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Family Practice Nursing


We Are Registered Nurses in Primary Care

Family practice nurses, also known as primary care nurses, are typically Registered Nurses (RNs) who practice within primary care settings (e.g. family health teams, community health centres, physician owned clinics, family medicine groups, primary care networks). Primary care focuses on the delivery of health promotion, disease prevention, and management of episodic and chronic conditions across the lifespan. Family practice nurses work in partnership with family physicians, nurse practitioners, and other members of the healthcare team. Family practice nurses function as generalists who provide a broad range of health services, including:

what family practice nurses do.jpg

Family practice nurses are college or baccalaureate-prepared RNs. In all provinces/territories, except for Quebec, newly educated RNs are required to complete a baccalaureate degree. There are no formal/specialized training requirements to work as a family practice nurse. Rather, family practice nurses often seek out their own professional development to adapt and broaden their scope of practice to meet needs the needs of patients within their primary care setting.

Family Practice Nursing



History gives us our roots. Consider the age-old adage:​

“You can’t know where you are going unless you know where you have been."

As early as 1982, a need was seen for family practice nurses to have the support of the common group and to share ideas. After two decades, in 2008, the CFPNA was founded by a group of seven dynamic nurses: 


  1. Ann Alsaffar (Ontario)

  2. Michelle Allard (Manitoba)

  3. April Frego (Manitoba)

  4. Annie Dickson (Ontario)

  5. Carol Todd (Nova Scotia)

  6. Maryilyn Howlett (Alberta)

  7. Patsy Smith (Nova Scotia)


who met at a conference in 2006 and discovered they all shared a similar passion for family practice nursing. They continued to dialogue via email over the course of two years and organized an open forum. Participants at the forum voted on a name for the Association and elected the founding nurses to form the first Executive Commitee. The CFPNA was officially recognized as the 40th Emerging Group of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) in June 2008. 


In 2010, we became recognized as an Associate Member of the CNA. We continue to grow as an association, striving towards our vision to provide a national voice for nurses in primary care through leadership, mentorship and fostering expertise.

CFPNA History

Organizational Charts 

Structure, Ranks & Relationships
Org Charts

Adopted at General Meeting: 
June 6, 2010


Revised and Adopted at General Meeting on:


February 2, 2013

September 27, 2014

April 30, 2016

April 28, 2018

June 27, 2020

April, 2022

June 12,2024

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