VIHA OFFERS FREE EDUCATION FOR NURSES

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					                              NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 10, 2007


            VIHA OFFERS FREE EDUCATION FOR NURSES
VICTORIA – The Vancouver Island Health Authority is offering to fully finance advanced
education for nurses who are upgrading their skills so they can work in specialty fields,
such as emergency care.

"VIHA's innovative sponsorship program will help to add more specialty nurses to health
facilities on Vancouver Island," said Health Minister George Abbott. "The province is
committed to supporting specialty nurses and continuing education programs as part of our
strategy to recruit, retain and educate nurses."

“Nurses with advanced education are in very high demand provincially – and
internationally,” said John Johnston, VIHA’s Vice President, Human Resources and
Organizational Development. “It just makes good sense to fully support our own
employees who are motivated to pursue certification in specialty fields.”

VIHA’s Nursing Specialty Sponsorship Program pays for the nurses’ regular salaries, plus
their full tuition and book expenses, while they are studying for certification in the following
fields:

•   Emergency Care
•   Operating Room
•   Perinatal Care
•   Adult Critical Care
•   Neonatal Intensive Care
•   Pediatric Intensive Care
•   Renal Care
•   Emergency Mental Health
•   Infection Control
•   Post Anaesthetic Recovery Room

Find out more at: www.viha.ca/news                                                     Page 1 of 2



       Our Vision:        Healthy People, Healthy Island Communities, Seamless Service
To be eligible for VIHA funding, nurses need to research the program they are interested
in, contact the appropriate manager to obtain clinical exposure to the specialty, then apply
for VIHA sponsorship and pass a screening interview. VIHA awards sponsorships three
times per year so nurses have the option of beginning their academic programs in
September, January or April.

VIHA expects to spend up to $1 million dollars in 2007/08 to help 75 nurses achieve
advanced certification in specialty fields.

“Our sponsorship program is a terrific opportunity for nurses,” said Cathy McDonald
VIHA’s Continuing Education Coordinator. “It gives them a chance to advance their skills
without financial hardship, then opens the door to all sorts of exciting new career options.“

The specialty nursing programs, which are offered through BCIT, Vancouver Community
College, Douglas College and Queen’s University, combine distance education with
hands-on clinical practicums. Most nurses can complete their programs without leaving
Vancouver Island.
                                         – 30 –

Contact:
Cathy Dargie
VIHA Communications
250-370-8881




Find out more at: www.viha.ca/news                                                   Page 2 of 2



       Our Vision:        Healthy People, Healthy Island Communities, Seamless Service