Introducing Nurse Practitioners to community-based nursing services

Case Study Submitted by: Mirjam de Leede-Brunsveld
Country: Netherlands

Nurse Practitioners in the Netherlands are providing timely treatment in their communities when it is needed most. With advanced education and training, Nurse Practitioners are working within their community healthcare services to reduce hospital admissions and visits to general practitioners.

A key challenge in the provision of care for people in the community is access to primary care services and essential medicines. Currently, district nurses provide home services to people living in the Netherlands. However, when a medical need arises, patients are often required to visit their general practitioner. This is a significant barrier to many patients who have difficulty accessing services, particularly in a timely fashion. This can lead to the person visiting the emergency department and being admitted to hospital.

Buurtzorg Netherlands is a pioneering nurse-led organisation that has introduced Nurse Practitioners within their healthcare teams to work as registered nurses with advanced preparation and education to provide primary healthcare services and an increased range of treatments.

The care provided by Nurse Practitioners all happens in people’s homes where they feel safe. From this unique vantage point, the Nurse Practitioners can see other factors that influence the health of their communities, and observe how people are able to deal with their health issues, how they cope and if they require follow-up services or education.

Adding Nurse Practitioners to the healthcare system in the Netherlands has improved timely and affordable access to people requiring primary healthcare services.

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