The Manitoba government is providing $2.1 million to Assiniboine Community College (ACC) to offer a one-time, 25-student cohort for its practical nursing diploma program in Neepawa, Advanced Education and Training Minister Sarah Guillemard and Health Minister Audrey Gordon announced today.
“Our government continues to make strategic investments and work collaboratively with post-secondary institutions to help meet the need for nurse training in Manitoba and we look forward to welcoming these practical nurses into the profession,” said Guillemard. “Aligning Manitoba’s education and skills training systems with labour-market needs and economic priorities enhances the prosperity of our great province.”
The Manitoba government plans to invest approximately $2.1 million of combined operating and capital funding in this important initiative, the minister said.
“Investment in training practical nurses helps fulfil the Manitoba government’s goal to add 2,000 health-care providers as laid out in the Health Human Resource Action Plan,” said Gordon. “Getting more practical nurses into the health-care system means that more Manitobans will have access to care in hospitals and clinics.”
The one-time offering in Neepawa will provide students with training close to home, allowing them to study, work and strengthen health care in the region, noted Guillemard, adding the investment aligns with Manitoba government’s Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy to increase post-secondary education participation rates for rural students.
“We are pleased to be able to contribute to training people for careers in health care throughout the province. Nursing is Assiniboine’s largest single program and our graduates have a track record of getting jobs and staying in Manitoba.” said Mark Frison, president, ACC. “This welcome investment by the Manitoba government allows us to respond to needs in Neepawa and we look forward to working with the community to expand access in this growing region of the province.”
Nurses from rural communities are more likely to stay or return to rural health settings and graduates of this program will be eligible to fill positions at the new hospital under construction in Neepawa scheduled for completion in 2025, added Gordon.
At nearly four times the size of the existing Neepawa Health Centre, the new hospital will include:
- 63 acute care inpatient beds, an increase from 38 at the current site;
- an expanded emergency department designed to best practice standards that includes assessment and treatment rooms, a trauma room, stretcher bay and ambulance bay; and
- enhanced space for a number of programs such as surgery, diagnostics and palliative care, as well as various outpatient services including chemotherapy, ambulatory care and an eight-station dialysis unit.
This investment aligns with the Health Human Resource Action Plan, which launched in November 2022 with a commitment to add 2,000 health-care providers, invest $200 million to retain, train and recruit health-care staff across the province, and eliminate mandated overtime.