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SNP in 1st line nursing versus the expanded role

We are asked often what is the difference between the work of a Specialized Nurse Practitioner (SNP) in first-line nursing care and that of a nurse in the expanded role. There are multiple differences but also many similarities. Here is a comparative board to better demonstrate those differences:



SNP 1rst line

Nurse in the expanded role

Place of practice  

      Dispensary (clinics)


      FMG (Family Medicine Group)

      FMU (Family Medicine Unit)

Dispensary (clinics)

Primary duties

Complete evaluation of the patient

Prescribe laboratory exams and tests diagnostics autonomously

Perform procedures

Prescribe treatments and medication autonomously

Prescribe x-rays and medical imaging examination

Complete evaluation of the patient

Prescribe laboratory exams and tests diagnostics as shown in the therapeutic guide or medical prescriptions

Perform procedures

Prescribe treatments and medication as shown in the therapeutic guide




SNP 1rst line

Nurse in the expanded role

Admission requirements Bachelor’s degree

3,360 hours of clinical practice

Selection interview

Northern Quebec

Bachelor’s degree

4,890h of practice

Selection interview

Functional English


College degree

3,360h of practice

Selection interview

English proficiency

Training duration

2 years

+/- 6 weeks in total :

•  +/- 1 week online

•  4 weeks in the classroom

•  +/- 1 week of orientation

Certificates Master Training certificate

As you can notice, the main differences are that the nurse practitioner in first-line nursing care is authorized to prescribe medications but the nurse in the expanded role must use the therapeutic guide and follow protocols to prescribe medications. With regards to training, the expended role is much more accessible.

It should be noted that having followed our training in the extended role and working in the extended role is an excellent springboard to pursue your career as a nurse practitioner specialized in primary care. Since the work in the extended role is more rapidly accessible, it happens frequently that nurses choose this path as a starting point. Afterwards, their experience becomes an asset if they choose to become SNPs and return to work in metropolitan areas. In addition to gaining relevant clinical experience, the extended role facilitates your admission to a master’s degree. Furthermore, the extended role is a must if one decides to peruse a career in any other related field : Doctors Without Borders, Coast Guard, industry…

The expanded role allows you to go further in your nursing practice!

*Non-exhaustive list




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