Sharmen Lee, dean of the Faculty of Health at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), has some busy months ahead, as the Langley campus prepares to expand its nursing program.
Lee describes the provincial government decision to increase the number of nursing by more than 100 as “a wonderful challenge.”
In February, the provincial government announced 602 new nursing seats will be added to approximately 2,000 seats currently offered by B.C. nursing programs.
It will help to address a “critical shortage” of nurses brought to light during the pandemic, Lee commented.
As part of that expansion, KPU, which currently offers 249 seats annually across four nursing programs, will add another 115 by 2023; 40 bachelor of science in nursing advanced entry seats, 40 bachelor of psychiatric nursing seats, and 35 graduate nurse internationally educated re-entry seats.
It will increase the total number of students by 46 per cent, to 364.
KPU is figuring out how to accommodate those additional students within its existing nursing labs and simulation facilities, as well as fine-tuning schedules with the faculty to handle the increase, Lee explained.
“There’s definitely a lot of logistics,” Lee commented.
“We’re doing a lot of human resources planning.”
Lee noted the Graduate Nurse, Internationally Educated (GNIE) course, a 10-month-long training program at KPU that trains nurses with international experience to qualify to work in B.C., will also be adding seats.
The provincial government announcement said KPU would see its first intake of additional students in January of 2023, beginning with 75 new seats – 35 internationally educated nursing refresher and 40 bachelor of science in nursing, advanced entry.
The first intake of 40 new registered psychiatric nursing seats was scheduled for September.
Lee is looking forward to allowing more people to pursue what she describes as a “limitless” career in health care.
“Our graduates are directly interacting with patients, clients, and residents,” Lee remarked.
“They have selected an absolutely fabulous profession.”
Online, the KPU nursing program page notes students who graduate from the Langley-based bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program work with individuals, families, and communities with varying health and health promotion needs across diverse settings.
Graduates are eligible to apply for registration with the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) and to write the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) in order to become a practicing registered nurse.
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