NSGEU applauds new Nurse Practitioner Education Incentive Program

"Every Nova Scotian should be able to get the care they need, no matter where they live." — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President

Halifax (13 July 2018) — Educating more nurse practitioners for people in underserved areas is a positive step forward for nurses and families who don't have a family doctor and lack access to primary health care, says Jason MacLean, President of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees' Union (NSGEU/NUPGE).

New education program to improve health care in rural communities

"This is a good announcement from government and could go a long way to address the doctor shortage many people in rural areas are experiencing," said MacLean. "It also provides a good opportunity for nurses to improve their education while maintaining their existing salary. This means they can focus on completing the degree and start work in under-served communities."

The Nurse Practitioner Education Incentive covers the salaries of up to 10 registered nurses while they complete a 2-year Master of Nursing Nurse Practitioner program through Dalhousie University, with the agreement they work in a designated community for 5 years.

Good decision for nurses

"This is the kind of common sense move that can be achieved when government is willing to work with its partners in health care. While the lack of primary health care is definitely a more urgent situation in rural areas, there is no denying that staggering number of families in Halifax Regional Municipality who are also without a family doctor," said MacLean.

"The NSGEU/NUPGE is pleased the government moved forward with this program. It is our hope, for our nurses and people without access to primary health care, that Minister Delorey will expand this incentive into our urban communities as well. Every Nova Scotian should be able to get the care they need, no matter where they live." 

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE