In-Demand Health Programs to Launch at GPRC
Friday, March 12th, 2021
GPRC to launch two new health programs.
GRANDE PRAIRIE - Two new health career pathways will soon be a part of the programming mix at Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC). The Government of Alberta’s Ministry for Advanced Education has approved inclusion of a Health Care Aide certificate program beginning in Fall 2021 along with a Practical Nurse diploma program that will commence Winter 2022.
“This is an exciting development that will help grow the great potential within our community,” says Dr. Robert Murray, GPRC President and CEO. “In addition to equipping students with necessary core competencies, these two programs will enhance the post-secondary journey with unparalleled work-integrated learning opportunities at the new Grande Prairie Regional Hospital and the Evaskevich Centre for Health Research and Innovation.”
The Health Care Aide certificate is an eight-month program that will offer spaces to 32 students, while the two-year Practical Nurse diploma can accommodate 32 students annually. Program graduates will be qualified to provide basic health services and support for patients with health care needs in a variety of settings.
GPRC Practical Nurse students will obtain the necessary training and skills to be licensed with the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta. Upon graduation they will be eligible to provide care to individuals in acute care hospitals, continuing care centres, as well as community and primary health facilities.
“As part of our 5GPRC mandate we are committed to academic excellence and delivering job ready professionals for communities with distinctive needs,” said Vanessa Sheane, Interim Vice-President, Academic and Research. “Collaborative planning with our clinical stakeholders has given us the opportunity to identify emerging workforce gaps and to respond with solutions that are underpinned by a standardized provincial curriculum.”
In 2019, the provincial curriculum for health care aides was updated and post-secondary institutions were encouraged to express interest in becoming training providers. The College applied for both programs simultaneously with a view to the future and a recognition that these new offerings would build on the strengths of the College’s existing Bachelor of Nursing and reinforce vital GPRC health and wellness pathways.
“There are clear benefits to building health care knowledge, skills and capacity within our region,” says Dr. Carly McLeod, Interim Dean, Health, Wellness and Career Studies. “Not only does this decision set the stage for better local outcomes, these programs will add even more depth to GPRC’s growing portfolio of important health care professions, which currently focuses on unit clerk certification and nursing career options.”
With new and evolving program offerings, GPRC is on track to realizing its goal of becoming the northern centre of post-secondary excellence in Alberta. To learn more about the Health Care Aide and Practical Nurse program, please visit GPRC.me/Nursing.