Province adding 200 new nursing seats at schools in NS

The government is continuing to invest in healthcare with the addition of 200 new nursing seats at post-secondary institutions across the province.

Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson announced today, July 12, that the government will invest $3.2 million in new seats this year, and the investment will grow to $6.8 million annually when all of the new seats are in place.

“There has always been strong interest in the nursing profession and our nursing programs,” said Minister Thompson. “Now there will be more capacity to educate and train the nurses we need in communities across the province.”

An additional 80 bachelor of science, nursing seats will be created:
— 26 at Dalhousie University
— 26 at St. Francis Xavier University
— 28 at Cape Breton University.

Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) will also add 120 practical nursing seats.

Some seats will be in place this fall, with the rest expected to be ready by May 2023.

The government will also permanently fund the additional 25 seats in Dalhousie’s nurse practitioner program that were added temporarily in 2018. The annual investment will be $500,000.

Nurses are in demand in all areas of healthcare, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, home care and public health.

In Action for Health, the strategic plan to improve healthcare in Nova Scotia, the government committed to investing in education and training opportunities to ensure the health needs of communities are met.

“Nurses who train at post-secondary institutions in Nova Scotia are skilled and caring healthcare professionals and our province needs and values them. We are proud to partner with post-secondary institutions to add 200 additional nursing seats, and I want to thank the sector for working with us on real healthcare solutions that meet the needs of our communities.”
      – Brian Wong, Minister of Advanced Education

“Nurses and nurse practitioners are critical to the health of our communities and the healthcare sector. We are honoured to welcome additional nursing and nurse practitioner students to Dalhousie this fall and look forward to continued collaboration with the provincial government to support the healthcare needs of Nova Scotians.”
     – Deep Saini, President and Vice-Chancellor, Dalhousie University

“There are so many opportunities for nurses today and an equally high demand. Extending nursing program seats helps to get more nurses in practice. With the broad scope of nursing – which is only becoming more diverse – these seats are an important contribution in supporting our healthcare system.”
     – Noah Robinson, nursing student and Co-president, Dalhousie University Nursing Society

“Adding 200 seats is good news for our nursing workforce, and will provide future relief, which is encouraging. Many young students are eager to be nurses but are waitlisted at various schools. However, we must take an immediate multi-pronged approach to resolve the nursing shortage, including a national health human resources strategy and incentives to ensure our more experienced nurses stick around to mentor new grads. Nurse leaders and premiers who participated in the Council of the Federation agree we must work together to prevent further erosion of our healthcare system and a worsening nursing crisis.”
     – Janet Hazelton, President, Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union

Quick Facts:
— when the new seats are fully in place, about 530 registered nurses and 370 licensed practical nurses will graduate every year from Nova Scotia schools
— the government announced in 2021 that all nurses graduating from Nova Scotia’s universities and NSCC for the next five years will be offered a job in the province
— the Office of Healthcare Professionals Recruitment is focused on attracting and keeping doctors, nurses, continuing care assistants, paramedics and other professionals
— the Province’s investment in new nursing seats is from the 2022-23 budget

Additional Information:
Action for Health:

Budget 2022-23: Solutions for Healthcare, Solutions for Nova Scotia:

Minister Thompson’s mandate letter:

Source: Release

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