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UNB launches LPN-BN pathway program in Miramichi

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Dec 7, 2021

Category: UNB Fredericton , UNB Saint John

The University of New Brunswick is introducing a new LPN-BN pathway program in Miramichi, allowing licensed practical nurses to learn and work in their own community.

The program will launch in September 2022 with 24 seats available. Courses will be delivered online through UNB’s College of Extended Learning and students will join the bachelor of nursing program virtually for the third and fourth years to learn in real time from instructors at UNB Fredericton. Skills training and clinical placements will take place in-person in the Miramichi area.

The program is open to nurses who have already completed their LPN training.

“For LPNs who wish to become registered nurses, this is an opportunity to study and achieve their goals without having to relocate or lose their income source,” says Dr. Lorna Butler, dean of nursing at UNB Fredericton. “They can learn where they live and continue to make a difference in their community. We are bringing the university to them.”

UNB Fredericton announced the creation of a new LPN-BN pathway program which began in 2020, and provincial funding doubled the seats to 48 in December of that year. A majority of applicants to the program were from the Miramichi area and discussions with the provincial government further identified the region as a priority area for workforce expansion.

Additionally, the faculty of nursing’s academic plan emphasizes increasing the Indigenous student population to 10 per cent of the total nursing student population. Dr. Butler hopes introducing LPN-BN pathway programs will help achieve that by making education more accessible through the ‘learn where you live’ model.

“There is a recognized need for nursing professionals in our province. UNB can support this by not taking workers out of the workforce and still providing them with a different qualification.”

The program also reflects how the nature of healthcare is changing, with telecare and virtual care becoming more common because of the pandemic.

“The new LPN-BN pathway program in Miramichi represents UNB’s dedication to enhancing the health care system in New Brunswick,” says Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle, UNB’s president and vice-chancellor. “We have seen the interest in our nursing programs and, through the pandemic, refined our ability to deliver courses through alternate methods. We are excited to use these innovative solutions as an opportunity to collaborate with the provincial government and transform our health care system.”

Dr. Butler says many groups came together to ensure the program’s success on all fronts.

“Through partnerships we are able to bring this program to life. UNB met with the Province of New Brunswick to determine where we could help increase the workforce. The New Brunswick Community College is providing the program with lab space for students to work on skills. UNB’s College of Extended Learning is supporting the online delivery of courses, and our community partners are key to clinical placements. This is truly a group effort.”

UNB offers LPN-BN programs on both the Fredericton and Saint John campuses for graduates from New Brunswick-based LPN programs.

Media contact: Kelsey Pye

Photo credit: Pexels