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UNB expands nursing offerings on Fredericton campus with support from provincial government

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Apr 11, 2022

Category: UNB Fredericton

The University of New Brunswick’s faculty of nursing in Fredericton is introducing a mental health specialization and doubling the capacity in its nurse practitioner program, thanks to an investment from the Province of New Brunswick.

UNB is developing a curriculum of specialized theory and clinical courses that will allow 21 students to specialize in mental health each year, preparing them with the expertise and training to respond to mental health issues. The specialization will be added for September 2022.

The master of nursing – nurse practitioner program will expand from 10 to 20 seats in September 2023.

“Our nursing students are highly skilled and well placed to acquire additional skills in critical areas such as mental health and addiction,” said UNB president and vice-chancellor Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle. “Through these agreements, we are able to expand our offerings and address significant needs in our province.”

Up to $1.48 million has been allocated to support these two performance-based agreements over two years.

This investment will expand on an existing program that provides mental health education to nursing students enrolled in the licensed practical nurse bridging program. UNB students wishing to specialize in mental health will be able to do so through the LPN bridging program, the bachelor of nursing program, or the advanced standing program, which is an accelerated program for students with at least 60 credit hours of university courses.

“UNB continues to show its commitment to the nursing professions, and we are pleased to partner with the university on these latest initiatives,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. “Our government continues to work closely with our post-secondary institutions to ensure they deliver programming that supports the needs of our province. These initiatives will help further address the need for specialized healthcare professionals.”

“Nurse practitioners are valued partners in New Brunswick’s healthcare services, and the new seats announced today will help meet that demand,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “The new mental health specialization will give students the knowledge they need to provide appropriate nursing care to those seeking mental health and addiction services.”

Supporting nurses in mental health education is part of the Nursing Resource Strategy for New Brunswick, which contains four pillars: promotion of the registered nurse profession in New Brunswick; enhancement of nursing education in New Brunswick; recruitment of internationally educated nurses; and enhancement of registered nurses’ employment and work-life balance.

This investment also supports the new provincial health plan, Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action, and the Inter-Departmental Addiction and Mental Health Action Plan: Priority Areas for 2021-2025. In addition, it will contribute to the government’s commitment on addressing issues related to mental health and addictions.

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Photo: (L-R) Dr. Kathy Wilson, UNB Fredericton’s vice-president academic, PETL Minister Trevor Holder, Dr. Lorna Butler, dean of nursing at UNB Fredericton, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard, and Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle, UNB’s president and vice-chancellor. Credit: Stephen MacGillivray.