VICTORIA — Vancouver Island’s first nurse practitioner primary care clinic is opening in Nanaimo on Tuesday.

The health facility will be operated by a team of nurse practitioners who can respond to a range of medical needs, including “diagnosing and treating illnesses, ordering and interpreting tests, prescribing medications and performing medical procedures,” according to the B.C. government.

The clinic, located at #3-1273 Island Hwy., will initially open with two full-time nurse practitioners. By Sept. 15, the team will expand with four additional nurse practitioners, two registered nurses, a mental-health clinician and a social worker.

Health officials say that the Nexus Primary Care Clinic will also connect roughly 6,800 people with a primary care provider within the next three years.

“We know that thousands of people in Nanaimo do not have a consistent primary care provider,” said B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix in a release Monday.

“The Nexus Primary Care Clinic is another valuable resource for people to get attached to a nurse practitioner and to receive primary health care,” he said.

The clinic will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesday and Fridays and will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Once the clinic is fully staffed, operating hours will be extended to include evenings and Saturdays.