CNC will teach nurses at Quesnel campus

The College of New Caledonia campus in Quesnel. Photo submitted
College of New Caledonia CNC
College of New Caledonia CNC
College of New Caledonia CNC

CNC will soon be teaching nurses right in Quesnel and Burns Lake.

According to College of New Caledonia spokesperson Mark Karjaluoto, CNC will bring its practical nursing program to Burns Lake and Quesnel in September 2024 with the upgrading path for students to begin this coming September.

“The College of New Caledonia will respond to a key healthcare need by launching new practical nurse program intakes in the Lakes District and Cariboo, while also providing upgrading opportunities to help students meet the program’s entry requirements,” said a statement from CNC.

The practical nursing diploma comes from a two-year learning program.

“Communities across northern B.C. depend on compassionate and skilled professionals to meet healthcare needs,” said Dr. Tamara Chambers-Richards, dean of CNC’s School of Health Sciences. “We know how care providers trained in the north build their lives and careers in the region, so the expansion of this program and the related upgrading path are closely tailored to the needs of and opportunities for students.”

CNC student recruiters will be available to talk about the practical nursing diploma and upgrading path at a virtual information session on Wednesday July 26th at 10am at for students seeking more information.

Advocates at the two satellite campuses welcome this big development for smaller towns.

“We ask and encourage young people and those who may be looking for new career options to consider both the practical nursing program and the upgrading path if it applies to them,” said John Patrick, native liaison officer of the Burns Lake Native Development Corporation. “Our communities welcome this opportunity for new healthcare professionals to receive their training locally, and we’re pleased to partner with the college in this program.”

The upgrading path for practical nursing will consist of high school course requirements focusing on English, math, and sciences. Completing the upgrading path does not guarantee acceptance in the practical nursing program, but is intended to help improve a student’s possibility of a successful application.

“Academic upgrading at the Burns Lake and Quesnel campuses will enable students to complete required prerequisite courses for the practical nursing diploma program, or it can help them improve their grades so they can put their best application forward,” said Dr. Amelia Merrick, dean of CNC’s School of Access & Continuing Education. “It’s never too late to start upgrading. Completing high school courses can open doors to new opportunities, and CNC’s instructors are dedicated to making sure every student succeeds.”

Practical nurses are key members of healthcare teams in hospitals, long-term care homes, clinics, and community settings. CNC’s practical nursing grads are trained to provide care through patient assessments, problem solving, and decision making. Practical nurses also counsel and advocate on behalf of patients and families.

With the new seats coming in the fall of 2024, CNC’s practical nursing program will provide 37 seats distributed among campuses in Burns Lake, Quesnel, and Prince George.

Every year, CNC’s health sciences programs offers a combined 420 seats across several professional paths. These include but are not limited to registered nursing (in collaboration with UNBC), practical nursing, health care assisting, diagnostic medical sonography, medical radiation technology, medical laboratory technology sciences, dental hygiene, and dental assisting.

More information is posted on CNC’s website at