A new Nurse Practitioner (NP) has joined the Melita Medical Clinic. In late February, Ashley Mitchell (RN) (NP) started her role at the clinic. Initially, Mitchell will be providing primary care services at the clinic approximately four times a week, then five days per week starting in June. She joins Stacy Downey as the second NP working within the Melita Medical Clinic.
Previously, Ashley filled a maternity leave position within Shoal Lake Medical Clinic. Ashley is a graduate of the University of Athabasca Masters of Nursing Program, Nurse Practitioner (NP) Stream and is registered under the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba as an NP.
Mitchell said she comes from rural Manitoba, growing up on a family-owned and operated farm in the Pipestone area and is remaining true to her roots.
"I had the typical farm kid childhood and after high school got a diploma in Animal Health Technology from Lakeland College. I worked at the Virden vet clinic for a few years before going back to school to become a nurse. I graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing degree from Brandon University in 2013. Over the past nine years, I have worked as a Registered Nurse in Souris, Virden, and the Brandon Regional Health Centre Emergency Room," she stated.
"In 2018, I decided to pursue my Masters in Nursing to become a Nurse Practitioner as a gap in primary care services for my local community and surrounding area had developed, and I felt I could help. I completed my Master's in April of 2021 and have been fortunate to have some great mentors and colleagues to continue learning and growing as an NP. I am very excited to be able to provide primary care now so close to home."
What type of services is available from a Nurse Practitioner?
A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a Registered Nurse (RN) who has completed advanced education at a master's level. NPs are registered with the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba (CRNM). NPs are primary care providers who provide a comprehensive, engaging, responsive, respectful service. They work independently and can provide many services, including:
- Completing assessments and physical exams, including pap tests and pre-natal exams;
- Diagnosing and managing common acute issues and chronic conditions;
- Prescribing medications, treatments and therapies;
- Ordering diagnostic tests like blood work, x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans and MRIs;
- Performing minor procedures like suturing, biopsies, wart and mole removal; and
- Referring to other health providers, including specialists.
Within PMH, NPs work in collaboration and consultation with physicians and other healthcare providers and can be found working in various settings, including providing service on the Mobile Clinic (primary care bus).
Mitchell says Nurse Practitioners are a vital part of providing primary health care services within rural Manitoba.
"As medical services become more specialized and centralized in our province, Nurse Practitioners are integral in keeping services available in our small communities and reduce the amount of travel necessary for patients to receive the care they need."
As of mid-March, Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) employs 22 NPs. NPs are currently based in Birtle, Boissevain, Carberry, Erickson, Glenboro, Grandview, Melita, Minnedosa, Rivers, Roblin, Rossburn, Ste. Rose du Lac, Swan River, Wawanesa, 7th Street Health Access Centre in Brandon, Brandon Emergency Department and on the Mobile Primary Care Clinic. We also have NPs providing itinerant service at 9 of the 14 First Nation Communities within Prairie Mountain Health.
Do I make an appointment to see the new NP?
For the Melita Medical Clinic, clients can phone 204-522-8353 from Monday to Friday (8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) to make an appointment with an NP when they are available.
Nurse Practitioner Ashley Mitchell
Melita NPs Stacy Downey and Ashley Mitchell