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REF NO.: 69

SUBJECT: School of Nursing collaborates to offer new online health practitioner program

DATE: Dec. 22

In partnership with Memorial University’s School of Nursing, Distance Education and Learning Technologies (DELT) and Eastern Health’s Centre for Nursing Studies (CNS) are working to merge the CNS Nurse Practitioner diploma with School of Nursing courses for a transitional baccalaureate program.
The new Bachelor of Nursing (Post-RN) Nurse Practitioner Primary Health Care option is designed to dovetail with the existing Bachelor of Nursing (Post-RN) program, and aims to prepare registered nurses to practice as primary health care nurse practitioners.
“Movement of nurse practitioner courses into the BN program will serve to enhance the programs, the needs of nurses and the needs of the health care sector of the province over the next few years,” said Dr. Sandra LeFort, director of the School of Nursing. “I am delighted that DELT and the CNS are partnering with us to bring this program forward.
The Nurse Practitioner – Primary Health Care option of the BN (Post-RN) program is a time-limited transitional program with two intakes. A full time and part time offering became available in September 2008, and a full time option will be offered in September 2009.
“This is an exciting transition,” said Joan Rowsell, director of the CNS. “We are delighted to bring our expertise in offering the Nurse Practitioner Primary Health Care courses at Memorial, as well as our long established relationship with health care employers to ensure that provincial needs are met.”
The program is offered primarily through distance delivery, with a residency requirement in each semester. DELT, Memorial’s distance education provider, is supporting this transition through web development and the service and delivery of these courses.
“The School of Nursing is one of DELT’s longest supporters of distance education at Memorial,” said Ann Marie Vaughan, director of DELT. “As partners for more than 20 years, we pioneered the development of one of the few online Master of Nursing degrees in Canada, and I am thrilled to collaborate with the CNS to facilitate the online delivery of this transitional program.”
The Bachelor of Nursing (Post RN) Nurse Practitioner Primary Health Care option can be completed as a two year full time or four year part time program.
 The curriculum will prepare nurses to meet the competencies required for an advanced practitioner who functions in the roles of practitioner, educator and leader.
Course work includes three non-nursing courses, nine nursing courses and eight nurse practitioner primary health care courses.
Once the transitional program is complete, in 2010 it will subsequently be merged to create a Masters of Nursing program. This is in keeping with new national recommendations on nurse practitioner education entry level qualifications, and with the Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador (ARNNL) policy statement on nurse practitioner education.

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For more information please contact Courtenay Griffin, communications co-ordinator, Distance Education and Learning Technologies (DELT), Memorial University of Newfoundland, at 709-737-2611or


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