Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Multi-institution partnership pilots Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing courses in North Battleford

Increasing access to education improves opportunities for students

April 19, 2016 - In collaboration with Prairie North Health Region and North West College, Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the University of Regina are piloting fourth year nursing courses of the Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing (SCBScN) program in North Battleford. By expanding program offerings into more communities, students are able to access more experiential education opportunities and achieve career success.

"Providing increased access to education in more communities across the province means the program can meet specific strategic goals to educate and graduate quality health care professionals," says Dr. Netha Dyck, dean of the School of Nursing at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. "Our biggest pride today is offering new opportunities to nursing students in the Battlefords."

"The demand for registered nurses in Saskatchewan continues to grow and this pilot represents a unique and welcome opportunity to address that need," says Dr. david Gregory, Dean, Faculty of Nursing, University of Regina. "Students will have the opportunity to complete their nursing education in the Battlefords, and the Battlefords are afforded the opportunity to recruit new graduates."

The pilot project will see up to 35 students over a total of three terms - winter, spring and fall - prepare to transition into practice, focus their practice and work as registered nurses. The success of the pilot could lead to continued program development and course offerings in North Battleford. Students participating in the pilot will also be able to put theory into practice through access clinical placement opportunities in the Prairie North Health Region.

"The presence of the pilot program in North Battleford provides benefits for everyone involved," says David Fan, CEO of Prairie North Health Region. "The health region looks forward to playing a key role in the fourth year nursing education. The students will provide care for patients in our facilities and communities. They will be mentored by Prairie North staff in the values and skills of the nursing profession. The aim is to provide a high level of quality care to those who require health services. We look forward to students helping us to achieve that goal."

"We're really excited to be piloting these courses at North West College," says Tavia Laliberte, president and CEO of North West College. "North West College welcomes this pilot program as a valuable addition to our robust course offerings in the health sciences. The students who learn in the Battlefords will enjoy a supportive learning environment and rich cultural community.

The need for registered nurses and quality care givers continues to increase in Saskatchewan. By providing more nursing education in more Saskatchewan communities we can address that need by providing students with education and training opportunities across the province.

About North West College

With over 40 years of experience serving the Battlefords, Meadow Lake and surrounding areas, North West College offers a full-range of adult education opportunities. Committed to rural education and community outreach, North West understands the critical benefits of studying close to home. A provincial leader in Aboriginal education, North West partners with over 14 First Nations communities each year offering labour market demand programming on-reserve. These community relationships have contributed to our impressive Student Satisfaction rate of 95% and explain why 91% of our Aboriginal Students succeed in their university-credit studies at North West College.

About Prairie North Health Region

Healthy People. Healthy Communities. That's the vision that drives more than 3,300 Prairie North Health Region employees. Prairie North Health Region's mission is to work with individuals and communities to achieve the safest and best possible care, experience, and health for all residents of our region. When patients interact with the Prairie North Health Region, they will experience respect, excellence, engagement, accountability, and transparency in the care they receive.

About Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves 27,000 distinct students through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student need, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.

About University of Regina

The University of Regina is a comprehensive, mid-sized university that traces its roots back to the creation of Regina College in 1911. It now has 200 academic programs, 10 faculties and more than 14,000 students. The University of Regina is well known in several areas, including business, education, engineering, journalism and justice studies, and offers online and distance study programs for people throughout Saskatchewan and across Canada.