New partnership brings nursing to Acadia

Acadia University, in partnership with Cape Breton University, will offer nursing courses in September 2023 as part of a government initiative to increase the number of nursing seats available throughout the province.

Today, the Premier of Nova Scotia, Tim Houston, announced that the government will invest $1.9 million to launch the nursing program at Acadia. Initially, the Wolfville program will be a satellite site of Cape Breton University's Bachelor of Science Nursing program. However, Acadia will seek approval from the Nova Scotia College of Registered Nurses to transition to a stand-alone degree by 2026.

“We have a long-term plan for healthcare in Nova Scotia, and that includes working with post-secondary institutions to find every possible solution to train more healthcare workers faster here at home,” said Premier Houston. He added that the province is “pulling out all the stops” to ensure Nova Scotians have a nurse when they need one.


Acadia Nursing Announcement 2023


Acadia will offer 21 nursing seats in 2023, with plans to graduate 42 nurses in 2026 and then graduate 63 nurses annually. Approximately 50 percent of the nursing seats will be designated for Mi’kmaq, Indigenous, and African Nova Scotian students.

“Nursing is one of the most critical professions in the world, and we are committed to supporting our incoming students to become the best nurses they can be. With our commitment to diversity and inclusion, we look forward to welcoming our nursing students and promoting equity in healthcare,” said Dr. Peter Ricketts, Acadia’s President and Vice-Chancellor.

Ricketts thanked the Premier for investing in healthcare and entrusting Acadia to help shape the future of nursing education and healthcare in the region.

David Dingwall, President of Cape Breton University, also expressed gratitude for the initiative in a news release. “This partnership with Acadia University will allow more educational opportunities outside the urban core and enhance access to exceptional nurses in more rural and remote areas of our great province,” he stated.


Houston also announced a 30-seat expansion of the practical nursing program on six NSCC campuses: Annapolis Valley, Lunenburg, Strait Area, Truro beginning in September 2023, and Burridge and Kingstec beginning in January 2024, for a total of 180 new seats.

The new seats are in addition to 200 seats the Province announced last year, financial incentives to retain nurses and job offers for every graduating nurse, among other efforts to grow and support the healthcare workforce.

“We have strong partnerships with academic institutions across the province, and increasing nursing seats is a great example of this partnership in action,” said Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Vice-President of Research, Innovation and Discovery and Chief Nurse Executive, Nova Scotia Health in the news release. “Increasing nursing seats provides more opportunities for students to train and work in the province while enhancing our access to qualified professionals and access to care for all Nova Scotians. It is a win-win situation.”

The newly announced projects are expected to advance Action for Health, the Province’s plan to improve and transform healthcare in Nova Scotia, by investing in education and training opportunities to ensure the health needs of communities are met.


Acadia University’s Nursing Program Page

Government Invests in More Nursing Seats

New Practical Nursing Program Will Train 30 L’nu Students

All Graduating Nurses to Get Job Offers

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