Investing in a healthy Alberta
This spring, four Athabasca University nursing students who live in central and northern Alberta received some extra recognition for their hard work when they were awarded $2,500 scholarships.
The scholarships were created through support from the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and were given to students with a minimum GPA of 3.6.
“We’re delighted that the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation has recognized some of our most motivated, passionate nursing students with these scholarships,” says Dr. Margaret Edwards, acting dean of the Faculty of Health Disciplines at AU. “These students will be the nursing professionals that communities across central and northern Alberta turn to for health-care leadership in the future.”
Over 200 of AU’s 1,000 Bachelor of Nursing (BN) students live in central and northern Alberta, in communities large and small. The focus of the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation on this region meshes well not only with the location of many of AU’s nursing students, but also with AU’s mandate, Edwards says.
“We strive to serve rural and remote populations both in Alberta and beyond, so it was extra fitting to work with the foundation on creating scholarships that would help our nursing students stay in their communities while they complete their degree.”
In Alberta, a bachelor’s degree in nursing has been the minimum educational requirement for working as an RN (registered nurse) since 2010. AU offers a Post-RN BN as well as a Post-LPN (licensed practical nurse) BN that prepares graduates to write the Canadian Registered Nurse Exam and apply for licensure as an RN. Two of the foundation scholarships were awarded to Post-RN BN students, while the other two were awarded to Post-LPN BN students.
“The investment from the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation has had an immediate, positive impact on our students, and it will have a long-term impact on the quality of health care services for residents of central and northern Alberta,” says Edwards.
“The foundation strives to demonstrate philanthropic leadership in the areas of youth, education, health and wellness,” adds Natalie Minckler, executive director of the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation. “The scholarships we provided for students at Athabasca University couldn’t be a better fit. It truly exemplifies our efforts to work together and make northern Alberta a better place to live.”