Monday, November 26, 2007

B.C. FUNDS NANAIMO ABORIGINAL NURSING PROJECT

Government has awarded $30,703 to the Snuneymuxw First Nation Health Centre as part of B.C.’s Aboriginal Nursing Strategies, a provincewide program that this year will provide $500,000 to 15 Aboriginal nursing projects across B.C., Nanaimo-Parksville MLA, Ron Cantelon announced today.

“That this project has received funding from Aboriginal Nursing Strategies is exciting news for the Snuneymuxw community and for the people of this riding,” said Cantelon, speaking at today’s cheque presentation. “Improving the health care outcomes for Aboriginal people is one of the goals of this government, and providing information about nursing careers to Snuneymuxw youth and supporting Aboriginal students who are already in nursing school are important steps in this direction.”

The Snuneymuxw First Nation Health Centre project will use the funding to build on its established coaching programs. The project will focus on providing educational supports to Aboriginal youth with an interest in nursing and to Aboriginal students already enrolled in nursing programs. The Snuneymuxw First Nation Health Centre also aims to strengthen its ties with Malaspina University-College.

Aboriginal nursing projects receiving funding through the Ministry of Health’s Nursing Directorate must focus on at least one of four main goals:

· Recruiting and/or supporting Aboriginal students.

· Recruiting and retaining Aboriginal nurses.

· Supporting nursing in Aboriginal communities in B.C.

· Developing health promotion and disease prevention materials for B.C.’s Aboriginal communities.

Since 2001, the Province has invested $174 million towards B.C.’s Nursing Strategy with a focus on educating, recruiting and retaining qualified nurses.

“Through this project we will work to empower our youth and to assist them as they move forward in their nursing careers,” said Sandra Good, health administrator for the Snuneymuxw First Nation Health Centre. “By offering information about nursing as a career and providing culturally appropriate coaching, we hope we can emphasize the importance of community-based responsibility for the health of our people.”

The Ministry of Health issued a Request for Proposals for Aboriginal nursing projects for 2007/2008 in June 2007. A total of $500,000 was available to Aboriginal groups, post-secondary institutions, nursing associations and other organizations. All projects must be completed by March 31, 2008 and each project organizer must submit a final evaluation report to the ministry by April 15, 2008.

“It is wonderful that the Snuneymuxw First Nation Health Centre coaching program will focus this year on Aboriginal youth who have expressed an interest in becoming nurses,” said Laureen Styles, dean of the Faculty of Health & Human Services at Malaspina University-College. “This coaching program grows stronger each year and by including tutoring and tips for juggling the balance between life and school, this project will provide Aboriginal youth with confidence in their ability to become successful nurses.”

For more information about Aboriginal Nursing Strategies, please visit www.health.gov.bc.ca/ndirect/.


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