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New Brunswick spends on nursing program despite any guarantees


The University of New Brunswick has partnered with a university in India with a goal of increasing the number of fully trained nurses entering the workforce in the province.

The program will see 25 nurses trained each year over the next four years, and the graduates will be trained with New Brunswick licencing in mind.

The partnership with Manipal College of Nursing is creating a dual degree program.

"It's going to have an affect again on producing registered nurses that are available in the system,” said Bruce Fitch, New Brunswick’s Minister of Health,

“The students today are going into year two and helping out on the floor right away so that's very positive,” Fitch added.

However, there is no guarantee written in the program that states students who complete the degree must come to New Brunswick, although officials are hopeful graduates will start arriving by their course completion date in 2025.

"Now that I've been here I love the place so I'd definitely like to be here,” said nursing student, Tatahagta Konai.

New Brunswick is spending $1.24 million in performance-based funding in the program, which they hope will eventually deliver 100 nurses to the province.

The hope is that the program will reduce barriers for registered nurses educated in India to seek employment in New Brunswick.

"Just given the climate that we're in I can't imagine if someone was qualified and met the expectation and competencies that we would say we're not hiring today,” said Lorna Butler, UNB Dean of Nursing.

But, that's only if the students decide to come.

"We need nurses for India,” said Dr. Judith Noronha, Manipal University Dean of Nursing.  

“But, we also prepare nurses for a global scenario and most of our nurses from India who are graduates move about different parts of the world,” Noronha added.

This initiative isn't expected to take seats away from those wanting to work in India. The 25 students per year are in addition to the usual number of students going through the program.  

"They do see there are shortages,” Butler said.

“They do see that there are challenges, see what they're going to have to be able to do independently there and I would say the clinical settings are doing the best the can,” she said.

The Manipal Academy of Higher Education is also connected to Halifax's Dalhousie University, where they collaborate on cancer research. Top Stories

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