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  • Kyle Bolt

Conditional Approval Granted for Two New Nursing Programs

Addressing the nursing shortage begins with increasing New Brunswick’s training capacity. Today’s announcement is yet another positive development.

The provincial government has granted conditional designations to Beal University and Oulton College to deliver bachelor of science in nursing programs in the province.

“We are incredibly excited by the interest of these two well-established institutions to offer nursing programs here in New Brunswick,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. “Granting conditional approvals for these programs is critical to addressing the emerging demand for nurses and will help both institutions to adequately plan and promote these programs.”

Under the Degree Granting Act, institutions and programs are required to undergo a thorough assessment process to ensure all standards are met. The assessments, conducted by the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission (MPHEC), are well underway.

By granting a conditional designation at this stage, the government has granted permission to both institutions to publicly promote their intentions to offer a nursing program. However, they are not permitted to enrol eligible students until the government receives a recommendation from the MPHEC.

Oulton College, founded in Moncton, has been a regulated career college since 1956. The programs offered are directly related to shortages in the labour market in the areas of business, health science, information technology, and human services.

“We are pleased to receive conditional designation for our new bachelor of science in nursing program,” said Darcie Reidpath, president of Oulton College. “We have worked tirelessly with the provincial government, the Nursing Association of New Brunswick, and the MPHEC to make this a reality. We are excited about what the future holds while contributing to New Brunswick's labour market with competent employees who will continue to make us proud. We are here to help our community with the nursing shortage today, tomorrow, and for the years ahead."

Beal University has been operating in Maine since 1891 and offers accreditation at the diploma, associate, bachelors and masters levels. The university recently entered into a partnership with the province to provide training for nursing students at their Bangor campus.

“This conditional designation being granted to Beal University Canada is another clear indication of the commitment of the New Brunswick government to swiftly address the well documented and critical shortage of nurses in the province,” said Holly McKnight, president of Beal University Canada. “We are proud to be a part of this solution and appreciate the opportunity to bring the success of Beal’s bachelor of science in nursing degree program to students choosing the health-care field as their future career.”

“The dedicated, hardworking professionals in our health-care system deserve our praise and deserve a stronger health-care system,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch. “That’s why we are undertaking initiatives like this one under the Provincial Health Plan to increase the number of trained nurses.”

The initiative to train New Brunswick students at the Beal University campus in Bangor is one of several initiatives underway to train and recruit nurses, including: -Funding has been committed to add up to 85 new nursing spots at the University of New Brunswick and the Université de Moncton, pushing the total number of bachelor of nursing spots in the province to up to 366 per year. -Recruitment and referral initiatives are underway to identify and hire health professionals. -Recruitment is taking place among graduate nurses in New Brunswick and outside the province. -More than 220 nurses have been hired within hospitals and through Extra-Mural Hospital/Ambulance New Brunswick under an incentive program designed to attract newly registered nurses to jobs that are hard to fill.

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