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Team Primary Care Nursing post-curricular training program

Principal investigators

Marie-Eve Poitras &

Julia Lukewich


3 000 000 $

Gouvernement du Canada

Study setting

All Quebec provinces


Nursing education, primary care, registered nurse, nursing practice, andragogy

Would you like to follow the training?


You must first be a member of the Canadian Association of Family Medicine Nurses (CAFIM)!

Do not be afraid! Membership is quick, affordable and gives you access to a host of tools and training aimed at improving your knowledge and advancing your nursing practice!


Family practice nursing is booming and is now an integral part of the services offered in Canadian primary care settings. With little specific training in their initial curricula, primary care nurses currently evolve without a uniform framework indicating the competencies needed to optimize their field of practice. This prevents patients from benefiting from the full potential of nursing practice, undermines the satisfaction and well-being of the nursing workforce, and limits the effectiveness of primary care teams. Services Canada has, therefore, granted funding to support the development of a national bilingual training program. This program will support and optimize the skills of nurses working in primary care in Canada.

Watch the video to find out how the Primary Care Team is accelerating the case for team-based primary care in Canada!


In recent years, the College of Physicians of Canada (CFPC) and the Canadian Association of Family Physicians Nurses (CAFPN) have developed tools to guide the practice of family medicine professionals. Among other things, these tools make it possible to better respond to the population's needs and support the development of the nursing role.

However, despite the support of these tools, the nursing practice of family medicine varies from clinic to clinic and is not optimal. A lack of specialized primary care training in nurse education partly explains this variation in family medicine nursing practice. Integrating the CFPC and FMNAC guidelines into nurse training is one solution to practice variability. It is necessary to have a good understanding of nursing practice to gain insight into the elements that influence the integration or non-integration of Canadian guidelines, to target training needs in these environments, and to evaluate the effects of training, different programs, and health policies on nursing practice. To achieve this, it is possible to document their activities, roles and functions within the family medicine clinic using an evaluation tool. However, few such tools exist, preventing those in management positions and research teams from evaluating the effect of their contributions (research projects, management plans, programs) in improving nursing practice.


The project aims to develop and evaluate an accredited training program consistent with the Centre de Médecine de Famille model and with the Canadian competencies for primary care nurses as promoted by the Canadian Association of Family Practice Nurses.

This training demonstrates a commitment to evidence-based nursing practice to support the primary care nursing workforce, optimizing the nursing role within collaborative primary care teams and best practices in patient engagement. 

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The training program will be rolled out nationwide and supported by a community of practice mentors and learners. The training will be available online and asynchronous. It will comprise six modules aimed at improving practices in concrete terms through a better understanding of the principles of interprofessional collaboration, patient engagement and developing strategies to optimize the nursing role in primary care.

What we're trying to understand

  1. How is accredited training deployed in primary care settings?

  2. How does it affect the learning, professional and interprofessional practices of trained nurses and healthcare staff involved in primary care settings?

  3. What factors must be considered to ensure the successful deployment of a training program across Canada?

How will we address them? 

To answer these questions, we will use a developmental evaluation design (Patton, 2010) based on the Knowledge-to-Action model (Graham et al., 2018) and collect mixed-methods data (Creswell and Plano Clark, 2018) from the different populations involved: trained nurses, primary care managers and facilitators who will support both the implementation of the intervention and the learners in their learning.

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Figure : Knowledge-to-Action Model / KTA (Graham & al., 2018)

What results are we aiming for?

At least 500 nurses will be trained to optimize their scope of practice and role in primary care. The training program will fill current gaps in initial training for primary care nursing practice. It will enable primary care nurses to perform their full range of duties to the maximum of their scope of practice. Better training of the primary care nursing workforce will foster improved professional practices of collaboration and patient engagement.

What benefits are we aiming for?


A better understanding of the roll-out of a national training program will inform teaching and research experts in developing future initiatives to strengthen the primary care workforce. In addition, a better understanding of the effectiveness of learning strategies will support the development of training programs tailored to the specific needs of primary care nurses.

Our training program is the first specifically designed for primary care nurses and will help standardize nursing practices across Canada and deliver high-quality patient care.

Key partners

The project is led by Pres Marie-Eve Poitras of Université de Sherbrooke and Julia Lukewich of Memorial University of Newfoundland in partnership with the Canadian Association of Family Practice Nurses and the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

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