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Province will refund tuition for rural nurse practitioners

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Students who graduate as nurse practitioners will be eligible for grants to cover their tuition costs if they agree to work in rural communities, the province announced this morning.

Through the new grant, students will be eligible for funding of up to $10,000 to fully cover the cost of tuition in exchange for a year working as a nurse practitioner in a designated rural community after graduation.

"Our government is committed to training more nurse practitioners and ensuring we can recruit them to the communities that need them the most," said Erin Selby, advanced education and literacy minister, in a news release. "The new Nurse Practitioner Education Grant will fully cover the cost of tuition to support nurses who want to become nurse practitioners and work in rural communities across Manitoba."

Applications for the new grants will be available starting this fall, as the expanded nurse practitioner class begins their studies at the University of Manitoba.

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with a master’s level education and clinical experience that allows them to diagnose illnesses, treat conditions, prescribe medications and order diagnostic tests.

"Nurse practitioners are playing a larger role in meeting the health needs of all Manitobans, offering high-quality care in Winnipeg as well as in rural and northern Manitoba," said Sandra Christie, president of the Nurse Practitioners Association of Manitoba. "The Manitoba government's new fully funded tuition grant will support more students as they train to become nurse practitioners and help to recruit more nurse practitioners to rural and northern communities across Manitoba."

Last year, Manitoba’s nursing workforce grew by 378 nurses and nurse practitioners, bringing the total to 17,652 working across the province in 2013 – an all-time high according to registration statistics recently released by Manitoba's independent nursing colleges.

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Updated on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 12:13 PM CDT: adds photo

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