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Nurse practitioner program at the Université de Moncton is getting a big boost

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The province of New Brunswick announced $970,000 in funding to go towards the expansion of the nurse practitioner program at the Université de Moncton.

The number of yearly graduates will increase from three to 23 and the program will shift from part-time to full-time.

Health Minister Bruce Fitch said nurse practitioners are a vital part of the province’s health-care system.

“We all know New Brunswick faces many challenges, but I’m confident that the environment offered by our institutions like Université de Moncton are fostering the type of creativity and innovation that helps you solve those problems,” said Fitch.

The funding is part of the province’s commitment to increase efforts to recruit doctors, nurse practitioners and extra-mural liaison nurses.

In a news release sent by the province, Université de Moncton president and vice-chancellor Denis Prud'homme said the funding supports the implementation of the school’s mission to train creative and committed health-care workers.

“I am convinced these professionals will contribute to the transformation of the health system to better meet the needs of the francophone population of New Brunswick,” said Prud'homme.  

Vitalité Health Network president and CEO Dr. France Desrosiers said the announcement will make the program stronger.

“With their expanded scope of practice, nurse practitioners will have a key role to play in our transition to an integrated and collaborative primary health care model,” said Desrosiers in the news release.

After the announcement, Fitch spoke about attempts to recruit more health care officials for the province’s rural emergency rooms.

The emergency department at the Sackville Memorial Hospital is not open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, because of a lack of staff.

“It’s always a challenge and we continue to work to make that sure that doctors are available or the nurse practitioners or the RNs in the facility that needs those services,” said Fitch. “Sackville, Sussex is another one that has had a reduction in the emergency room services. But I know I’m working with the CEO of the RHA [Regional Health Authorities] and there’s been a commitment there to open up those emergency rooms as soon as those doctors or nurse practitioners or health-care professionals are available in order to provide that service in a safe, secure and long-term manner.”

Fitch said the funding will quickly increase the number of nurse practitioners entering New Brunswick’s health-care system as early as next year.

For the latest New Brunswick news, visit our dedicated provincial page.

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