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UNBSJ announces accelerated nursing program for next fall

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UNB launching accelerated nursing program
WATCH: The University of New Brunswick is launching an accelerated nursing pilot program at its Saint John campus. It’s the latest in a series of announcements around nursing education in the province – all designed to get nurses into the system faster. Nathalie Sturgeon reports. – Sep 1, 2023

The University of New Brunswick is launching an accelerated nursing program at its Saint John campus.

Twenty-one students will be admitted to the three-year program. It will require 12 months of study and summertime practicums.

Traditional nursing programs, including the ones offered at UNB across the province, are four years long. Licensed practical nurses can also bridge to become a registered nurse in a two-year program.

“We already do a four-year regular nursing program, we do LPN bridge to be RN and it’s now adding another option,” UNB Saint John vice-president Petra Hauf said.

She said it is both a solution to get more people to apply and a way to open up any wait-list in the current four-year programs. The bridging program is for licensed practical nurses who want to be registered nurses and it takes two years.

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While the university believes it will produce more graduate output fast, it will also help other health-care sectors during difficult times of the year.

“And by going into a three-year delivery model, we’re going off cycle with our placement and we’re getting into on-sites, hospitals, long-term care facilities that would already be overflowing,” Hauf said.

The program will get $412,000 from the provincial government upfront to set up the program. The province will contribute a further $1.2 million over three years based on the program’s results and metrics.

“Post-secondary Education, Training and Labour (PETL) actually has (an) inherent program that’s focused on key performance indicators, so those are built into everything we do with respect to financial arrangements with our partners, so we would be looking at the student success rate. Of course, the retention piece is going to be extremely important as well,” said Minister Arlene Dunn.

It’s one of several announcements made about nursing education this week, including an at-home bridging program in Moncton and Miramichi.

The program is scheduled to start in September 2024, with results reports expected in March 2025.

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