FREDERICTON (CUP) — UNB’s Bathurst campus will flatline after 2017.
Last Monday the university informed nursing students in Bathurst that it was discontinuing the program after the class of 2017 graduates.
UNB’s Dean of Nursing Gail Storr said a big reason for scrapping the program was due to a lack instructors in clinical placements to accommodate the number of enrolled students.
“It’s become increasingly difficult to secure [clinical] sites for the number of students we have,” Storr said, adding that having the Bathurst campus compete for open placements with NBCC or the Moncton campus “doesn’t necessarily line up in the best way with the curriculum and what the learning needs are.”
Enrolment at the Bathurst campus is capped at twenty-six students in each year
of study, but it had been a struggle to reach the mark. Last year, only fourteen students were accepted; there are fifty-three more students their second to fourth years.
Another factor in the decision was that in negotiations with the regional health authority regarding student placements, a proposal was put forth in October for students to be bilingual.
“They backed down on the bilingual aspect,” Storr said, “but the latest thing that we have for them is that they wanted our students to understand French.”
While Storr assured financial reasons were not at all part of why the program is being shut down, the Bathurst program “has never been financially self-sustaining.”
While the university will certainly save money by discontinuing the Bathurst program, it’s unclear as to exactly how much.
Storr was unable to provide the operating costs of the Bathurst campus and was not prepared to discuss the finances surrounding it. A right to information request has been placed with the university secretariat for that information.