The Government of Nova Scotia announced it is investing in a new state-of-the-art nurse training facility at Acadia University that will help educate more of these much-needed healthcare professionals.

The facility is expected to be open for the 2026-27 academic year and will allow Acadia to obtain accreditation for a standalone nursing program. The university successfully launched a satellite nursing program in partnership with Cape Breton University last year.

“Universities are critical to our long-term plan to train more nurses and the healthcare professionals we need, especially for rural parts of the province,” said Barbara Adams, Minister of Seniors and Long-Term Care, on behalf of Brian Wong, Minister of Advanced Education. “We are proud to invest in a new training facility in the Annapolis Valley region so future nurses can train and learn in the communities they want to live and work in.”

Acadia renovated existing space last year to provide a temporary faculty office and laboratory space for the satellite program, which opened to the first cohort of 23 direct-entry students in September 2023. A second cohort of 42 students will start in September 2024.

“With the Province’s support, a new facility marks a significant milestone for nursing at Acadia, offering students a specialized learning environment tailored to the healthcare industry. Beyond benefiting nursing students, it has the opportunity to enhance the campus-wide learning experience by fostering interdisciplinary collaboration. This support not only prepares students for the workforce but also empowers Acadia students to make a meaningful impact on healthcare in our region and throughout the province,” said Jeff Hennessy, president and vice-chancellor, Acadia University.

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The Province’s $13.9-million investment will help Acadia build a new facility that meets requirements – including a dry lab, clinic teaching spaces and simulation rooms with adjacent control rooms – to obtain accreditation for a full, permanent nursing program. By 2027, the program will target graduating 63 nurses every year.

“We are thrilled to see this investment supporting the growth and development of Acadia University’s nursing school and bolstering the future of healthcare in Nova Scotia. This funding will not only build a facility that will benefit nursing students, it will help us nurture the next generation of compassionate caregivers who will serve their communities with excellence and dedication. Acadia’s commitment to advancing nursing education aligns seamlessly with our vision for a healthier tomorrow,” said Annette Elliott Rose, chief nurse executive and vice president, Clinical Performance & Professional Practice, Nova Scotia Health.

Featured image: L-R: Acadia University’s Kate Ashley, interim Provost and Vice President (Academic) and Jeff Hennessy, President and Vice-Chancellor, with Barbara Adams, Minister of Seniors and Long-term Care, and Melissa Sheehy-Richard, MLA for Hants West, following the announcement. (Communications Nova Scotia)

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