Okanagan students officially have more time to complete a nursing degree without having to leave their hometowns.
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program that was jointly-established by UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College in 2013 has received another seven years of accreditation by the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals — the regulator of nurse training in the province.
The partnership has seen 24 students annually become enrolled in the first two years of the program at Okanagan College. The students historically have transferred and joined approximately 110 other nursing students enrolled at UBCO to finish off years three and four of the program.
Professor Marie Tarrant, director of UBCO’s School of Nursing, said that the long-term accreditation is a game changer for local students.
“The BSN curriculum is excellent, and our collaboration with Okanagan College that started in 2011 has expanded opportunities for students to pursue an education in nursing,” she said.
UBC Okanagan School of Nursing associate director Sheila Epp said that the evolution of the program has been years in the making.
“Over the past few years, nursing faculty at UBC and Okanagan College have implemented innovative updates to the curriculum, to ensure the learning experience continues to match the ever-changing realities faced by today’s nurses,” she said.
To date, more than 150 students have transferred from Okanagan College to UBC Okanagan under the program.
According to a press release from Okanagan College, 25,000 nurses will be needed to staff B.C’s health care system over the next ten years.