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The Cardiac Sciences Program in Winnipeg created a new role for Nurse Practitioners (NPs) as an innovative strategy to bridge the gap in care for cardiac surgery patients transitioning from the hospital to the community. NPs advanced education and skills enable them to work both independently and collaboratively across diverse settings, including the transition from acute to primary care. In developing this role, the organization initiated a randomized clinical trial (N = 200) to compare the outcomes of the NP Managed Post-operative Cardiac Surgery Follow-up Clinic with the traditional model of follow-up care. Preliminary findings suggest that early post-discharge NP managed follow-up care of cardiac surgery patients is associated with improved physical functioning, decreased symptoms, decreased utilization of health care resources and increased patient satisfaction.

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