First class from local UNBC nursing program graduating

The first graduates of UNBC’s nursing program in Fort St. John will walk the stage next Friday.

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A lab set up for students in the Northern Baccalaureate Nursing program with a dummy in a bed and a whiteboard in the background.
Lab and dummy for the Northern Baccalaureate Nursing program students. (Shailynn Foster,

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The first graduates of the University of Northern British Columbia’s nursing program in Fort St. John will walk the stage next Friday.

Nine students will receive their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees during the convocation at the Pomeroy Hotel & Conference on June 2nd.

The Northern Baccalaureate Nurse program at the UNBC’s Peace River Liard campus was designed for those who live in the north and want to continue working in the region after graduation.

Dr. Raelene Marceau, a coordinator for the UNBC’s Northern Baccalaureate Nursing program, said the program essentially starts students in year three or four of a typical nursing program, as the prerequisites include a list of university-level courses.

Marceau said it’s an immersive baccalaureate nursing program that lasts 18 months or five semesters.

Once the program is completed, students are eligible to write the NCLEX-RN, qualifying them to work as registered nurses.

Some of the students have previously stated they intended to stay in Fort St. John to work.

According to Northern Health, there are 92 nursing job openings and 164 jobs available in Fort St. John.

The UNBC will grant 843 credentials in five northern B.C. communities this year, including Fort St. John, Terrace and Quesnel.

During the convocation in Fort St. John, there will also be eight graduates obtaining their Bachelor of Social Work degrees.

For more information on the Northern Baccalaureate Nurse program, including the complete list of prerequisites, visit UNBC’s website.

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