Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Calling all prospective nurses! Government of Saskatchewan funding is expanding capacity in nursing education

In March, the Government of Saskatchewan released the provincial budget, which committed funding for Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the University of Regina to expand nursing training and help address the shortage of nurses in the province.

One of the outcomes of this funding is the addition of 62 seats to the Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing (SCBScN) and Collaborative Nurse Practitioner Program (CNPP), which are administered collaboratively by Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the University of Regina.

Portions of this funding will be used to hire additional faculty, renovate space to accommodate critical laboratory space requirements, purchase needed simulation and virtual reality equipment, and renovate teaching spaces in order to increase the program’s ability to support additional learners.

The SCBScN program is also in the process of securing funding and working with its regional colleges to deliver nursing clinical, lab, and simulation training in their local communities.

U of R Faculty of Nursing dean Dr. Cheryl Pollard recognizes the significance of this funding announcement and knows it will go a long way in attracting our province's future registered nurses and nurse practitioners to the University of Regina and Saskatchewan Polytechnic collaborative programs.

“Our programs are an excellent choice for potential students who are wanting to influence social change in healthcare and who want to be trained by a knowledgeable faculty who truly care about them,” said Pollard.

“We are very happy to see the Government of Saskatchewan investing in nursing education,” said Christa MacLean, Sask Polytech School of Nursing dean. “During regular times nursing training is important. But during times of crisis, it is critical. Throughout the pandemic, SCBScN and CNPP students and alumni served as essential workers on the frontlines to safeguard the health and safety of Saskatchewan citizens.”

In addition to the SCBScN and CNPP programs, the U of R Faculty of Nursing also provides a Special Case PhD program for students looking to dive deeper and undertake research that can help improve healthcare and minimize health disparities.

“The social determinants of health are absolutely critical,” said Pollard. “It’s a core belief of ours that people cannot experience well-being in health if they don’t have the social supports in place like accessible education, food, or housing.”

Topics related to the social determinates of health and well-being and many more will be covered in depth at the upcoming 2022 Canadian Doctoral Nursing Network Conference being held at the U of R in June.

Not only is the conference an opportunity for doctoral students to come together and share their experiences, but undergraduate nursing students are encouraged to attend as well to achieve a better understanding of the role research plays in nursing education and the opportunities for graduate studies at the University of Regina.

“Having undergraduate students involved in research activities helps them understand what a researchable question is and can set our students up for success throughout their careers in healthcare. Change within health care is constant – it is essential that we know what is effective in improving the health and well-being of the people of Saskatchewan,” added Pollard.

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Published May 2022.