Taking into account the critical nurse shortage in New Brunswick, on March 21, the provincial government and UNB signed a 10-year agreement that would allow UNB to increase the number of nursing graduates.
UNB would receive $35,000 for each new nursing graduate above a certain baseline.
The agreement with Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour (PETL) will open 85 new yearly seats in the nursing program and will reward UNB for every new nursing graduate above the baseline of 155 with $35,000, up to 206 students per year. UNB could receive approximately $1,785,000 per year with the funding.
Although UNB Has already implemented approaches to encourage young people to enroll in nursing programs, such as the Advanced Standing Program and the “learn where you live” model, PETL Minister Trevor Holder states that he understands that “… there is a cost associated with training new nurses”. The PETL has made it a priority to partner with different universities and increase the number of nursing graduates.
Nursing seats at UNB
Paul Mazerolle, president of UNB, has mentioned attracting students into the nursing program has not been an issue, but the issue is the cost of educating a nursing student. “The cost of educating nurses is incredibly high, in part because of the accreditation requirements around clinical education,” said Mazerolle. He believes the investment will allow UNB to take more students.
Statement from Nursing councillor
Clara Kelly, the current Nursing and Health Sciences councillor, expressed her delight with the news of more seats for nursing students.
“I believe we absolutely need more nursing seats as we are in such a critical shortage within the healthcare system”, she stated.
According to Kelly, the province needs to create more opportunities for people to study nursing since it is difficult to get into the program due to its competitiveness.