Bridging program for licensed practical nurses adds 24 seats


FREDERICTON (GNB) – A bridging program which helps licensed practical nurses apply directly to a bachelor of nursing program is receiving funding for 24 additional academic seats, a direct action under the New Brunswick Nursing Resource Strategy.


The additional funding will double the capacity of the program at the Fredericton campus of the University of New Brunswick to 48. The program helps licensed practical nurses who were trained in the province.


“The Nursing Resource Strategy lays out four key pillars, and this funding will support the enhancement of nursing education in New Brunswick pillar,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder, who announced the funding in the legislative assembly today. “There has been great interest in the bridging programs which are an excellent way to graduate registered nurses faster. I am extremely proud that in less than 18 months, we have more than quadrupled the number of seats available in this program.”


Since the strategy was released the government has funded a total of 81 additional seats for this program across the province including 25 seats at the Université de Moncton and 32 seats at the Saint John campus of the University of New Brunswick. The total investment is $18 million over 10 years to graduate about 710 registered nurses.


“Filling nurse vacancies is critical to ensuring health care is adequately provided to the public,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “The increased capacity is important because the Department of Health projects a shortage of 130 registered nurses each year unless there is significant intervention.”


The additional funding was approved following a proposal from the Fredericton campus of the University of New Brunswick to expand its program.


“Our nursing programs are essential to both the health and prosperity of our province and its people,” said George MacLean, vice-president Academic (Fredericton) of the University of New Brunswick. “This is a real opportunity to enhance our province’s health-care system and we are excited to be working in partnership with the Government of New Brunswick to find innovative solutions that work for all of us.”


The Nursing Resource Strategy was released in July 2019 and is focused on recruitment, retention, promotion of the nursing profession, and enhancing nursing education and work-life balance.