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UNBC Family Nurse Practitioner program doubles available seats

Twice as many students will be able to enroll in UNBC’s Family Nurse Practitioner master’s degree program.

The University has doubled the number of seats available, expanding to 40 seats.

“It’s really exciting for us, that we have this program that’s been really succesful in graduating nurse practitioners and having many of them stay in the North,” said Dr. Catherine Shiller, Chair of the School of Nursing at UNBC.

“We have a very dire situation with our healthcare workforce at the moment and a lot of people are without a primary care provider, so to be able to expand the nurse practitioner program allows us to put many more primary care providers into the community, and to do it faster.”

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Shiller noted the program fills quickly each year, and UNBC has a “healthy waitlist” for the program.

“We don’t anticipate any problem in filling the 40 seats which means we’re going to be able to get more nurse practitioners into the communities that need them.”

Family nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses who have completed a clinically-focused master’s education.

They provide patient and family-centred care to all ages of people in primary health care, acute care, residential care or specialty settings.

“The doubling of nurse practitioner seats at UNBC is part of our government’s plan to expand primary care capacity in the province,” said Minister of Health Adrian Dix.

“We are also creating long-term career opportunities that are incredibly rewarding with with job flexibility in communities around BC that will go a long way to ensure people are cared for by well-trained professionals.”

The program is primarily online, and is completed over the course of two years.

Students complete 752 hours of clinical practicum hours, and attend several weeks of in-person skills development courses at the university’s Prince George campus.

Maclean’s ranked UNBC’s nursing program 16th overall out of the 72 nursing programs in Canada.

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