In the true spirit of collaboration, the University of Lethbridge (U of L) and Lethbridge College have approved a new parchment for graduates of the Nursing Education in Southwestern Alberta (NESA) program. Upon graduation, students will receive a parchment that features the names, logos and officers’ signatures of both the college and the university, reflecting the long-standing and very successful nursing collaboration between the two institutions.
“The approval by our General Faculties Council of the new parchment for the Bachelor of Nursing degree program is a momentous occasion for the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College,” says Dr. Erasmus Okine, U of L provost and vice-president academic. “It reflects the effective and long-standing collaboration in the delivery of the shared nursing program between the two institutions. Together, Lethbridge College and the U of L will continue to produce exceptional students for the health-care system.”
NESA is a four-year Bachelor of Nursing (BN) degree program delivered collaboratively by Lethbridge College and the U of L. Students attend the college for the first two years of their program delivery, before transitioning to the U of L for the final two years to complete their degree. A 24-month After-Degree pathway program is also offered for students who have a previous degree and meet the entry requirements.
“We are appreciative of the work and common spirit that went into the development of this parchment by the leadership and faculty of both institutions,” says Dr. Samantha Lenci, Lethbridge College provost and vice-president academic. “This parchment is an acknowledgement of the important role both the U of L and the college play in the education of our students and in support of the health-care system. We are proud that students will be able to reflect on their entire educational journey when they receive their parchment.”
The NESA program was launched in 2002 and introduced a revised curriculum in September 2020. Throughout the four years of the program, students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a variety of health-care settings, in addition to their on-campus classes and labs. Students study theory and experience clinical practice in the areas of medicine and surgery, long-term care and continuing care, pediatrics, maternity, mental health, rural acute care and community health.
“Our curriculum focuses on the relationships ingrained in nursing, and this collaboration between the college and the U of L is another example of a strong relationship in action,” says Debra Bardock, dean of Lethbridge College’s Centre for Health and Wellness. “All of the NESA faculty, from both institutions, work incredibly well together and share a focus on student success. This collaboration is a true southern Alberta success story.”
Students graduate well-positioned for the challenges of 21st century health care with the opportunity to meet all competencies required of entry-level nurses by the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta. Upon passing the national exam, graduates are prepared to contribute to the health of Canadians as Registered Nurses.
“Faculties in our respective institutions work closely together to deliver a truly integrated nursing curriculum that serves our students and the community with excellence,” says Dr. Shannon Spenceley, dean of Health Sciences at the U of L. “This parchment is one way of honouring our long-standing and extremely effective collaboration.”
The collaborative parchment will come into effect beginning with the February 2022 conferral of degrees.