- The province plans to fund an additional 85 nursing seats per year at the University of New Brunswick and the University of Moncton to boost nursing enrollment.
- The program could provide UNB with up to $1,785,000 per year, while the University of Moncton could receive up to $1.19 million per year.
The province plans to increase nursing enrollment by funding an additional 85 nursing seats per year at the University of New Brunswick and the University of Moncton.
UNB would be rewarded for graduating nurses under the new 10-year funding agreement, which would provide it with $35,000 for each new graduate above a baseline of 155, up to 206 per year.
U of M’s starting point is 126, with 160 graduates per year.
UNB could receive up to $1,785,000 per year from the program, while the University of Moncton could receive $1.19 million per year.
Attracting students into the program hasn’t been a problem, according to UNB President Paul Mazerolle.
He stated that the cost of educating a nursing student had been an issue in the past, limiting the number of students the university can accept.
“Educating nurses is extremely expensive due to accreditation requirements for clinical education,” Mazerolle said.
“We will be able to provide a little more support and take on a few more students due to this additional investment. As a result, that will assist in the future capacity building of the nursing pipeline.”
Keeping nurses on the job
However, having a large number of nursing student spaces, according to Mazerolle, is only part of the solution.
Nursing graduates, he said, are in high demand across the country and are being lured away from the province.
The regional health officials will have to think about this.
“We know that nurses from New Brunswick, who were educated in New Brunswick, are more likely to stay,” Mazerolle explained.
“We’ll do our part, but we need to make sure the health authorities are doing theirs and commit to doing so that nursing graduates can find well-paying jobs and stay in New Brunswick.”
For years, the province has struggled with a chronic nursing shortage.
Last July, Paula Doucet, president of the New Brunswick Nurses Union, informed CBC News that the province’s healthcare services had 854 nursing vacancies.
After the declaration, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard notified CBC News that the Horizon Health Network’s nurse vacancy rate is 16 %, as well as Vitalité’s, is 12 percent.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has pressured many medical professionals to self-isolate due to the virus, has exacerbated these shortages.
According to the most recent data available, 454 healthcare workers in the Horizon and Vitalité health networks were self-isolating as of last Tuesday.
A funding agreement between the province and UNB and the University of Moncton to fund 95 additional nursing seats per year expired in March.
Source: CBC News
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