Health and Community Services
April 29, 2013
The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the
Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Health and Community Services:
New Master’s Program Prepares Nurse Practitioners for Advanced Nursing Roles
Mr. Speaker, I rise in this Honourable House today to inform people
throughout the province about a new nurse practitioner master’s program
offered through Memorial University School of Nursing, in collaboration with
the Centre for Nursing Studies.
The Master of Nursing, Nurse Practitioner Option, which began in January
2013, will see the enrollment of 12 to 16 women and men annually as a result
of a Provincial Government investment of approximately $3.6 million in core
funding over the next five years.
The program consists of 12 courses, and students may complete the program
full time in two years over six semesters; or part time over 10 semesters.
The first class of students will graduate from this program in October 2014.
Mr. Speaker, nurse practitioners provide primary health care services and
are particularly important in rural and remote areas where access to
physician care is sometimes limited. The new master’s program will prepare
nurses to work in expanded roles in acute care areas such as emergency
rooms, mental health and cardiac care, as well as long-term care and
This program is unique in that it is offered through distance education,
which allows nurses to advance their education while continuing to work in
their field. As a former teacher who taught courses through distance
education for many years, I know first-hand the value and benefit of
offering education through this innovative method.
Mr. Speaker, Newfoundland and Labrador was one of the first Canadian
provinces to introduce the nurse practitioner primary health care role.
Currently, there are 123 nurse practitioners registered to practice in the
province. In 2011, we had 21 nurse practitioners per 100,000 people, the
second highest number in Canada. We have since increased this number to 24.
Our government recognizes the vital role nursing professionals play in our
health care system. This master’s program will not only deliver a higher
level of education and training to nurse practitioners in the province, but
will advance patient-centred care and health care services overall now and
in the future.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
2013 04 29