Today, the Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Immigration, Population Growth and Skills, and the Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services, were joined by representatives of College of the North Atlantic at the new Central Health long-term care home in Gander to announce an additional 92 Practical Nursing program seats across five campuses for the 2022-23 academic year. These additional seats will help meet the demand for practical nurses and builds on the strong relationship between the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and College of the North Atlantic, as well as the college’s long-standing partnership with Eastern Health’s Centre for Nursing Studies, to deliver its Practical Nursing program throughout the province.
A $3.87 million investment, through the provincial-federal Labour Market Development Agreement, will fund this expansion of seats that will be distributed across the college’s Gander, Bay St. George, Burin, St. Anthony and Carbonear campuses. These seats, when added to the 144 regular annual intake, result in a new total capacity of 236 seats.
The need for practical nurses is significant, particularly in rural areas, and new demand has been created by long-term care facilities that are being constructed in the province.
This is the latest of a number initiatives to improve health care and health outcomes in the province, which are identified in the backgrounder below.
“By adding 92 seats to upcoming class of practical nurses at College of the North Atlantic, our government is again delivering on a commitment to develop a workforce that meets the needs of Newfoundland and Labrador. These students are being trained in the communities they will eventually live and work in, which is an incredibly important part of this initiative.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Immigration, Population Growth and Skills
“Licensed Practical Nurses are an integral part of our health care system, and we must continuously work on ways to support those working in our health profession across the province. The additional 92 seats to the LPN program helps address recruitment and retention shortages which will no doubt make a positive impact to the delivery of health care services in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services
“Our role at College of the North Atlantic is to provide hands-on and practical training to our students so they can help meet sector and labour demands in the local and global economy. To see this multi-million dollar investment in the college, our School of Health Sciences, and our future Practical Nursing graduates by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador highlights the recognition for the demand and the collaboration to keep us on the right path. We will continue playing an active role in supporting the health care sector and this province to ensure we graduate career-ready Practical Nursing professionals well into the future.”
President/Chief Executive Officer, College of the North Atlantic
“The Centre for Nursing Studies welcomes this expansion of the Practical Nursing Program, which will make it more accessible to students in rural areas of Newfoundland and Labrador. As the parent institution for the delivery of practical nursing education in the province, we are pleased to provide the curriculum for this program. We look forward to continued collaboration and partnership with the College of the North Atlantic to further expand the program across the province and are excited at the prospect of welcoming additional practical nurses into this rewarding field of work”
Dr. Kathy Watkins
Director, Centre for Nursing Studies
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Immigration, Population Growth and Skills
Health and Community Services
College of the North Atlantic