Continuing education for nurses is about to become more accessible thanks to a gift from the Doggone Foundation. The $1 million donation will fund the development of the Bachelor of Nursing (Integrated) BNI Online Program, designed especially for working nurses with a Quebec diploma in nursing (DEC). A joint gift to the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Foundation and McGill University, the Doggone Foundation’s donation will fund development of the BNI at McGill’s Ingram School of Nursing. When it launches in 2021, the program is expected to be widely used at the MUHC.

“The importance of training the next generation of nurse leaders is clear,” says Chantal Souligny, Head of Nursing at the MUHC. “Encouraging more of our nurses to access a university degree and therefore develop their leadership capabilities is primordial for the optimal functioning of our health care system.”

The BNI will advance students’ professional practice by expanding their knowledge base, strengthening critical thinking skills, promoting a strengths-based, family-centred perspective, and preparing them for expanded roles in community and critical care.

“We are grateful to the Doggone Foundation for this generous gift,” says Julie Quenneville, President of the MUHC Foundation. “It will ensure our nurses are highly trained and have opportunities for career growth, which will translate into excellence in patient care.”

Paul Marchand, Executive Director of the Doggone Foundation.

“Nurses are a key part of keeping our citizens healthy, and giving them the opportunity to further their expertise is something the foundation feels strongly about,” says Paul Marchand, Executive Director of the Doggone Foundation. “The MUHC and McGill are leaders in health globally, and funding projects where they can work together will further strengthen health care in Montreal, Canada and the world. Increasing and broadening the skills of nurses throughout Quebec will also lead to the increase of nurse practitioners at a time when the Ministry of Health has recognized the need for such specialized services in our health care system.”

The BNI Online Program will be a first for Quebec. “Despite research showing that online instruction can lead to similar or better nursing student outcomes, no Quebec university currently offers online university-level full academic programs in nursing in either language,” explains Dr. Anita Gagnon, Associate Dean, Faculty of Medicine, and Director, Ingram School of Nursing at McGill University.

The Doggone Foundation has been a steadfast supporter of the MUHC and McGill for many years. This is the second joint gift to the two institutions. In 2018, the foundation gave a landmark $15 million in support of the McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity (MI4).

Photo credit Owen Egan/Joni Dufour

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