Dal expands number of prioritized seats for Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian students in Bachelor of Science Nursing program

- November 19, 2021

(File photo)
(File photo)

The School of Nursing in the Dalhousie's Faculty of Health is expanding the number of prioritized seats for Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian students in the Bachelor of Science Nursing program (BScN).

A minimum of 40 seats across the Direct Entry (from high school) or Advanced Standing (previous university experience) streams in the Dal School of Nursing BScN program will be prioritized for qualified Mi’kmaq students and African Nova Scotian students in the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. 20 seats will be set aside for each of these under-represented population groups. Priority will be given to applicants within Nova Scotia.

Students applying in the 2021-2022 admissions cycle would be expected to start the BScN program in September, 2022.

“In an effort to support our health equity goals, through these prioritized seats we aim to enrich our student body and learning environment, while also providing Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian students greater access to the profession of nursing,” said Dal School of Nursing director, Ruth Martin-Misener.

“The research is widely available, some of which has been conducted by our own faculty and PhD candidates, which supports positive health outcomes when patients receive care from nurses who they identify as having similar backgrounds and identities to their own,” said Dr. Martin-Misener.

The Dalhousie School of Nursing recognizes that deliberate equitable admissions processes are required to increase the admission of students who self-identify as belonging to historically underrepresented groups.

The School has an established Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee with working groups that include students, faculty and staff. One main area of focus is strengthening the School’s equitable admission policies and practices to increase admissions of priority groups, especially Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian applicants.

To further enhance the experiences of Mi’kmaq/ Indigenous and African Nova Scotian/Black students, the Dalhousie School of Nursing will hire two student advisor positions, one to support Mi’kmaq/ Indigenous students and one to support African Nova Scotian/Black students. Job postings and a call for applications have been posted for these roles.

“These 40 priority seats and increased support systems are strategies to create an inclusive, equitable learning and working environment, to attract and support members from under-represented groups to enter and succeed in the School of Nursing and the nursing profession,” said Dr. Martin-Misener.

For the 2021-2022 school year in the Dal School of Nursing, there are 192 seats available on the Halifax campus and 33 seats available on the Yarmouth campus.

“We need more nurses that reflect our population. I want to congratulate Dalhousie for taking this important step to welcome more Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian students into their nursing programs and for creating opportunities for those students to pursue a career in nursing with the promise of a guaranteed job, right here at home when they graduate," says Brian Wong, Minister of Advanced Education.


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