Nursing students in Northwest B.C will soon be able to take classes closer to home as the Northern Baccalaureate Nursing Program at UNBC expands with a new location starting in September 2023.
The Northern Baccalaureate Nursing Program launched in fall 2021 at the University’s campus in Fort St. John. The 48-seat Prince George expansion is part of an increase in nursing seats announced by the provincial government in 2022 of 602 new nursing seats at public post-secondary institutions throughout the province.
“Nurses are essential to our health-care system,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. “Expanding the Northern Baccalaureate Nursing Program will allow more people to study closer to home, removing barriers for British Columbians pursuing an in-demand career in health care.”
The expansion will be housed in the Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC) in downtown Prince George where renovations are already underway to create new teaching spaces, including a lab.
The program runs over five consecutive semesters and will support 48 students in Prince George at full capacity; the first students will begin their studies this September.
“The expansion of the Northern Baccalaureate Nursing Program underlines our ongoing commitment to support health services in northern B.C. while providing education that emphasizes the unique needs of rural and remote care,” said UNBC president Dr. Geoff Payne. “Training more healthcare professionals in the North means more local graduates will stay in the North and help meet one of the most pressing needs this region faces.”
The new NBNP program provides a different entry point to the profession for learners and provides opportunities for those who may have started their post-secondary journey on a different path before considering a career in nursing. Students applying must have a minimum of 60 university transfer credits, including 24 credits of specific prerequisite coursework. Priority seating will be available to Indigenous candidates and applications to the program are now being accepted.
Individuals interested in learning more about the new NBNP program are invited to attend a special open house in the Teaching & Learning Centre building atrium at UNBC’s Prince George campus on Tuesday, Feb. 28 from 5-8 p.m