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Big Announcement for Great Plains College in Kindersley

Today was a big day for Great Plains College in Kindersley. Today was the day they announced the addition of the Practical Nursing program to the Kindersley Campus. This is a full-time program slated to begin in the fall of 2025 with applications open for registration this fall. Keleah Ostrander, Vice-President, Programs and Students, made the announcement Friday morning at the College. President and CEO Brad Mahon, was the master of ceremonies and reiterated how important this program was for Kindersley and area. “Licensed practical nurses are a vital part of the healthcare system and we know there is a shortage of trained staff in many communities across Saskatchewan.”

Minister of Health, Everett Hindley, was in attendance and also spoke of how the program will help local students who won’t have to travel to other campuses for their education.  He also spoke about bursaries that will be available for students to access.

Ken Francis – MLA for Kindersley, also spoke and again, was pleased that this program is going forward.  From conception to today’s announcement took approx. 3 years to complete. Many t’s to cross I’s to dot. 

Kindersley Mayor, Rod Perkins, was extremely pleased by this announcement and said that our town should be proud that are progressing forward in the area of health care. 

Anika Becker is the Clinical Services Manager at the Kindersley Integrated Health Facility and she spoke about the importance of quality people and quality care.  “We recognize the importance of practical nurses and the significant contributions they make to our health-care system.  Practical nurses undergo comprehensive training that equip them with the skills and knowledge necessary to fill crucial roles within the health-care field. Together, we will strive to build a stronger, more resilient health-care workforce for the future.”  Well said Anika.

For the past several years, Great Plains College had explored the feasibility of expanding our health care programming in an effort to contribute increased volumes of skilled graduates to the sector.  Our local Great Plains College staff began working with their local partners at the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the curriculum brokering partners at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. It was through their encouragement and support that they received their blessing to advance the discussions.

They then met with their partners at the Government of Saskatchewan, including the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Advanced Education and Ministry of Immigration and Careers Training.  Recently, they received a final endorsement of their training expansion. This is a 2–year program that will be scholarship eligible and admissions begin in the fall and will be delivered through a combination of hands-on classroom learning and practicums where students will receive clinical experience in a variety of settings from pharmacology and acute care to obstetrics and long-term care.  This diploma program will allow students to study and work within the West Central region and clinical placements will happen throughout the region in partnership with SHA facilities.  Upon graduation, students will be prepared to write the exam to become a licensed practical nurse in Saskatchewan.

Plus, in addition to the practical nursing program, they are investing in the development of a health care laboratory that will located at the Kindersley Campus.  This lab will feature modern equipment and it allows for applied portions of health care programming to be conducted on site and ensures that training closely reflects the health care setting.  Development of this lab is anticipated to begin this spring and be concluded in the summer of 2025 in order for both the practical nursing and continuing care assistant programs for the fall of 2025.

Anyone interested in being notified when applications open for the Kindersley Practical Nursing program can contact Jennifer Siermachesky-Proctor, student advisor, at jennifers@greatplainscollege.ca or call 306-651-1510.

To learn more about the Practical Nursing program offering in Kindersley, Biggar or Swift Current, please visit greatplainscollege.ca/programs-courses/college-trades-university/practical-nursing.

Keleah Ostrander – Vice-President, Programs and Students

Everett Hindley – Minister of Health

Ken Francis – MLA for Kindersley

By Kevin Martin

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