The provincial government is more than doubling the number of specialty nurse training opportunities in the province by funding 1,000 seats each year at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).

This increase will help meet growing demand for care throughout British Columbia. Specialty nurses work in high-skill areas ranging from emergency settings to intensive care units for high-risk cardiac care patients, to delivering babies and providing newborn care, to working with complex patients with multiple health challenges.

“Specialty nurses help us when we need emergency care; they help deliver our babies and they care for us when we are seriously ill,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Increasing the number of specialty nurse seats helps people get trained for some of the most important and in-demand jobs in BC. That is why we created more training opportunities for nurses – so they have the tools they need to be there for British Columbians when we need them most.”

BCIT’s Specialty Nursing Training program is one of Canada’s most comprehensive, providing nurses advanced hands-on training for work in hospital and community settings.

Starting in 2018-19, the Province added 611 training seats to the previous 389 seat baseline for a total of 1,000 seats. The Province is providing funding at that level for 2019-20 and 2020-21 and will continue to provide support going forward to help ensure BC’s healthcare workforce is ready to meet patient needs.

Doubling the number of specialty nurse seats is part of ongoing efforts from the ministries of Health and Advanced Education, Skills and Training to ensure the number, type and location of healthcare training opportunities meet BC’s patient and population needs.