduate Studies

The program is a 36-credit-hour program. All graduates of this program are eligible to write the Canadian Nurse Practitioner exam.

Some of the courses found in the Master of Nursing – Nurse Practitioner Primary Health Care Stream program include:

  • Advanced Health Assessment
  • Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice
  • Advanced Practice Role Development
  • Research and Evidence Based Practice in Nursing
  • Principles and Theories for Nurse Practitioner Practice
  • Nursing Philosophy, Knowledge and Theory
  • Principles of Pharmacotherapy for Nurse Practitioners
  • Healthcare System Policy Analysis
  • Principles and Theories for Health and Disease Management
  • Pharmacotherapeutics for Nurse Practitioners
  • Advanced Practice Role Practicum


Step 2.   Take the Canadian Nurses Practitioner Examination

Upon completion of your nurse practitioner graduate education, you must then take the Canadian Nurses Practitioner Examination (CNPE) to be eligible for registration in the Northwest Territories/Nunavut.

Note: After July 15, 2005, RNANT/NU accepts the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) as equivalent to the CNPE if the examination was approved by another Canadian regulatory body.

The Canadian Nurses Practitioner Examination: Family/All Ages (CNPE:F/AA) through the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) and its examination company, Assessment Strategies Inc., is a national, entry-level exam used for NPs who specialize in family/all ages/primary health care. The CNPE:F/AA Exam is used in all jurisdictions except British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec and is offered twice a year (you can check the CNA website for test dates).

Before you can take the CNPE:F/AA exam, you must secure authority to take the exam by the RNANT/NU nursing regulatory authority. The exam consists of 190 to 200 multiple-choice questions and can be taken over a four-hour period. There are 42 competencies that comprise the exam’s content. You may purchase a prep guide from the CNA bookstore by calling 1-800-385-5881 for this exam.

The 42 competencies of the CNPE:F/AA exam are part of the four categories of the framework of the primary healthcare nurse practitioner, which include:

  • Professional Role, Responsibility and Accountability
  • Health Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Therapeutic Management
  • Health Promotion and Prevention of Illness and Injury

All applicants must contact the RNANT/NU for an application form for the CNPE:F/AA exam.

Pre-Exam Conditions

If you are registered with the RNANT/NU and you meet all of the registration requirements except for the completed CNPE, you may be issued a “graduate nurse practitioner” designation. All graduate NPs must have all prescriptions, consults and requests for diagnostic tests co-signed by a licensed NP or physician. Graduate NP licenses with pre-exam conditions are issued only at the discretion of the Registration Committee and are valid until the NP has either passed or failed the CNPE.


Step 3.  Apply for Registration  with the RNANT/NU

To apply for NP registration in the Northwest Territories/Nunavut, you must complete the following forms:

Download, complete and send all required documents, along with the related fees, to: Registered Nurses Association of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, P.O. Box 2757, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2R1. The fees for NP registration are as follows:

  • Nurse Practitioner Active Fee (RN Active Fee + NP Fee) $851.55
  • Nurse Practitioner Fee only $105.00
  • Processing Fee $65.63

You may pay for NP registration fees by Visa or MasterCard, by certified check, by cash in person at the RNANT/NU office, or by wire transfer to a local Yellowknife bank.

You must also send a photocopy of your birth certificate and a photocopy of any change of name certificates (including marriage and divorce certificates) with your application.

Prescriptive Authority

Prescriptive Authority guidelines for NPs are outlined in the Registered Nurses Association of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Practice and Prescriptive Guidelines for Nurse Practitioners.

Nurse practitioners have the authority to prescribe drugs that are listed in Schedule F of the Canada Food and Drugs Act and/or Schedule I of the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) National Drug Schedules. NPs may also prescribe controlled substances according to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) of Canada.


Step 4.  Renewing Your Registration

All RN and NP registrations are renewed on an annual basis. All NPs must complete an Annual Registration form and meet all continuing competence requirements.

The annual fee for NP and RN renewal is $851.55, with no processing fee.

The renewal cycle for registration is between January 1 and December 31, and all applications for annual registration must be received by December 1. Registration applications received after December 1 are subject to a $105 late submission fee. Any applications received after December 31 will not be accepted and reinstatement procedures must be followed.

Download, complete and send the Annual Registration form, along with the related fee, to: Registered Nurses Association of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, P.O. Box 2757, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2R1.

You may pay for NP registration fees by Visa or MasterCard, by certified check, by cash in person at the RNANT/NU office, or by wire transfer to a local Yellowknife bank.

Non-Practicing

To apply for associate non-practicing registration, you must complete the Annual Registration form and pay the associate non-practicing fee of $65.63. Non-practicing associate privileges allow NPs to return to practice without going through reinstatement procedures.

Not Renewing

If you do not plan to renew your annual registration, you must return the Annual Registration form with the reason why you will not be returning to practice. You will need to go through the reinstatement process if you want to return to practice.

Continuing Competence

To achieve continuing competence in the Northwest Territories/Nunavut as an NP, you must show evidence of:

  • At least 1,125 hours of nursing practice as an NP in the last 3 years
  • The successful completion of a refresher course in nursing within the last 12 months that is satisfactory to the Registrar or Registration Committee or the successful completion of a nurse practitioner program within the last 12 months
  • The completion of a professional development plan (PDP) as part of the continuing competence program (Sample PDPs are available on the RNANT/NU website and assistance with completing your PDP is available by calling 867-873-2745.)

Reinstatement

If you were previously registered with the RNANT/NU and you want to reinstate your NP registration, you must complete the following forms:

Download, complete and send all required documents, along with the related fees, to: Registered Nurses Association of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, P.O. Box 2757, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2R1. The fees for NP reinstatement are as follows:

  • Nurse Practitioner Active Fee (RN Active Fee + NP Fee) $851.55
  • Nurse Practitioner Fee only $105.00
  • Processing Fee $65.63

You may pay for NP reinstatement fees by Visa or MasterCard, by certified check, by cash in person at the RNANT/NU office, or by wire transfer to a local Yellowknife bank.

Advanced Practice Nurse Associations in the Northwest Territories/Nunavut

There are a number of professional organizations that support advanced practice nursing in the Northwest Territories/Nunavut:


Northwest Territories/Nunavut Nurse Practitioner Salary

As of 2005, a total of 385 nurse practitioners were employed in the Northwest Territories. The average salary among these NPs was $71,605, which represented a 17% increase from 2000 when the average was $59,211. There was also a significant rise in the median salary between 2000 and 2005 when the median went from $61,632 to $70,114, an increase of about 12%.

Territory
Occupational Classification
Median Income
Northwest Territories
Nurse Supervisors and RNs
$75904
Northwest Territories
Registered Nurses
$75855
Nunavut
No data
No data

Employment and salary data included in these tables was produced by Census Canada in 2006 and originally published by Statistics Canada in 2008. To provide comprehensive information for comparative purposes, the data includes all Statistics Canada Occupational Classifications in which advanced practice nurses were identified.

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