SLC getting nursing program of its own

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By Nick Seebruch
SLC getting nursing program of its own
Pictured from left-to-right are second year Practical Nursing student Amanda Gaudet, first year Practical Nursing student Josée Lauzon, Dr. Barb LeBlanc, Associate Dean, Baccalaureate Nursing Programs for St. Lawrence College, Ginette Ferguson, Board Chair, and MPP Jim McDonell after the announcement that St. Lawrence College will be able to create a nursing program of their own on Friday, February 14, 2020 (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – St. Lawrence College will soon be offering their own homegrown nursing program after a recent announcement from the province of Ontario.

The provincial government of Premier Doug Ford is now allowing colleges to once again offer Registered Nursing (RN) programs.

Save for Queens University and the University of Toronto, all other institutions offer RN BA degrees through a collaborative partnership with another institution.

While St. Lawrence College has offered a nursing program for nearly 50 years, for the past 14 years they have had to deliver their program through a partnership with Laurentian University.

Dr. Barb LeBlanc, Associate Dean, Baccalaureate Nursing Programs for St. Lawrence College explained the importance of this new development for the institution and its students.

“I like to tell people that when they are in Eastern Ontario, especially Cornwall or Brockville, that the nurse looking after them is probably an SLC grad,” she said. “This will continue now that the province is allowing students to get educated in the communities they call home.”

Dr. LeBlanc explained that St. Lawrence College will now be able to design their own curriculum to better meet the needs of their students, which will include the introduction of a bridging program for those who wish to graduate from a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) to an RN.

“This new policy will allow institutions to have greater autonomy and flexibility over their programming, while maintaining excellence in nursing education,” said Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell who made the announcement at St. Lawrence College’s Cornwall Campus on Friday, Feb. 14.

“Colleges and universities will be able to choose whether to deliver their programs collaboratively or on a standalone basis. For colleges, this will be the first time they would be able to offer the Bachelor nursing degree independently of a university partner,” McDonell went on to say.

St. Lawrence College currently has between 700-800 nursing students, 180 of whom are in Cornwall.

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