600 new nursing spots for B.C.

Retirement, burn out and high-acuity mounts pressure on profession.

The Government of British Columbia has announced the addition of 602 new nursing seats to public post-secondary institutions throughout the province.

The government said the investment aims to close the skills gap with a generational commitment to accelerate talent development and skills training for British Columbians.

"Healthy communities are the backbone of a strong economy," said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation in a media release. "If we don't look after people, our economy won't succeed. That's why the StrongerBC Economic Plan commits to strengthening health care by investing in training more people for a high-care, low-carbon future that works for all British Columbians."

A total of 602 new nursing seats will be added to approximately 2,000 seats currently in nursing programs in B.C.'s public post-secondary institutions. The new seats include 362 registered nursing seats, 40 registered psychiatric nursing seats, 20 nurse practitioner seats and 180 licensed practical nurse seats at 17 public post-secondary institutions. As part of this expansion, new seats will support health-care assistants who want to train as a licensed practical nurse (LPN), and LPNs looking to move into a career as a registered nurse (RN).

"The past two years have shown us just how critical our health workforce is. By supporting post-secondary institutions like the University of Victoria, University of British Columbia, University of the Fraser Valley, Thompson Rivers University, Northern Lights College and Selkirk College, we're not only expanding the future nursing capacity in the province, but creating pathways to incredibly rewarding, long-term and family-supporting careers," said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.

Government provided $5 million to public post-secondary institutions in 2021-22 to begin the expansion of nursing seats throughout the province. The University of British Columbia (UBC), Thompson Rivers University and UBC Okanagan welcomed additional students in September 2021, with new and expanded intakes at more public post-secondary institutions opening up over the next year and a half.

Published 2022-02-20 by Glenn Hicks

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