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New nursing initiative combines work and education, provides salary and tuition support

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Feb 24, 2023

Category: UNB Saint John

In the photo from L-R: Hon. Trevor Holder, Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour; Ann Drennan, Vice-President Academic, Innovation and Student Affairs, NBCC; Brenda Kinney, Vice-President and Chief Nursing Officer, Horizon Health; Hon. Bruce Fitch, Minister of Health; Hon. Dorothy Shephard, Minister of Social Development; Dr. Paul Mazerolle, President and Vice Chancellor, UNB

Today, a new, innovative initiative was announced on the University of New Brunswick’s Saint John campus that will assist those unable to follow the traditional educational journey with an opportunity to advance their nursing careers.

The Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour committed approximately $13.3 million to fund the Step Up to Nursing pilot project, a new nursing education model that will consist of two cohorts of participants over two years.

“The future of Canada’s public health care system depends on the decisions we make right now and UNB is well positioned to play a part,” said Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle, UNB’s president and vice-chancellor. “We’re proud to be part of this new initiative that will complement UNB’s existing nursing programs and will make nursing education more accessible to New Brunswickers.”

The Step Up to Nursing Initiative is a workplace-based, wage-supported learning model where participants will work part-time in the healthcare system while completing one of two program streams: from personal support worker (PSW) to licensed practical nurse (LPN) or from licensed practical nurse (LPN) to registered nurse (RN).

“We continue to build New Brunswick’s capacity for training healthcare professionals and look for new opportunities to support our healthcare system,” said Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Trevor Holder. “Step Up to Nursing is the result of a tremendous partnership and it will complement our many other initiatives aimed at addressing human resource shortages in the healthcare sector.”

The initiative is a partnership between the departments of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, Social Development and Health, University of New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Community College, Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick, Université de Moncton, Horizon Health Network, Vitalité Health Network and the New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes.

Participants of the program will be paid wages during periods of learning, including clinical placements and tuition fees will be covered. Funding for the initiative is provided over a three-year period through the Canada-New Brunswick Labour Market Agreements.

The Step Up to Nursing Initiative will be a mix of online and in-person training. Learn more at gnb.ca/stepuptonursing.