BACKGROUND: As the prevalence of chronic diseases continues to increase, emphasis is being placed on the development of primary care strategies that enhance healthcare delivery. Innovations include interprofessional healthcare teams and chronic disease management strategies.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the roles of nurses working in primary care settings in Ontario and the extent to which chronic disease management strategies have been implemented.
METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of a random sample of primary care nurses, including registered practical nurses, registered nurses, and nurse practitioners, in Ontario between May and July 2011.
RESULTS: Nurses in primary care reported engaging in chronic disease management activities but to different extents depending on their regulatory designation (licensure category). Chronic disease management strategy implementation was not uniform across primary care practices where the nurses worked.
CONCLUSIONS: There is the potential to optimize and standardize the nursing role within primary care and improve the implementation of chronic disease management strategies.