A new nursing lab and technology upgrades are now complete at the Langley campus of Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), allowing the university to expand its program and graduate more nurses.
A new nurse training facility opened at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Langley on Tuesday that will enable a near 50 per cent increase in graduates. pic.twitter.com/GuWMZ8tnMw
— Langley Advance Times (@LangleyTimes) October 11, 2023
Tuesday, Langley MLA Andrew Mercier, minister of state for workforce development, joined KPU Faculty of Health students and instructors for a ribbon-cutting and a tour of the new education space, a former classsroom converted to a practice ward with simulated patients at the Langley campus.
“We know we need to train nurses so they can begin their careers and provide the care that British Columbians need,” Mercier said, “to make sure that we’re graduating the nurses we need for the next decade.”
Langley East MLA Megan Dykeman called it a “massive accomplishment.”
“We’re really fortunate to have this campus right here in Langley,” Dykeman remarked, describing the KPU nursing program as “already successful and highly respected.”
With the additional 115 new nursing seats, the university now offers 364 seats annually up from 249, a 46 per cent increase.
Sharmen Lee, dean of the Faculty of Health at KPU, said the new facility has been nicknamed “KPU Hospital” because it resembles a hospital ward, with its beds and simulated patients.
“If you look at it it pretty much looks like a hospital,” Lee commented.
“In fact, we kind of joke about the fact that when you walk through those doors, you’re in KPU hospital.”
Nursing student Samantha Mostoghiu compared the level of training to what she received when she was working for a private company in healthcare and group homes with quadruplegics and seizure disorders
“They give you eight weeks, really condensed education training,” she said, “and then they let you go into the workforce. If I would have had the opportunity to have the proper education, and schooling, and practice I could have done a much better job.”
University president Dr. Alan Davis called the new facility “a great vote of confidence for us.”
KPU’s nursing programs are based at the university’s Langley campus, which now has five nursing labs, four simulation labs, and a home care lab, in addition to classrooms and study areas.
The nursing labs are each equipped with life-sized computer-controlled patient simulators that manifest a wide array of physiological and neurological symptoms allowing learners to fully immerse themselves in a simulated health care environment.
Last year, the province announced funding for an additional 602 new nursing seats at 17 post-secondary institutions to deal with the shortage in nurses in B.C., in addition to the about 2,000 already in existence.
At the time, B.C. Nurses’ Union president Aman Grewal called the new nursing seats a “promising” step.
“Nurses staffing levels were already critical before the pandemic, responsible for creating cracks in the system that have only deepened,” Grewal said.
“Now, our nurses are tired, they are burnt out and they need more support.”
“What we need is more nurses,” she added.