On Nov. 22nd 15 practical nursing students at the Parkland College Yorkton campus will have completed their training and be among the first practical nursing graduates in the province to receive diploma status from SIAST.
In April, Health Minister Hon. Don McMorris and Advanced Education, Employment and Labour Minister Hon. Rob Norris announced approval for the Practical Nursing credential to be a diploma. Prior to that date, the exit credential was a certificate. “The nursing students from Parkland College attended the Saskatchewan Association of Licensed Practical Nurses meeting in Saskatoon on April 23, 2008, and were present when the announcement was first made. This added to the excitement of the news as a lot of previous students had been hoping to receive this condition from the government”, explained lead nursing instructor Jackie Rohatensky.
With all the changes and reorganization in health care, and the nursing shortage in the province , the graduate practical nurses look forward to joining the nursing workforce and applying their critical thinking and nursing skills. Bree Kalmakoff is one of the first practical nursing graduates to experience the benefits of the new credential. “The diploma status helps to give us more recognition as a nurse and the additional skills added to the program have expanded our knowledge and abilities.”
“The practical nursing program has long been known for its extensive theory and clinical elements, and the recognition for the content is well deserved”, said Rohatensky. “We are proud to deliver the entire practical nursing program in Yorkton; I feel it benefits our health region and our community”.
This group of students is the seventh group to graduate from Parkland College. Their two year, 65 week program began March 12, 2007. Over the past nine years, 81 nurses have joined the workforce “The success of the nursing program can be tied to the first class instructors, quality resources available at Parkland College, and exceptional working relationship with Sunrise Health Region for student practicums”, explained Connie Brown, Coordinator of the Practical Nursing Program.