SAINT JOHN (GNB) – The provincial government is partnering with Beal University in Bangor, Maine, which will allow up to 100 New Brunswick students to enrol in its bachelor of science in nursing program in 2023.

To help offset some of the costs associated with studying out of country, the government will also provide a $6,000 incentive grant to New Brunswick students who enrol there.

The grant is performance based and will be paid directly to the students in two instalments of $3,000 each during the second and third years. As a condition of the grant, students must sign a return-of-service agreement to work as a registered nurse in New Brunswick for at least one year after graduation.

“It is no secret that our health sector is in critical need of nurses, and we must provide as many opportunities as we can for New Brunswick students to begin their nursing education,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. “We are proud to partner with Beal University, which will provide another viable option for students and will immediately increase our capacity to train new nurses.”

Beal University offers a three-year bachelor of science in nursing program. The first year is completed online; second- and third-year students have a mix of online and in-person classes.

“Recruitment and training are major priorities for our provincial health plan, and we are taking new steps to ensure services for residents who need them,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch. “This opportunity offered by our neighbours in Maine will bridge a significant gap for qualified applicants in New Brunswick who are waiting to get the training they need to care for patients.”

As part of their training, these students will do their clinical placements in New Brunswick.

“Our institution has been providing top-quality nursing programs in Bangor for many years, and our graduates, who have become registered nurses, are now providing important health-care services in Maine and beyond,” said Beal University president Sheryl DeWalt. “We feel especially excited to provide New Brunswick residents with accessibility to our accelerated nursing educational programs and to support the efforts of the government to train more nurses to support their local workforce.”

“Recruiting nursing professionals is a key priority of Horizon’s plan to ensure safe, high-quality and timely care is provided to everyone in our province,” said Margaret Melanson, Horizon Health Network’s interim president and CEO. “We are very pleased nurses taking part in this program will have their clinical placements in their home province and will return to work here for at least one year when they are finished their degree. Horizon, like other employers, will be here to support them through their placements and to provide a welcoming and first-rate work environment when they are finished.”

More information about this partnership is available online.

This initiative supports the government’s health plan, Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action, which has five action areas: access to primary health care, access to surgery, create a connected system, access to addiction and mental health services, and support seniors to age in place.

It also builds on the government’s efforts to support the recruitment and training of nurses, which include: