More LPNs eligible for education to become registered nurses in Nova Scotia – Halifax

More licensed practical nurses (LPNs) will become eligible for education to become registered nurses (RNs) at two Nova Scotian universities.

In a release, the Department of Health said eligibility criteria is being expanded to allow more LPNs to qualify for bachelor of science, nursing programs at Cape Breton University and St. Francis Xavier University in the 2022-23 academic year.

“The programs allow LPNs who meet academic, work experience and other licensing requirements to use their existing education and experience to more quickly complete the BScN program and become RNs,” the release said.

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LPNs tend to provide care to patients who are considered stable with predictable outcomes in a variety of settings, often in partnership with RNs, physicians and other health-care professionals. RNs can administer medications and treatments, as well as provide education to patients.

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Eligibility will be expanded to include LPN graduates from out-of-province programs, as well as those who graduated from the Nova Scotia Community College before 2008. Previously, only those who graduated from NSCC in 2008 or later were eligible.

“Nurses are needed in so many communities across the province,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson in the release.

“Interest in nursing as a profession — and these programs at CBU and St. FX in particular — has seen a real increase over the last few years and we’re excited more people will be able to take advantage of them.”

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The Department of Health estimates about 4,400 Nova Scotia LPNs could now be eligible.

According to the release, 74 people completed the LPN to BScN programs since they were launched in 2016. About 450 RNs and 250 LPNs graduate every year from Nova Scotia schools.

Last year, the province announced that all nurses graduating from post-secondary institutions in Nova Scotia for the next five years will be offered a job.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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