WHITEHORSE—The Government of Yukon announced today that it will be extending funding for the Practical Nurse (PN) program at Yukon College to continue for another four years in order to help meet demand for Licenced Practical Nurses (LPNs).
“Continuing our support for locally trained practical nurses reflects our government’s commitment to make Yukon a great place to live, work, play and raise a family,” Minister of Education Doug Graham said. “This funding reflects our commitment to improving Yukoners’ access to health care, preparing Yukoners for jobs, and improving Yukoners’ access to education.”
Starting in the 2016/17 budget, subject to legislative approval, the Yukon government will provide more than $1,950,000 over four years to the College to operate the program from July 4, 2016, to May 29, 2020.
The PN program is a two-year diploma program. There will be two intakes over the course of the agreement, and each intake can accept up to 16 students.
“Our partnership with Yukon health care programs and facilities is critical to the success of the program. Graduates identify the opportunity for educational clinical placements as one of the most valuable aspects of the Practical Nurse program,” Yukon College Dean of Applied Arts Dr. Andrew Richardson said.
The Department of Health and Social Services has indicated that it would be in a position to offer employment to all graduates of the Practical Nurse program who have obtained their licence.
“As the largest employer of practical nurses in Yukon, we applaud this proactive response to the growing need for health professionals. It is heartening to see that many young people are going into the profession and that others also have this opportunity to change careers or upgrade their education to become LPNs,” Health and Social Services Minister Mike Nixon said. “With the Whistle Bend continuing care facility slated to open in 2018, this is certainly good timing for us.”
“The profession of nursing is at the heart of our health care system, and this program helps provide the human resources needed to offer the best possible level of care,” Graham added. “With this funding, up to 32 graduates can look forward to careers in a respected and rewarding profession.”
In a 2014 survey of graduates conducted by Yukon College, students identified the one-on-one attention from instructors and small class size as the most positive feature of the program.
“I cannot imagine getting a better education or a better way to start my career. The dedication and love for nursing shown by all of my instructors has set me up to try and be a better nurse every day,” 2016 Practical Nurse program graduate Thea Whalen said.
The term PN refers to the Professional Nurse diploma, which is earned through colleges and universities. The term LPN refers to the profession Licenced Practical Nurse. In Yukon that title is earned by graduating from the program, passing the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination and applying for a licence through the Department of Community Services.
The deadline for applications to the Practical Nurse program beginning September 2016 is May 1.
Learn more: Yukon College LPN program
Communications, Yukon College