Expansion of Secondary Education Seats for Health Care Sector

Res #: 3-22M
Number: 3
Year: 2022
Midterm: Yes
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Advanced Education, Employment and Labour

WHEREAS there is a critical shortage of health care workers in Saskatchewan and throughout Canada.

WHEREAS many institutions cap the training seats available for a variety of reasons, including perceived employment and marketplace capacity.

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to have the Ministry of Advanced Education increase the available training seats and training infrastructure in the Province of Saskatchewan for Primary Care Paramedics, Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN’s) and the bridging program(s) for LPN to Registered Nurse qualifications.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to ensure the Ministry of Advanced Education maintains an active role in ensuring a knowledgeable and engaged Board of Governors is in place for provincial post-secondary institutions.

February 8, 2023

The Ministries of Advanced Education, Health, and Immigration and Career Training, in partnership with the health and post-secondary education sectors, regularly monitor labour market demands and training capacity to ensure our health system has the professionals necessary to serve Saskatchewan people. Budget 2022-23 made record investments in health care, including $4.9 million to expand nurse training by 150 seats across registered nursing, registered psychiatric nursing, and nurse practitioner programs. In addition to Regina and Saskatoon, registered nursing training is available in Lloydminster, Prince Albert, Yorkton, La Range and lie a la Crosse. 

In September 2022, the Government of Saskatchewan launched the Health Human Resources Action Plan that commits to recruit; train, incentivize, and retain health care providers in the province. To support this plan, on January 31, 2023, the province announced an initial investment of $5.5 million to add over 550 new post-secondary training seats for Saskatchewan students across 18 programs. Both the Primary Care Paramedic and Licensed Practical Nursing programs are included in this unprecedented expansion. 

With support from our partners at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Saskatchewan’s regional colleges, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies and Dumont Technical Institute, Advanced Education will add up to 60 Licensed Practical Nurse and Licensed Indigenous Practical Nurse seats, and up to 100 Primary Care Paramedic seats, many of which will be located in rural areas to help more rural and northern students learn where they live. 

In terms of bridging, both the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree offered by the University of Saskatchewan, and the Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing (SCBScN) program offered through a University of Regina and Saskatchewan Polytechnic partnership, have bridging admission opportunities for licensed practical nurses (LPN). Government continues to work with its partners in the health and post-secondary sectors to explore the potential for more opportunities to help existing health care providers like LPNs, ladder into other health careers needed to support our province. 

The Ministry of Advanced Education actively works with its sector partners to ensure that postsecondary institution boards in Saskatchewan have qualified, knowledgeable and engaged board members. All post-secondary institution boards employ a skills/competency matrix to ensure that boards and their membership have the required mix of skills, knowledge and experience, as well as the personal, social and professional attributes, needed for board leadership. 

The Honourable Gordon S. Wyant K.C. – Minister of Advanced Education, Saskatchewan of Advanced Education