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Nurse Practitioner Primary Care Program (NPPCP)

June 14, 2024

The Nurse Practitioner Primary Care Program (NPPCP) is an exciting initiative from the Government of Alberta for nurse practitioners (NPs) that aims to support and improve Alberta’s primary health care system and facilitate Albertans' access to primary care providers.

The NPPCP compensates NPs who practise comprehensive primary care and operate their own independent clinics, or practise independently in team-based care settings. NPs will provide services based on their scope of practice, training and expertise.

The CRNA is currently developing standards and guidelines to support this initiative. In the interim, the frequently asked questions (FAQs) on this page are to provide NPs with direction and guidance to ensure patient safety and public protection. These FAQs will be updated on a regular basis.

If you have a questions that has not yet been answered, you can ask our experts a question here.

Frequently Asked Questions


Information about the NPPCP, including the application, can be found on the Government of Alberta website. You can also contact the Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta (NPAA) for more information.

You do not need to send your initial application for the NPPCP to the CRNA. Applications to the NPPCP can be made only through the Government of Alberta at this time.

Registrants of the CRNA can find more information about self-employed practice inside of College Connect.

Log into your College Connect account and navigate to Manage Your Practice > Self-Employed Practice.

For further guidance, you can reach out to our practice consultants.

The CRNA expects NPs to arrange for coverage of their clinical practice when they are away or unavailable (e.g. vacation, after hours coverage, etc.).

For example, a call schedule could be developed for weekend or evening coverage, or longer absence arrangements could be made with a colleague to provide coverage.

When closing or leaving a practice, the CRNA expects NPs to consider patients they have been providing care for and endeavour to assist the patients to find another care provider.

NPs must do their best to not abandon patients, in accordance with the Canadian Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses.

All outstanding testing and investigations must be followed up with or arrangements must be made with another provider to do so. The patient must be well informed, preferably in writing, of what to expect and who they should be working with. NPs should also ensure all outstanding referrals have been completed.

Patients, other health professionals and health institutions need to be given adequate notice that the NP is closing or leaving the practice. Notice is required since patients must find another health care provider, so other providers need to know where to send outstanding consultations, etc..

NPs must make arrangement for the disposition of patient records, as outlined in the Privacy and Management of Health Information Standards, and the Privacy and Security Policies for Custodians.

Contact the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) of Alberta with privacy and management of patient information legislative requirement questions at

An NP must notify the CRNA with a change to practice location in accordance with the Health Professions Act (HPA, Part 2, 4.0 (b) iii and 4.1).

The CRNA expects NPs to notify all health providers who they refer to or are referred to them, as well as professional working relations, of the location change. 

Patients on an NP's panel must be given adequate notice, preferably in writing, prior to the relocation. Current patients should have the option of receiving care at the new location. If it is an option and a patient prefers to stay at the current clinic, the NP must provide access to the patient's outstanding investigations, consultation reports and any other information regarding the patient's health needs.

NPs receive their entry to practice education within differing streams of practice with a focus on a specific demographic (adult, family all ages (FAA), neonatal and child).

NPs must have the knowledge, skills, training, competency and currency to provide patient care in the primary care setting as an MRP.

Typical health care services delivered in primary care settings include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing first contact accessibility, ongoing care and continuity for comprehensive health care needs
  • Managing chronic health conditions
  • Diagnosing new health conditions
  • Ordering diagnostic testing and developing treatment plans
  • Health promotion
  • Assessment and testing through programs such as Screening for Life
  • Referrals to specialists when indicated
NPs are encouraged to self-assess their knowledge, skills, training, competency and currency to determine if they are able to provide effective and safe care in a primary care setting as the MRP.

For questions related to the funding of the NPPCP contact the NPAA or refer to the Government of Alberta website.

Registrants of the CRNA are required to follow the standards of practice at all times, regardless of their practice setting.

Additionally, the CRNA's guidelines and scope of practice documents can provide further guidance.

If you have questions about a specific standard of practice, reach out to our practice consultants.

For guidance on developing skills and competencies, you can reach out to our practice consultants.

Athabasca University offers an opportunity to take additional education for NPs who also wish to be dually licenced for family all ages (FAA).

The CRNA is responsible for regulating NPs and RNs in Alberta. The CRNA does not regulate clinics. Instead, the CRNA is responsible for regulating NPs' practice within clinics.
If an NP is engaged in independent practice, or if the NP is the clinic director, they are accountable and responsible to ensure the clinic meets the requirements for the safe delivery of patient care (e.g. supervision, infection prevention and control measures, properly credentialed and trained staff, protection of patient health information).
Please see the clinic director section below for more information.

All NPs are accountable for the care they provide to their patients and to follow the applicable legislation, regulations and the CRNA’s Standards of Practice.

Federal and provincial legislation often refers to a “medical practitioner” as someone who can practise medicine. The terms “medical practice” and “medical director” are most commonly associated with physician practice.

Clinic director is therefore the preferred term for an NP in this role, rather than medical director.

In practice settings with multiple providers and staff, a clinic director is responsible for overseeing the non-clinical aspects of the clinic (e.g. staffing, advertising, infection prevention and control requirements, and safe handling of health records) and assisting with establishing policies and procedures for the clinic to guide safe patient care.

A clinic director is accountable for the overall leadership of the clinic to ensure the safe, competent and ethical delivery of patient care.

Clinic director responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:  

Regulated professional staff must make the public aware of their names and professional designations. Registrants of the CRNA are required to practice using their legal names.

For non-regulated clinic staff the public should be aware of their names and job titles.
For role clarity, NPs who have also have an academic doctoral credential may include their credentials behind their name or in conversations with patients and their families.

Registrants should follow the Documentation Standards for patient records. Additional information can also be found in the Privacy and Management of Health Information Standards.

A PIA is required by a custodian any time there are:
  • New administrative practices or information systems relating to the collection, use and disclosure of individually identifying health information
  • Changes to existing administrative practices or information systems relating to the collection, use and disclosure of individually identifying health information Privacy and Security Polices for Custodians provides NPs with a template for the development of policies and procedures custodians can use when submitting a PIA to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta (OIPC) 
Custodian as defined in the HIA (2000). A custodian includes the following:
  • hospital boards, nursing home operators, provincial health boards
  • ambulance operators, regional health authority, the Health Quality Council of Alberta, licensed pharmacies
  • health-care professionals that are designated under the Health Information Regulation (Alta Reg 70/2001).

NPs participating in the NPPCP must be familiar with all relevant information sharing and privacy legislation, including the Health Information Act. NPs participating in the program must also be familiar with any relevant information sharing and privacy related standards of practice or other policies.
If you are an NP seeking additional information on information sharing and privacy, should reference the Privacy and Management of Health Information Standards or visit the Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta.

Additional resources include:

Alberta Health (AH) HIA resources are available to assist with understanding the rules governing and protecting health information in the custody or under the control of a custodian:

MRP refers to a regulated health care professional (usually a medical doctor or NP) who has the overall responsibility for directing and coordinating the care and management of a patient over a specific period of time.

The designated MRP at an institution or health care site is typically identified in the site’s policies and procedures. Adapted from Canadian Medical Protective Association.

Within the NPPCP, NPs are identified as the MRP for the patients on their panel. The NP is accountable to ensure the patients health care needs are met, including completing any required referrals, ordering tests or procedures and ensuring follow-up is completed within an appropriate amount of time as dictated by the urgency of the patient’s care needs.

News & Announcements

Expanding Primary Care in Alberta with Nurse Practitioners

Resources for Nurse Practitioners

Nurse Practitioner Primary Care Program (Government of Alberta)

Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta

Standards of Practice

The CRNA acknowledges that physicians have been providing autonomous primary care to patients as the most responsible practitioner for a considerable amount of time. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) has standards of practice that are designed to support autonomous primary care. Some of the guidance in the FAQs has been adapted from the CPSA's standards of practice with their permission. Patients are entitled to safe, competent and ethical care whether they are being treated by a physician or an NP.