SAINT JOHN (GNB) – The provincial government has entered into a 10-year funding agreement with the University of New Brunswick (UNB) to encourage increased enrolment in the bachelor of nursing program and reward the university for graduating nurses.

Under the agreement the university will receive up to $1,785,000 each year for graduating nurses above a baseline of 155. The government will provide $35,000 for each confirmed graduate above this baseline, up to 206 per year, supporting up to 51 additional seats.

“Our greatest source of new nurses is our bachelor of nursing programs,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. “We have prioritized working with our universities to increase enrollments and graduates. We understand there is a cost associated with training new nurses, and we are pleased to partner with UNB and provide additional performance-based funding.”

The agreement aligns with the enhancement of nursing education in New Brunswick action item as part of the Nursing Resources Strategy released in 2019. It is also in line with the auditor general’s 2019 recommendation that the department provide funding only after desired outcomes or targets have been achieved.

“As part of our new provincial health plan, the government has committed to working with post-secondary institutions to develop innovative education and clinical training models,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “This new approach will encourage our universities to increase enrolment in our nursing programs and recruit a new generation of nurses towards a fulfilling career.”

Over the 10 years of the agreement, the university could receive up to $18 million.

“UNB and the Province of New Brunswick have a shared vision of solving the grand challenges of New Brunswick’s health-care system and this agreement is a step in the right direction,” said Paul J. Mazerolle, UNB’s president and vice-chancellor. “Our nursing programs are on a path of growth and focus on meeting the needs of New Brunswickers. This is another example of how UNB and the provincial government are working together to provide a high-quality education and create additional opportunities to keep nurses in our province.”

The university must submit reports to the department each year validating the number of graduates above the baseline threshold and providing details on successes or barriers to meeting its goal.