News / Winnipeg

Manitoba offers incentive for nurse practitioners to keep it rural

The provincial government is hoping new tuition-covering grants will entice graduating nurse practitioners (NPs) to work in rural communities.

The plan, announced Tuesday by Health Minister Theresa Oswald and Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Erin Selby, will see up to $10,000 in tuition costs covered for eligible NPs who take jobs for at least one year in communities that have a hard time attracting medical professionals.

“There’ll be chances for NPs to work on their craft in situations that are quite unlike an urban setting,” said Oswald, who was quick to add the grants aren’t intended to have NPs replace doctors in rural communities. “What we are learning is that when NPs and registered nurses and physicians can work in a collaborative model… that’s where Manitobans are going to get the best care.”

Working in clinics, ERs, personal care home and other facilities NPs can diagnose illnesses, write prescriptions, and perform some of the same procedures traditionally done by doctors.

Applications for the new grants will be available starting in the fall, and the qualifying communities will be determined over the course of the school year, said Oswald.

The province has budgeted for eight students to take advantage of the grant this year, but Oswald said she wouldn’t rule out expanding the program if there’s a demand.

More on Metronews.ca