News release

Province Invests in Training More Nurses

Premier's Office
Health and Wellness
Advanced Education

Anyone interested in becoming a nurse in Nova Scotia will have more options as the Province is increasing the number of nursing seats across the province, with many opening this fall.

Premier Tim Houston announced today, May 11, the government will support a new nursing program at Acadia University, in partnership with Cape Breton University, and add more seats at Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC).

These new seats are in addition to the 200 seats announced last year, financial incentives to retain nurses and job offers for every graduating nurse, among other efforts to grow and support the healthcare workforce.

“We have a long-term plan for healthcare in Nova Scotia and that includes working with post-secondary institutions to find every possible solution to train more healthcare workers, faster, here at home,” said Premier Houston. “We know Nova Scotia needs more nurses and we’re pulling out all the stops to ensure they have a nurse when they need one. More nursing seats means more opportunities for people to learn, work, live and to care for people in communities across the province.”

The new nursing program at Acadia University will be a satellite site of Cape Breton University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. The program will start in September 2023, and eventually transition to a standalone program at Acadia.

NSCC will expand its practical nursing program intake with 30 additional seats at each of the following six campuses: Annapolis Valley, Lunenburg, Strait Area, Truro beginning in September 2023, and Burridge and Kingstec beginning in January 2024, for a total of 180 new seats.

These projects will advance Action for Health, the Province’s plan to improve and transform healthcare in Nova Scotia, by investing in education and training opportunities to ensure the health needs of communities are met.


“Nursing is one of the most critical professions in the world. Acadia University is encouraged to see Premier Houston's commitment and the government’s investment in providing more avenues for skilled nurse training in Nova Scotia. Through this strategic collaboration, residents in rural and remote areas can now access exceptional educational opportunities and make valuable contributions to the province's healthcare sector.”

– Peter Ricketts, President and Vice-Chancellor, Acadia University

“Quality nurses are foundational to any strong healthcare system, and we are thrilled that Premier Houston recognizes this and is taking action to create more opportunities to train skilled nurses in Nova Scotia. This partnership with Acadia University will allow more educational opportunities outside the urban core and enhance access to exceptional nurses in more rural and remote areas of our great province.”

– David Dingwall, President, Cape Breton University

“With this significant investment to support the creation of 180 additional practical nursing seats, the college will be able to augment its training capacity to help support the real needs in this vital caring sector.”

– Don Bureaux, President, NSCC

“We have strong partnerships with academic institutions across the province and increasing nursing seats is a great example of this partnership in action. Increasing nursing seats provides more opportunities for students to train and work in the province while enhancing our access to qualified professionals and access to care for all Nova Scotians. It is a win-win situation.”

– Gail Tomblin Murphy, Vice-President Research, Innovation and Discovery and Chief Nurse Executive, Nova Scotia Health

Quick Facts:

  • the Province will provide $1.9 million to Acadia to establish the nursing program and $2.1 million to NSCC to expand its practical nursing program
  • about 50 per cent of the nursing seats in the program at Acadia University will be designated to Mi’kmaq, Indigenous and African Nova Scotia people
  • the program at Acadia University will graduate 42 nurses in 2026 and 63 nurses every year after

Additional Resources:

Government Invests in More Nursing Seats:

New Practical Nursing Program Will Train 30 L’nu Students:

All Graduating Nurses to Get Job Offers: