Me and my Kamloops
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B.C. students to get health education for in-demand jobs

Ajay Patel, president and CEO, Vancouver Community College (VCC)

“Thank you to both the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and the Ministry of Health for investing in VCC and in our students. This funding will make us stronger as we continue to provide the highest quality health-care graduates, especially important during this challenging time with COVID-19. I am most proud of how the delivery of our health programs give students the credits they need to seamlessly ladder from one program to another, providing them with more educational and career opportunities.”

Kathy Kinloch, president, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)

“BCIT has long been recognized for its critical role in educating many of B.C.’s front-line healthcare professionals. Their work has been particularly critical in helping our health-care system successfully navigate the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful for this additional funding to help registered nurses advance their skills to support and strengthen this ongoing effort.”

Christine Sorensen, president, BC Nurses’ Union (BCNU)

“There is a critical need for highly trained, skilled licensed practical nurses (LPN), registered practical nurses (RPN) and registered nurses (RN) in British Columbia, especially as the province’s health-care system navigates the COVID-19 pandemic. BCNU is pleased today’s announcement will create more specialty nursing seats, expand nursing programs to areas beyond the Lower Mainland, and provide the opportunity for LPNs to ladder into RN positions. Investing in health education is key to providing opportunities for all nurses and health-care professionals.”

Jennifer Whiteside, secretary-business manager, Hospital Employees’ Union

“B.C.’s public post-secondary institutions are well-positioned to support the education and training of new and existing health-care workers in communities across the province. These are smart investments in our health-care workforce and will help to protect the delivery of health care to British Columbians in the future.”

Val Avery, president, Health Sciences Association

“Ensuring we have enough trained health-care professionals is at the heart of a robust and sustainable health-care system. Health science professions, like respiratory therapists, medical laboratory and imaging technologists, dietitians, pharmacists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers and many, many others, are critical to this goal. The work of these professionals is often invisible, but COVID-19 has shone a bright light on their important contributions. Yet in many of these fields we are experiencing shortages. We applaud the work government has done to open up opportunities, and are pleased to see more investment in training to ensure we have the people we need to support the public health-care system we all depend on.”

Stephanie Smith, president, BC Government and Service Employees’ Union

“One of the key lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic is that government matters. So it’s incredibly gratifying to see our government once again commit to robust public services and reject the type of austerity measures we see becoming more popular in other jurisdictions. Providing upskilling opportunities for existing health-care professionals and expanding training to bring more people into these professions are critical steps to addressing the recruitment and retention challenges in the sector and making sure British Columbians have access to health-care services in their communities.

Ananda Crouse, LPN and bachelor degree of science in nursing (BSN) student

“I came to VCC as an HCA to bridge to become an LPN. Now I am back in the LPN-to-BSN bridging program. VCC is among the few places that offer a bridging program for LPNs to become BSN registered nurses. LPNs need more opportunities to bridge to become RNs. Who is better to become an RN than an LPN who has skills and experience in the field of nursing!”

Sarah Fast, BCIT high acuity specialty nursing alumna and RN, Fraser Health Authority  –

“The BCIT Focused Education Preparation Advancing Frontline Registered Nurses course was valuable and relevant in helping me quickly upskill to provide support to critical-care patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The information was well organized and easy to follow. Overall, I am confident that I completed the course with the knowledge to assist in the care of ventilated patients.”

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