Belleville, Ontario, February 11, 2020 – Today the Ontario government announced its decision to give colleges the option to deliver stand-alone nursing degree programs. This change in policy addresses the health human resources shortage faced by many communities, including those in the Bay of Quinte region, and positions Loyalist College to graduate more qualified nurses to fill local workplace needs.
Since 2000, the province has required colleges to partner with universities to offer nursing degree programs. This meant students enrolled in college programs often have to relocate to a different community to complete their studies at university. For example, students in Loyalist’s collaborative nursing degree program spend the first two years at Loyalist College in Belleville and the final two years in St. Catharines to graduate with a B.Sc.N. For many, the 300-kilometre distance between the institutions can be a barrier to program entry and completion.
“Fewer than five percent of our nursing graduates return to work in the Bay of Quinte region where we really need them,” said Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, Loyalist College President & CEO. “Providing students with the option to complete their nursing degree at Loyalist will improve health care delivery in our communities by attracting more individuals into nursing professions here. As an international leader in nursing education, Loyalist has the faculty expertise, academic excellence and innovative experiential learning environments to deliver the full program on our own.”
On January 28, Loyalist officially opened the renovated third floor of its Northumberland Wing, home of the College’s integrated health and human studies programs. Equipped with interprofessional simulation centres and high-tech classrooms, the initiative was made possible through a $2.4M government investment in 2016, of which $1.6M came from the Federal government and $0.8M came from the Government of Ontario. Loyalist contributed an additional $0.8M for a total investment of $3.2M. Students and community health partners use the latest simulation technology to participate in realistic, interactive scenarios as well as educational upgrading.
“Quinte Health Care is delighted with this great news for Loyalist College and our community,” said Carol Smith Romeril, Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer, Quinte Health Care. “We look forward to welcoming students and graduates into our care environments.”
The policy change will also create opportunities to develop laddering pathways for Personal Support Workers and Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) to stay in their local communities while becoming RPNs and Registered Nurses (RNs). As the college student population mirrors the general population, college nursing delivery will foster a more diverse health care workforce that can respond more effectively to patients.
About Loyalist College
Loyalist is Ontario’s Destination College, empowering students, faculty, staff, and partners through experiential, industry cluster-based education, training and applied research programs. The College provides career-ready graduates for, and knowledge transfer to, industry and the community. Of 2017-18 Loyalist graduates, 88.5 percent were employed within six months after graduation. Located on more than 200 acres in the beautiful Bay of Quinte region, the College is perfectly positioned between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Loyalist offers more than 70 full-time diploma, certificate and apprenticeship programs in biosciences, building sciences, business, community service, health and wellness, media studies, public safety, and skilled trades. Continuing education options are available through LoyalistFocus.com, including hundreds of online, distance and in-class courses, and through the College’s 100+ university transfer agreements. Loyalist is a key driver of social and economic health in eastern Ontario. It contributes 5.8 percent of the Gross Regional Product, representing $465 million annually to the regional economy – based on an October 2018 report by Emsi. For more information on Loyalist’s Belleville and Bancroft campuses and Port Hope satellite location, visit YoureGoingPlaces.com.
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Contact: Kerry Lorimer, Director, Marketing, Communications and Recruitment
Loyalist College, firstname.lastname@example.org, 613-969-1913, ext. 2536