First collaborative online Master’s of Nursing degree a success

News Release Release Date: November 26, 2014 11:30 a.m.

The University of Regina and Saskatchewan Polytechnic are pleased with the early success of the Collaborative Nurse Practitioner Program (CNPP). It is the first joint master’s program in Canada that’s offered online, and it means students can earn their Master’s of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) degree by studying in their home communities. For people in small communities, it means they don’t have to move to larger centres, and for people in big cities it means they can study at home and not have to commute to attend traditional face-to-face classes.

 “I am so excited this masters program is offered online. I can do this in my community and it doesn’t take time away from my family,” said Diana Ashfield who lives and studies in Whitewood, Saskatchewan. “There is a real need for nurse practitioners in this part of Southeast Saskatchewan. This was a calling and I want to have the education to fill that calling.”

The program was launched in September 2014 and there are 18 students currently enrolled. Students are from various communities including Regina, Grenfell, Humboldt, Indian Head, Macklin, Martensville, Prince Albert, Watrous and Whitewood.

The program is delivered online, taught by both University of Regina and Saskatchewan Polytechnic faculty using the latest technologies. Full-time students will complete the program in two years; part-time students will complete in four years.

Graduates will improve health care services across Canada - especially in rural, isolated and northern communities, where nurse practitioners often manage the care of patients and their families in primary care settings.

This Collaborative Nurse Practitioner Program is the newest example of partnership between Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the University of Regina. The two institutions first offered the new Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing program three years ago.

“This innovative program demonstrates how the University of Regina is helping to meet the needs of people across Saskatchewan, and not just in Regina,” says Dr. Thomas Chase, University of Regina Provost and Vice-President (Academic).

“Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the University have a strong relationship of working together to meet the needs of students across our province,” says Dr. Anne Neufeld, Saskatchewan Polytechnic Provost and Vice-President Academic.

“This program aligns our post-secondary education system with labour market needs of the health sector,” said Advanced Education Minister Kevin Doherty. “It strengthens opportunities for health professionals to enhance their education, while building a talented and sustainable nursing workforce to meet the needs of our province’s growing population.

Applications are being accepted for openings in September 2015.

The University of Regina is a comprehensive, mid-sized university that traces its roots back to the creation of Regina College in 1911. It now has 200 academic programs, 10 faculties and about 14,000 students. The University of Regina is well known in several areas, including business, education, engineering, journalism and justice studies, and offers online and distance study programs for people throughout Saskatchewan and across Canada.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic is Saskatchewan’s primary public institution for post-secondary technical education and skills training. A member of Polytechnics Canada, Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s programs include apprenticeship training, certificates, diplomas and degrees. The institution serves 26,000 distinct students through campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities.

For more information on the program visit


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