FORT ST. JOHN – People in the North will soon receive first-class care from graduates of the University of Northern British Columbia’s (UNBC) new Northern Baccalaureate Nursing Program.
In early September, the program’s first cohort of 13 students began their studies in Fort St. John.
Supported by $3.3 million in capital funding from the Province, the program introduces students to the unique aspects of delivering health care in small urban and rural communities located throughout the Peace River region and beyond.
“In the North, people deserve access to the high-quality, local care that the Northern Baccalaureate Nursing Program will provide in its graduates,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “When students receive the best training on how to deliver care in northeastern communities, the people living in them will benefit from having access to health-care workers who understand their specific needs.”
The new program, housed at UNBC’s space in the Northern Lights College campus, makes nursing education more accessible for people living in northeastern British Columbia and aims to improve access to health care in the region by training nurses locally.
“We are thrilled to welcome our first cohort of students into the Northern Baccalaureate Nursing Program,” said Geoff Payne, UNBC interim president. “This impressive group of 13 students, along with our phenomenal faculty in the School of Nursing, represents a new chapter for health-care education in the northeast.”
The two-year bachelor of science in nursing program runs in five consecutive semesters, featuring both face-to-face classroom instruction and online components. Students will complete clinical practicums in a variety of hospital, clinic and community settings thanks to collaboration with Northern Health.
UNBC partnered with Northern Lights College to refresh and expand its footprint on campus. The renovations provide new, contemporary space that facilitates hands-on leaning in a new nursing lab and expands classroom capacity, supporting face-to-face and online learning. In addition, Northern Lights College offers associate degrees designed to feed into the Northern Baccalaureate Nursing Program.