During the January to April semester, 200 B.C. nursing students received a total of $400,000 in Nurses Education Bursaries that will help them with their education-related expenses.
The Nurses Education Bursary (NEB) is a provincial program that provides up to $1 million in bursary funding annually to qualified nursing applicants who demonstrate the greatest financial need. Each of the students in this round received $2,000.
The NEB can make a difference in students' lives the way it did for Vancouver Island University graduate Raquel Molina, who received a $2,000 bursary in August 2011. A single mother with two small children, Molina was grateful for the support that helped her make a fresh start.
"The Nurses Education Bursary allowed me to focus on my school work and my children," Molina said. "It helped offset my debt and lessen the financial stress for me and my family. I worked very hard to do well in my studies, become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and provide for my family in coming years. What I have accomplished is the right thing for all, including society."
Molina now works as a private LPN, and contracts to a firm that provides nursing services. "I'm back on my feet, and off and running," Molina said. "It feels great."
The Province is committed to delivering high-quality, affordable health education closer to home. In addition to providing the NEB, the B.C. government is providing $2 million to approximately 302 health-care professionals this year in B.C.
Under the loan forgiveness program, health-care providers who work in underserved B.C. communities for three years can have their B.C. student loan debt forgiven at a rate of 33 per cent per year. Since 2001, over $7 million in B.C. student loans forgiveness has been provided for nursing graduates.
Minister of Advanced Education, Naomi Yamamoto -
"We are proud to provide financial assistance to students while they are working toward credentials that will support them in future jobs. The Nurses Education Bursary is just one example of how we are helping students to get the skills they need for critically important careers such as those in British Columbia's health-care sector."
Dean of health and human services, Vancouver Island University, Carol Stuart -
"Vancouver Island University applauds the Ministry of Advanced Education for helping students succeed and increasing the health-care workforce. The Nurses Education Bursary program allows students to focus on their studies and obtain the professional training they need to work as top-quality employees in the B.C. health-care system."
"VIU is pleased to be able to provide nursing education to students in the Vancouver Island region, and support the needs of the local health authority."
Executive VP, People and Organizational Development, Practice and Chief Nurse, VIHA, Dr. Lynn Stevenson -
"Helping nursing students to pay for their education will help strengthen the nursing profession by attracting new nurses and enabling our existing workforce to upgrade their skills."
- Applicants in eligible nursing programs are automatically assessed for bursaries based on financial need on their full-time StudentAid BC loan application.
- The bursary is awarded in one of three study periods: January to April, May to August and September to December in each year.
- More than 6,200 students have received over $19.8 million through the NEB program since 2001.
Ministry of Advanced Education