Dalhousie University is expanding the number of priority places in its Bachelor of Nursing Program for Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw and African students.

Priority will be given to a minimum of 40 seats in the program, for both those straight out of high school and those with prior college experience, for Mi’kmaw students and Nova Scotia African students, the school said in a press release.

20 seats will be reserved for each of the underrepresented groups. Nova Scotia applicants will be given priority.

“In an effort to support our health equity goals, through these prioritized positions, we aim to enrich our student body and our learning environment, while also providing Mi’kmaw and Nova Scotia students greater access to the nursing profession, ”said the Dalhousie School. from the Director of Nursing, Dr. Ruth Martin-Misener.

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Martin-Misener added that research shows there are positive health outcomes when patients receive care from nurses they identify with similar backgrounds and identities.

The prioritized seating will be part of the 2021-22 admissions cycle for students expected to begin the nursing program in September 2022.

There are a total of 192 seats available for the nursing program at the Dalhousie Halifax campus and 33 seats available at the Yarmouth campus.

The school also said it has established an equity, diversity and inclusion committee with the goal of strengthening its equitable admissions policies and practices to increase admissions from priority groups.

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Dalhousie has also created job openings to hire two student advisor positions, one supporting Indigenous and Mi’kmaw students and the other supporting Nova Scotia’s Black and African students.

“These 40 priority positions and increased support systems are strategies to create an inclusive and equitable learning and work environment, to attract and support members of underrepresented groups to enter and succeed in the School of Nursing and the nursing profession,” Martin-Misener said.

Late last month, the province said it will offer a job to all Nova Scotia nursing graduates for the next five years.

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