New nursing program to begin at Acadia University

Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia government announces new nursing programs for students'
Nova Scotia government announces new nursing programs for students
The Houston government announced on Thursday that a new nursing program is coming to the province. Callum Smith has more as Acadia University is partnering with Cape Breton University to develop a standalone course, as NSCC is also seeing seat expansions to their practical nursing programs. – May 11, 2023

A new nursing program is coming to Nova Scotia in a bid to have more nursing graduates and “fix health care” in the province, according to the premier.

Starting this September, Acadia University will host a satellite Bachelor of Science in Nursing program along with Cape Breton University.

Twenty-one seats will be available and applications open May 29.

Eventually, the program will transition to become a standalone course at Acadia.

“This new nursing program is a significant milestone event in the 185-year history of Acadia University,” said Acadia’s president and vice-chancellor Peter Ricketts during an announcement on Thursday.

“By 2026, we will be graduating 42 nurses and annually after that, 63 nurses.”

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Ricketts went on to say that it will be important to fast-track the school’s ability to educate and train nurses for the province.

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“What is especially exciting is that approximately 50 per cent of the nursing seats here at Acadia will be designated for African Nova Scotian, Mi’kmaq, and Indigenous students,” he added.

The province is giving Acadia $1.9 million to establish the program.

Meanwhile, Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) is receiving $2.1 million from the province to expand its LPN program, which adds 30 seats each at six different campuses in the next two years. That means NSCC will eventually have about 470 seats per year, on average.

“It truly warms my heart to be on the receiving end of today’s investment of 180 additional practical nursing program seats at campuses across the province,” said Margaret Champion, the dean of NSCC’s School of Health and Human Services.

“We had many campuses that had existing waitlists of qualified applicants wanting to come and take this program and as of today, there are now seats available for them to consider and that is amazing.”

Premier Tim Houston, who campaigned on fixing the health-care system in the province, said Thursday’s announcement is one step towards that goal.

“Nurses of course are the backbone of our health-care system,” he said.

“This is how we fix health care in this province, one solution at a time.”

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— with a file from Global News’ Rebecca Lau 

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