The announcement was made Monday, February 28, 2011 in the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut by Minister of Health and Social Services, the Hon. Tagak Curley.

“Each year, my department grants scholarships to the top students in the Nursing Program at Nunavut Arctic College,” said Minister Curley. “Two students, one beneficiary and one non-beneficiary, in years two, three, and four of the program are each eligible to receive $3,000.” This year’s scholarship recipients are second-year nursing students Margaret MacIsaac and Diane Iyago, third-year students Nancy Gordon and Suzanne Schwartz and fourth-year student Melanie Lynch. ”My department is committed to supporting and training a Nunavut-based workforce for the nursing profession, which is essential to providing frontline services in health centres across the territory.”

In addition to the scholarships provided this fiscal year, the territory’s department of Health and Social Services has distributed more than $82,500 in bursaries to Nunavut nursing students. The Arctic Nursing Program, developed collaboratively between Nunavut Arctic College and Dalhousie University, is a four year program that focuses on nursing in Nunavut. The degree is conferred by Dalhousie University. The program is designed to prepare graduates as entry-level practitioners to work in a variety of settings, to include: hospitals, long term care facilities and community based agencies.

“This funding eases the financial burden of undertaking post-secondary studies,” he said. “In exchange for the bursaries, each student commits to working in Nunavut after they graduate. At present, we have 18 students with agreements to work for Health and Social Services after graduation” The Nunavut Arctic College program’s curriculum emphasizes awareness and respect for Inuit culture and prepares nurses to be leaders in the health care system of Nunavut. Graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Arctic Nursing ) program will have the necessary knowledge, judgment and skills to write the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination, and are then eligible for registration in any province or territory.

“This is a wonderful program for our nursing students and it is also great news for the people of Nunavut, as we are developing a strong core of Nunavummiut nurses to serve health care needs across the territory,” said Curley.

To see the original press release, please click here.