York recently launched a stand-alone nursing program where students can complete their nursing degree solely at York, letting in the first batch of 108 students in September 2022.
“York’s School of Nursing has become one of the largest and most comprehensive programs in Canada, and the new stand-alone nursing degree will reduce barriers and create more opportunities for students to respond to the needs of the culturally diverse communities we serve, reduce health inequalities, and explore social, economic, and cultural determinants of health and healthcare outcomes,” said Rhonda Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor of York.
“This is another important milestone in demonstrating York’s leadership and expertise in health education and health governance,” Lenton continued.
Jill Dunlop, Ontario minister of Colleges and Universities relays that this is an important milestone for education in Ontario. “York’s stand-alone bachelor of science in nursing will allow students to complete their nursing degree entirely at York. In Ontario, both colleges and universities are now able to offer stand-alone nursing degrees, increasing choices and reducing barriers to high-quality, local education for Ontario’s students.”
Paul McDonald, the dean of the Faculty of Health, further delves into the upcoming plans and ideas: “From a university standpoint, what we are trying to do is really develop more breadth critical mass, specifically in health and health sciences.”
McDonald continues, “The dissolution of the collaborative program makes it possible for students to come and study at a single location for the completion of their entire degree.”
When looking at how this shift will tackle the challenges students face, McDonald says, “This reduces the challenges that students face in terms of adjusting to different policies and different institutions. For some, meaning they had to move and find residences.”
McDonald also further dove into the latest technological advances for the program. “There are other tools that have emerged and have become very important in terms of helping students to succeed and develop their skills, knowledge, and confidence. There are a whole series of simulation tools, everything from the use of a simulation centre, where students work on mannequins. They breathe, they have a pulse.”
McDonald mentions that as for the latest updates, the time has been taken to “completely redesign the whole curriculum. There are some really important considerations that we believe will significantly enhance the experience that our students will receive studying.”
“We have made a clear attempt to improve access, diversity, equity, and inclusion. That means, who we hire, how the curriculum is organized, the kinds of content that is put into that curriculum, and also trying to be sensitive to the fact that from an access standpoint. It can be quite expensive to study anything, including nursing. We’d like to make that more financially feasible for more students,” McDonald affirms.
The Nursing Students Association of York (NSAY) also passes on their acknowledgements, welcoming the new program with open arms. “The new stand-along nursing program allows students to develop a deeper connection with the school, staff, and fellow nursing students. NSAY welcomes the new program and looks forward to representing the future students in their stay here at York.”