A journey tailored to your next chapter

Earn as You Learn Nursing Education Pathway – Saint John

About the Step Up to Nursing initiative


At a glance

  • Practical Nurse: PSW Pathway Program stream begins September 2023. 
  • LPN Bridge Program stream begins September 2023 
  • Participants will divide their time between work and study for the duration of the initiative. 
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Initiative details

The Step Up to Nursing initiative is a workplace-based, wage-supported learning model that provides education to New Brunswickers who are interested in becoming either a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Registered Nurse (RN) but have been held back because of life circumstances. This new education pathway offers LPNs and Personal Support Workers (PSWs) the opportunity to complete their nursing education and achieve their goals.  

The initiative offers participants the opportunity to work in the healthcare system on a part-time basis always within an appropriate scope of practice and meeting all employment requirements and standards, while completing one of two nursing education programs: the Practical Nurse: PSW Pathway program or the Licensed Practical Nurse Bridge (LPNBR) program leading to the Bachelor of Nursing (BN) program. 

Participants are paid a full-time wage commensurate with their level of experience and certification level. The provincial government will cover tuition and maintain wages during periods of learning, including all classroom and clinical experiences. 

Participants eligible for the Practical Nurse: PSW Pathway program stream are New Brunswickers who have graduated with a PSW Acute Care certificate from NBCC within the last five years who meet the criteria and are passionate about healthcare. They are people who want to become Licensed Practical Nurses, continue to live in New Brunswick and contribute to building and maintaining a sustainable healthcare system. 

The LPN Bridge program stream is intended for Licensed Practical Nurses who want to become RNs, are members of the Association of New Brunswick Licensed Practical Nurses (ANBLPN) in good standing and meet all the eligibility requirements. 

Program delivery model


Practical Nurse: PSW Pathway program stream

The Practical Nurse: PSW Pathway program stream will have 28 participants broken out into two cohorts working and studying part-time on a 2-day/3-day weekly rotation. 

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Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Bridge program stream

At the LPN Bridge program level, participants will work 3 days/week and study as one cohort.  

In year 3 of the BN program, participants will move from 60% work/40% study to 40% work/60% study once clinical placements start*. The final semester prior to graduation will be a clinical placement where participants will not work for an employer at all. 

Eligibility requirements


Anyone who meets the Step Up to Nursing initiative admissions requirements, and can attend in-person training when required, can apply. 

Practical Nurse: PSW Pathway program stream
  • NBCC PSW Acute Care certificate within the last five years with a minimum of 75% in all courses


Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Bridge program stream
    Meet UNB's LPNBR admission requirements, including:
  • High school math (Grade 11 Pre-Calculus OR Math 12 Foundations or equivalent).  For those who completed high school prior to September 2012, the Math requirement is Grade 11 Math Functions & Relations. Note: You must have a minimum grade of 60% in High School Math
  • Must have a minimum grade of 75% in each course in their PN programs 
  • Must have a current membership in the Association of New Brunswick Licensed Practical Nurses (ANBLPN) in good standing 


Additional Step Up to Nursing application and selection requirements

  • Must be a resident of New Brunswick and a permanent resident or Canadian Citizen
  • Cover letter
  • Resumé
  • Essay that speaks to passion for healthcare and commitment to New Brunswick
  • Interview
  • Official academic transcripts sent to post-secondary institutions (after initial selection)
  • Criminal record and vulnerable sector checks provided to employers
  • Proof of immunizations provided to employers

Application, selection process and deadlines


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To start your application process, click the link below to fill out a contact form. Someone from WorkingNB will get in touch with you to discuss the Step Up to Nursing initiative and answer your questions. 

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Participants will be selected based on a set of eligibility criteria. This is a competitive process, and the selection committee reserves the right to select final applicants.  

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Practical Nurse: PSW Pathway Stream
March 31, 2023.

LPNBR Program Stream
March 31, 2023
Applicants must also apply directly to the UNB Saint John LPNBR program by the March 31st deadline.

Post-secondary education program links