Quebec to offer online degrees for nurses
November 20, 2019
MONTREAL – The first online bachelor’s degree in nursing in Quebec will be offered at McGill University’s Ingram School of Nursing, thanks to the generosity of the Doggone Foundation. The program will be offered in both French and English.
“Our healthcare system is in desperate need of nurses,” said Chantal Souligny (pictured), director of nursing at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). “Offering this degree online will help nurses remain on the job while they study. In addition, the importance of training the next generation of nurse leaders is clear: encouraging more of our nurses to access a university degree and therefore developing their leadership capabilities is essential for the optimal functioning of our healthcare system.”
Only 46 percent of Quebec nurses hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to the Ordre des infimières et infirmiers du Québec; the remaining 54 percent holds a DEC. Comparatively, in other Canadian provinces, 63 to 73 percent of nurses have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Encouraging more nurses in Quebec to earn a bachelor’s degree offers many advantages, an important one being patient safety: Studies have shown that a 10 percent increase in bachelor-educated nurses results in a 4 to 7 percent decrease in failure-to-rescue and inpatient deaths. A bachelor’s degree is also the path to becoming a nurse leader, researcher, educator and/or a nurse practitioner.
“We are proud to support this educational first in Quebec,” said Paul R. Marchand, president and executive director of the Doggone Foundation, which has donated $1 million to the Ingram School of Nursing and to the MUHC Foundation to launch the online program.
“When Elspeth McConnell started this foundation, it was in large part to help Montreal achieve and maintain world-class status in scientific and medical excellence. This project to begin the first online Bachelor of Nursing program will do just that,” continued Mr. Marchand. “It will enable nurses all over Quebec, whether anglophone or francophone, to prepare for a healthcare system that requires research skills and innovative thinking to improve patient outcomes. It will allow nurses, many of whom are already in jobs caring for us, to expand their knowledge base, strengthen their critical thinking skills and prepare to take on expanded roles in the community and in critical care. The program will be a large piece of the puzzle to improve healthcare in Quebec.”
“With gifts like these, the Doggone Foundation demonstrates the power that philanthropy can have in breaking down barriers that exist to improve our educational and healthcare systems,” said Julie Quenneville, president of the MUHC Foundation. “The Doggone Foundation has been instrumental in strengthening the MUHC and McGill University through its generous support – helping these institutions maintain their reputations as global leaders in compassionate patient care, education and innovative research.”
The Ingram School of Nursing’s online BNI program is currently in development and is expected to launch in September 2021.