Meet our Team

At Winterberry, Nurse Practitioners are at the heart of our clinic.

At Winterberry, Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are at the heart of our clinic and our patients benefit from their important role in their care. 

Many of our patients are very familiar with the roles that doctors and nurses play in their healthcare but they’re not sure of how an NP fits in. We’re writing this article so you can understand what NPs do and how they contribute to our excellent standard of care. Plus we’re going to introduce you to a few of our team’s Nurse Practitioners.

First, who can be an NP?

According to the Nurse Practitioners Association of Ontario ( a Nurse Practitioner is a registered nurse with advanced university education who provides personalized, quality health care to patients. Ontario nurse practitioners provide a full range of health care services to individuals, families and communities in a variety of settings including hospitals and community based clinics in cities and smaller towns inOntario. We work in partnership with physicians, nurses and other health care professionals such as social workers, midwives, mental health professionals and pharmacists to keep you, your family and your community well.

Second, what can an NP do?

Nurse practitioners assess, diagnose, treat and monitor a wide range of health problems using an evidence based approach to their practice. They consult and collaborate with physicians and other health care professionals to meet the needs of the patient population. Chronic disease management, health promotion and illness prevention, as well as helping patients navigate through the health care system are integral to their approach to patient care. Engaging patients as full partners in their care plan with attention to self-care to the extent that patients are willing and able to participate is an important aspect of the underlying philosophy of NPLCs. In addition, nurse practitioners are experts in community health care needs assessment and program planning, implementation and evaluation. These programs are targeted to specific health care needs identified in collaboration with their communities.

At Winterberry our team consists of many Nurse Practitioners, each of them a valuable and respected member of our healthcare team. It’s important to us that you get to know our NPs and to help that along, we’re sharing parts of conversations we had with a few NPs this past month:  

Meet Marijana Zubrinic

PHC Nurse Practitioner


Q: Marijana, what is the best part of your day as a Nurse Practitioner at Winterberry? 

​A: The best parts of my day are doing home visits and being able to provide medical care in a patient’s home when they are unable to come into the office.

Q: What inspired you to become a Nurse Practitioner? 

A: ​Being an NP allows me to see patients and have that direct patient care aspect as part of my role.  Another benefit of being a NP is being able to take on more leadership activities and build on my leadership skills 

Q: What unique strengths/skills do Nurse Practitioners bring to the healthcare team?

A: A unique strength is being able to practice medicine independently within our knowledge, judgment and skill. Most NPs have a special interest or an area they specialize in that allows them to be the expert for other members of the healthcare team​

Meet Christine Burgsma

PHC Nurse Practitioner MN, BScN

Q: Christine, what inspired you to become a Nurse Practitioner? 

A: I wanted to become a Nurse Practitioner for a few reasons, one of which was my desire to better educate myself and gain more knowledge in healthcare. I also looked forward to utilizing my nursing abilities in a more autonomous role and in a primary care setting. As a NP, I thoroughly enjoy working to my full NP scope and being able to provide holistic care for patients.  Being a NP can be very rewarding, and when you make a positive influence in a patient’s life, big or small, it makes the job worth it! 

Q: What unique strengths/skills do Nurse Practitioners bring to the healthcare team?

 A: I feel the strengths of Nurse Practitioners as a whole include their ability to deliver compassionate and quality care to patients. Nurse practitioners serve as good advocates for their patients, and are able to incorporate their practical, social, and empathetic nursing skills into their practice. 

Meet Melissa Schuurman

Nurse Practitioner 


Q: Melissa, what is the best part of your day as a Nurse Practitioner at Winterberry?

A: I thoroughly enjoy the staff at Winterberry Family Medicine. The team dynamic and collaborative approach is so refreshing from all disciplines. Everyone always works hard and we all have the same goal in mind – optimal patient care and top-notch patient satisfaction.

Q: What inspired you to become a Nurse Practitioner?

A: My 10 years of experience as a nurse has been centered around providing acute care in the hospital setting. Over these years I have seen my patient’s pain and suffering from various acute and complications of chronic illnesses. My goal in primary care is to prevent hospitalizations by providing adequate health advice, education, and counseling on how to avoid such adverse outcomes from these illnesses or overcoming illnesses entirely. I truly believe this starts from the primary care perspective. 

Q: What unique strengths/skills do Nurse Practitioners bring to the healthcare team?

A: Nurse practitioners are quite unique in their ability to communicate and establish rapport with their patients. It has been ingrained in us to ensure we are viewing our patients as a whole. Our educational experience, as well as my personal experience working alongside many nurses/nurse practitioners over the years, embraces the therapeutic nurse(practitioner) – patient relation. 

Where can I get even more information on Nurse Practitioners?