UBCO offers an Indigenous Master of Science in Nursing pathway

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Elders, community organizations, and UBCO students, faculty, staff and researchers gathered to celebrate UBC Indigenous Strategic Strategies funding of a new Indigenous Graduate Nursing Education Pathway. Some Home Circle members are included in the photo (from left): Amber Froste Nlaka’pamux Tribal Nation, UBC MSN student, Elder Advisor Diana Moar Berens River First Nation, Elder Advisor Eric Mitchell Okanagan Indian Band, Karlyn Olsen UBCO School of Nursing, Elder Advisor Chris Marchand Okanagan Indian Band, April Coulson, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Nation, and Donna Kurtz, Kathy Rush and Dennis Jasper from the UBCO School of Nursing.

On its committed path to reconciliation, UBC Okanagan has taken another step forward—this time exploring a new aspect of thematic instruction in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program.

The university has introduced this new layer of thematic instruction specifically for Indigenous registered nurses or registered nurses who work with Indigenous peoples, organizations or communities. The goal is to address racism in the health-care industry—and support Indigenous nurses or nurses working with Indigenous Peoples, organizations and agencies—while meeting community-identified needs and processes of incorporating Indigenous knowledge within mainstream nursing education and practice, explains Dr. Donna Kurtz, an Associate Professor with UBCO’s School of Nursing.

“Canada’s universal health-care system is one of the best in the world, yet Indigenous Peoples continue to experience poor health outcomes due to colonialism and racism,” says Dr. Kurtz, an Indigenous scholar and nurse working with interdisciplinary Indigenous community-led health promotion research and programs since 2003. “Nurses are central to health program development, implementation, improvement and maintenance. They are pivotal in working holistically with Indigenous communities for mental wellness, health promotion, illness prevention and even the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Read the full story here: UBC Okanagan News