Nov. 28, 2002, Gazette
|Photo by HSIMS
On Nov. 15 the bachelor of nursing programs
new fast track option was celebrated in St. Johns and Corner
Brook. Students now in the program as well as faculty and government
officials linked by videoconference. In St. Johns some of the
speakers were (L-R) Dr. Evan Simpson, vice-president (academic), Loretta
Chard, assistant minister of health, Dr. Carole Orchard, director
of the School of Nursing and Sandra MacDonald, associate director
of undergraduate programs in the School of Nursing. Participants in
Corner Brook (on video screen) included Linda Norman-Robbins, director
of the Western Regional School of Nursing.
For students with an undergraduate degree or
advanced academic standing, theres now a faster way to earn a bachelor
of nursing. The new fast track option in the bachelor of nursing (collaborative)
program allows such students to complete a BN in two years of concentrated
study. The regular BN is a four-year program.
The fast track option was introduced in response to the increased demand
for nursing graduates. The provincial Department of Health and Community
Services increased funding for the BN program in 2002 to allow 32 students
to enter the fast track option, which is approved by the Association of
Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador (ARNLL).
In September, 21 students began the fast track option 14 students
at the Memorial site and seven at the Western Regional School of Nursing.
The first graduates of the new option will be in 2004. The first class
of the fast track option are currently in their first semester, taking
three regular stream nursing courses plus two special offerings of Professional
Issues and Health Promotion. In Corner Brook, the special offering courses
are being offered through videoconferencing from the Tetra Centre to the
Western Regional School of Nursing.
With nursing shortages on the horizon, increasing enrolment is critical,
said Loretta Chard, assistant deputy minister of health, speaking at a
celebration of the fast track option held in the School of Nursing Nov.
15. Her endorsement of the new option was echoed by all speakers; Dr.
Evan Simpson, Memorials vice-president (academic), described it
as a fine example of innovation. Speaking on behalf of students,
Denise Sinnott said they were very pleased with the fast track option
and are finding each other to be a good resource in coping
with the accelerated learning.