A rural rotating Practical Nursing program will be coming to Providence University College in Otterburne this fall.

The announcement was made on Wednesday afternoon. In partnership with Southern Health, Assiniboine Community College will provide its Practical Nursing diploma in Otterburne using Providence University College facilities.

According to a statement from Assiniboine Community College, the program in Otterburne will begin in September 2022 with a capacity of 25 students and will be accompanied by two similar rotating sites in Arborg and Morden. The release notes a significant provincial investment in nursing allowed for three new rotating sites.

Applications will be open until May 23, 2022. All qualified applications received by the deadline will be assessed for admission. Initially, only those living within the Southern Health-Santé Sud Region will be considered for admission.

In addition to rural rotating sites, the college has permanent Practical Nursing programs at its campuses in Brandon, Winnipeg, Dauphin and Portage la Prairie.

René Ouellette with Southern Health Human Resources says the Otterburne site will provide an opportunity for students in the eastern part of our region to get their post-secondary education closer to home.

"We look forward to strengthening our relationship with Assiniboine, developing a new relationship with Providence and helping our region meet the high demand for nurses."

Providence University College President Kenton Anderson added his support noting "the need for practical nurses is significant and we are pleased to be sharing in this initiative alongside Assiniboine and Southern Health Santé Sud. Together we can accomplish more. We are pleased to welcome you to Providence, Assiniboine Community College!"

Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration Jon Reyes says "Our Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy calls for programs to ensure people have more access to post-secondary education in Manitoba in sectors with high labour demand, such as health care. Assiniboine’s rural rotating nursing sites are an important contributor to the province’s goal of increasing nursing seats in the coming year."