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A face-on picture of Duana d'Entremont

Meet Duana d’Entremont, Professional Practice Leader – Nurse Practitioner

November 13-19 is Nurse practitioner Week, an annual celebration of Nurse Practitioners which helps raise awareness of the exceptional care they provide across the country.

Nurse practitioners are the health care providers of choice for millions of Canadians each year – thanks to the high-quality, patient-centered primary, acute and specialty care they provide. In Nova Scotia, there has been a significant growth in the role of nurse practitioners in primary care, in addition to those who work in acute care settings. They work as part of collaborative family practice teams, in cancer care, orthopedics, and emergency departments (to name just a few areas.)

In honour of NP week, we recently spoke with Duana d’Entremont, who is a Professional Practice Leader – Nurse Practitioner with the Interprofessional Practice and Learning Team, to learn more about her experience in the role.

The Background: I graduated as an RN in 1985, worked in several areas (but mostly the ED), completed my post RN BScN in 1997, and graduated as an NP from the Master of Health Studies – Advanced Nursing Practice in 2011.  I also taught in the masters program in Athabasca, and practiced in primary care in Labrador, and worked to develop the NP role in PEI before returning to practice in communities in Nova Scotia.

In 2013, I specialized in nephrology, but after six years, my love of primary care practice called me back and I practiced in various innovative settings until accepting the new role of Professional Practice Leader – Nurse Practitioners, with IPPL in February 2022.

The work: Within my years in primary care and acute care practice, the days were varied, exciting, and featured care delivery as unique as the patients and teams I was privileged to work with to meet health goals.

Now in my new practice leadership role, I am extremely fortunate to have the asks and welcome into clinical/practice questions and projects, and the trust of nurse practitioners, health care leaders, program managers, interdisciplinary providers, and teams, to support the great work they are doing on behalf of patients, care and innovation. The days are still varied and exciting because care ideas and delivery are so dynamic, with NS Health teams, including Research, Innovation, and Discovery bringing new vision and change at a faster pace than ever, to provide services in new ways, settings, delivery models and people-centered approaches, to meet the needs of Nova Scotians.

I am working on several projects related to optimizing and supporting NP practice that have many facets and multiple team members providing their expertise and partnership. As well, I receive calls and emails every day, asking for the nurse practitioner lens and experiential insights to develop policies, support care delivery and care providers, to translate research and guidelines to practice excellence, and to develop new tools for NPs to support practice, continuing education, and role development.

The Inspiration: I have spent a 37 year career being inspired by the patients and communities we all care about so much - their resilience, strength, trust, and their kindness even as they work through incredible challenges and find wonderful ways to connect with us as their partners in health. Team members inspire me, teach me, and support my shared goals daily. They kindly bring their expertise, generosity, humour and their spirit of partnership and innovation no matter where care takes them.

I love what I do because my roles and work change constantly, I learn every day from those around me. I feel honoured to have been invited into the health care journey of the patients and teams that I have been so fortunate to meet.

The Impact: Our health care workforce thrives on expertise, partnership, and delivering care in traditional and new ways. The role of NP fits extremely well; NPs blend the art and science of nursing with education and expertise in advanced practice, through which they meet holistic health care needs in a variety of settings. They provide skilled assessments; they order diagnostic tests and interpret/integrate results into care plans. They prescribe and monitor medications and treatments and ensure reassessments and partnerships with patients and the family/essential care partners they wish to include.

NPs collaborate with interdisciplinary team members to meet care needs, and NPs are responsive to changing needs and resources, making them very well suited to delivering care in new settings, roles and with goals of supporting patients, teams, and providers to work to full scope. They also bring high energy and commitment to best practice and lifelong learning. Their practice and commitment to care excellence have never been more important to the healthcare workforce. 

For more information on the role of nurse practitioners, visit the Nova Scotia Health nurse practitioner page.