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Nursing program at Acadia University to start in September


Nova Scotia is getting another school of nursing, the premier announced Thursday.

The program at Acadia University in Wolfville is set to be a satellite site of Cape Breton University’s bachelor of science in nursing program. Eventually, it’s supposed to transition into a standalone program.

“This nursing program is a significant milestone event in the 185-year history of Acadia,” said Peter Ricketts, president and vice-chancellor of the university.

The first cohort of 21 students will start in September, said Premier Tim Houston.

The program is set to graduate 42 nurses in 2026 and 63 nurses each year after that. The province is spending just under $2 million on it.

It comes in addition to an expansion of Nova Scotia Community College’s (NSCC) practical nursing program.

The college is set to add 30 seats to practical nursing programs at the following campuses: Annapolis Valley, Lunenburg, Strait Area, Truro beginning in September 2023, and Burridge and Kingstec beginning in January 2024.

Houston said the new program and expansion are part of his government’s “long-term plan for health care.” He campaigned on fixing it and the provincial waitlist for a primary care provider has never been longer.

“We know Nova Scotia needs more nurses and we're pulling out all the stops to ensure they have a nurse when they need one,” said Houston in a news release.

“More nursing seats means more opportunities for people to learn, work, live and to care for people in communities across the province,” he said.

The province says about 50 per cent of the seats at Acadia will be designated for Mi'kmaq, Indigenous and African Nova Scotian people.

The Acadia Students’ Union president says the new program is good news.

“It’s honestly just a great way to increase accessibility and future pathways for students who are in our science programs,” said Sadie McAlear.

Applications to Acadia’s nursing program will open at the end of May, CTV News was told.

With files from CTV’s Sarah Plowman.

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