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Innovative Nursing programs achieves maximum accreditation

Nipissing’s innovative approach to nursing education, the Scholar Practitioner Program (SPP), has earned a full seven-year accreditation, the maximum term allowed, from the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing.  This is a sign of excellence from a national and international perspective.

The two-year accelerated program is based out of Toronto.  Since its launch in September 2011, the program has graduated 52 students, and was granted a 7-year accreditation status in June 2015. 

The SPP is an intensive two-year, six-semester, Bachelor of Science in Nursing second degree entry program that is open to students who already have a degree in any field of study.   It provides greater opportunity for students to work and learn in a variety of complex health care settings, receiving hands-on, practical experience and directing their own learning in collaboration with academic faculty. 

The program was designed to reshape how and where students learn to nurse while providing a rich and diverse learning experience that maximizes resources like time, space, money and energy.  It is creating the next generation of nurses and scholar practitioners who will change the future of health care delivery by being well developed leaders.

Students spend more than 200 hours per semester immersed in one of the partner health care settings, equating to over 1,200 practical hours during the two-year program.  A three-week intensive in-class session, geared to facilitated group work and case-based study, precedes a practical and reflective component of each semester. The  Toronto-based affiliate partners where students can engage in experiential learning that includes SickKids Hospital, Toronto Public Health, and University Health Network. 

The program was created by Nipissing's School of Nursing, the University Health Network, the Hospital for Sick Children, Baycrest, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Mount Sinai and Toronto Public Health. 

 “The SPP redefines Nursing education and is quite different from most Nursing programs in Canada,” said Dr. Rick Vanderlee, Dean of the Faculty of Applied and Professional Schools at Nipissing University.  “It is rewarding for everyone who has helped to create and grow the program that the national accrediting body has recognized its unique value and saw its strengths to give it a full seven-year accreditation.”

For more information on the SPP, including a short video description, visit​

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