Aboriginal Initiatives

Pathway for Aboriginal Students

Aboriginal Pathway

The College of Nursing knows the journey to become a Registered Nurse starts before your first day of classes and continues after you write your last exam. We are interested in ensuring successful Aboriginal nursing students become successful Aboriginal nurses. That’s why we are providing a variety of supports for Aboriginal students to transition into the College of Nursing and transition out into the nursing workforce.

Our UCAN advisors can help you on your pathway to a nursing career, beginning with health career awareness camps, science and math bursaries for high school and pre-professional year prerequisites, support and advising while you complete your BSN, a mentorship program to help with your transition to the workforce, NCLEX preparation and encouragement to continue your education with our graduate-level programming to prepare you for advanced practice, administration, research or teaching.

Wherever you are on your pathway to a nursing career, you can contact a UCAN advisor to help you on your way.

The University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing has been offering health career exploration camps for several years, in partnership with other health science colleges. Some of these events include the Northern Lights Health Career Symposium, Discovery Days and local events, such as the Yorkton Tribal Council Health Career Workshop Café. These events are intended to provide hands-on, interactive learning opportunities from a variety of health professions, such as taking blood pressures, making casts for “limbs” made from plumbing pipe and suturing incisions in pig’s feet. They also provide opportunities for students to hear from and meet with local role models to discuss with students their pathway to a health profession and can lead to mentoring and job shadowing opportunities.

In order to support rural Aboriginal students to successfully enter the University of Saskatchewan Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, the College of Nursing will provide funding up to $500 per student per year in tutorial, instructional and other assistance to complete the math and science prerequisites.

Resources that support high school (e.g. Chemistry 30, Foundations of Math 30/Precalculus 30, Biology 30) and/or the pre-professional year (e.g. Chemistry 112, Statistics - one of STAT 244.3, 245.3, 246.3 or PLSC 214.3, Nutrition 120, Biology 120, or their equivalents) math and science courses are eligible for reimbursement (e.g. textbooks, online course fees, tutor expenses, examination fees) pending approval from UCAN advisors.

Students must be: (1) First Nations, Métis, or Inuit; (2) have attended or are attending a rural (population < 10,000) or Band high school; and (3) have declared a strong interest in pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree through the University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing.

Expenses can either be paid directly by the College of Nursing, can be reimbursed directly to the student with a receipt or can be paid to the Band or Local upon invoicing. Please consult a UCAN advisor to determine the best repayment option. Reimbursement takes approximately three to four weeks.

The application process is fast and easy. Apply today by completing this form and emailing it to the UCAN advisor nearest you.

As the College of Nursing has moved to a 1 + 3 model, there is a need to connect frequently and meaningfully with pre-professional year students.  Learning communities seek to provide Aboriginal pre-professional year students opportunities to feel a sense of belonging and identity with the University of Saskatchewan and College of Nursing and be supported academically and personally as they meet the requirements to apply to the College of Nursing. Saskatoon pre-professional year students should also consider signing up for the Arts and Science Aboriginal Student Achievement Program (ASAP), which has a special Medicine Wheel learning community tailored to pre-nursing courses.

All pre-professional year students, at any campus, are invited to participate in the College of Nursing and College of Arts & Science's Summer Orientation Camp at the Saskatoon Campus, held annually in August. The camp provides students with an orientation to biology and math concepts, lab tours, academic coaching, as well as social activities.

There is no cost involved and students receive free accommodation at the residences and meal cards. Travel bursaries are available to out of town (>100km) students.

Contact a UCAN advisor to register today.

The College of Nursing has been a national leader in providing personal, tutorial and academic support to Aboriginal nursing students through its University of Saskatchewan Community of Aboriginal Nursing (UCAN) program, formerly the Native Access Program to Nursing (NAPN), to help increase the number of Aboriginal people in the nursing profession. Current Aboriginal nursing students seeking assistance or anyone interested in applying to the College in the future, should contact a UCAN advisor today!

The College of Nursing is looking to prepare its graduates for transition to the workplace, ensuring successful Aboriginal nursing students become successful Aboriginal Registered Nurses (RNs). We have been working with the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada, as well as health regions and authorities across the province, to develop a roster of mentors and a framework to support a mentorship program in the fourth and final year of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

For more information on the mentorship program, please contact the Aboriginal Mentorship Program Coordinator.

Students should also expect and be prepared to study for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX); UCAN advisors can provide supports to ensure success in this regard.

The University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing has established a $5,000 entrance scholarship for up to five (5) incoming first year graduate students of Aboriginal ancestry. Students of Aboriginal ancestry are automatically considered for the scholarship upon acceptance into a graduate nursing program and do not need to apply separately.

The University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing offers three programs leading to the Master of Nursing (MN) degree: Course-Based, Thesis and Nurse Practitioner (NP); as well as a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD).

The College of Nursing hopes to prepare Aboriginal Registered Nurses, who complete the graduate program, for leadership and advanced practice positions in health care, educator roles and nursing and health research. Two equity seats have been set aside for Aboriginal applicants in the Nurse Practitioner program and all Aboriginal applicants meeting minimum requirements will be accepted to the MN (course and thesis based) and PhD programs.

Our MN (course-based and thesis-based) programs are accessible from our campuses in Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Regina, as well as via distance learning (online and videoconference), as is a majority of the MN (NP) program. Part-time options are also available.