To recruit Aboriginal youths into nursing programs and increase the number of nurses in Aboriginal communities in British Columbia, government has issued a request for proposals to Aboriginal organizations, post-secondary institutions and nursing groups for funding totalling $500,000, announced Health Minister George Abbott.
?Our Aboriginal Nursing Strategies support our commitment to provide Aboriginal communities in British Columbia with quality nursing programs and first-rate health care,? said Abbott.
?With this new funding, our government has provided over $1.5 million for Aboriginal Nursing Strategies, which further supports the Province?s First Nations Health Plan to help close the health gap between First Nations and non-First Nations people by 2015.?
The 2007/08 Aboriginal Nursing Strategies are part of government?s B.C. Nursing Strategy to educate, retain and recruit the best qualified nurses in British Columbia. The B.C. Nursing Strategy applies to registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, licensed practical nurses and nurse practitioners.
In May 2007, government invested an additional $28 million ? including $500,000 for Aboriginal Nursing ? in B.C.?s Nursing Strategy. Since 2001, the Province has invested $174 million in B.C.?s Nursing Strategy.
For the 2007/08 Aboriginal Nursing Strategies RFP, funding will be allocated to projects that promote the strategic goals within one of the four funding categories. The four funding categories are:
o Recruiting and/or Supporting Aboriginal Students into Nursing Programs,
o Recruiting and Retaining Aboriginal Nurses,
o Nursing Services in Aboriginal Communities in B.C., and
o Developing Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Materials in Aboriginal Communities.
As part of the criteria for funding, government encourages partnerships between Aboriginal organizations, Bands, Tribal Councils, Health Authority Aboriginal Advisory Councils and nursing groups or post-secondary nursing programs.
The deadline for project applications is 2 p.m. on Aug. 15, 2007 ? with funded projects being announced in September. All projects that are selected as part of the request for proposals must be completed by March 31, 2008.
In the 2006/07 Aboriginal Nursing Strategies, Lytton First Nation received $30,000 to establish a hiring and retention committee and implement cross-cultural education activities in participating Nlaka?pamux communities. Another example included Camosun College receiving $29,409 to provide Aboriginal students planning to enter the nursing program with workshops and tutoring for some courses, time management and exam writing strategies and match students with faculty mentors.