N.S. announces new pilot program for CCA’s looking at career advancement

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Minister Barb Adams (N.S. Legislature photo/Google)

HALIFAX: The province is taking the next step in building long-term career advancement opportunities in the continuing care sector by offering a free, practical nursing diploma program for continuing care assistants (CCAs) working in Nova Scotia.

The pilot CCA-Practical Nursing Bridging Program will support 25 currently certified CCAs who have worked in a nursing home or home care agency for at least two years in becoming licensed practical nurses.

“The continuing care workforce is a proud workforce. We’ve heard from CCAs that they are looking for opportunities to advance their careers and we are happy to support them in their journey,” said Barbara Adams, Minister of Seniors and Long-Term Care.

“This first-in-Nova Scotia program will support CCAs by reducing the financial barriers to professional development and help in our efforts to make continuing care a career path of choice in Nova Scotia.”

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The program is two and a half years long and will start in January. Classes are online, with in-person labs at Nova Scotia Community College’s Truro campus. Students will be required to sign a return of service agreement, committing to work full-time in continuing care in Nova Scotia for a minimum of two years after graduation.

The Department is providing employers details on eligibility criteria and the application process to share with their staff.

Investing in education and training opportunities to ensure the health needs of communities are met has been identified as a solution in Nova Scotia’s Action for Health plan.

Quotes:
“I’m so pleased the college and government have been able to collaborate and use the existing pathway to support this blended practical nursing program through our Truro campus.

“This opens another door for our hard-working CCAs working in continuing care – offering an important opportunity to work and learn if they want to train to become a licensed practical nurse.”
     – Don Bureaux, President, Nova Scotia Community College

“We’re proud to be part of this groundbreaking program that will provide support to frontline workers who want to grow and enhance their skills while filling an important need within the long-term care sector.”
     – Vanessa White, Vice-President of People and Culture, Shannex

Quick Facts:
— CCAs will need to meet the community college’s practical nursing program requirements to be eligible to apply for the pilot program
— the Department is covering the costs of tuition, textbooks and the majority of fees for the 25 students
— tutoring and student services supports will be available
— students will be eligible to write the licensed practical exam when they successfully complete the program

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