Quebec opens new school for Nurse Practitioners in Laval

New medical training facility will be located at Cité de la Santé hospital

As part of a series of ongoing efforts to meet the demand for trained and skilled medical personnel, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé with Higher Education Minister Pascale Déry recently announced the opening of the province’s first university-level clinical and teaching institution for specialized nurse practitioners in Laval.

This new teaching facility, the result of a partnership with the CISSS de Laval and the nursing faculty at University of Montreal, will be training nurse practitioners for the province’s health care system.

Helping reduce pressure

Provincial and regional health officials see the opening of the new school/clinic as a long-awaited opportunity to advance and promote a new generation of advance practice nurses in Quebec.

Graduates from the new facility are also expected to help reduce pressures on hospital emergency departments, with an immediate impact expected to be felt at Laval’s Cité de la Santé hospital.

Nurses from the unit are expected to begin seeing patients, adults and children alike, from Laval and the Lower Laurentians who are experiencing health problems requiring immediate medical attention, and who are referred by staff in the emergency department at Cité de la Santé.

Fixing labour shortage

The facility will be open Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 am to 8 pm, as well as on weekends from 8 am to noon. The opening of the facility is the fulfillment of a pledge Health Minister Dubé previously made to open several nurse practitioner clinics in Quebec. The one in Laval is the first such clinic.

The Quebec health ministry believes that not only will the increased availability of nurse practioners help reduce overcrowding in emergency departments, but that training more nurse practitioners will also help resolve the province’s ongoing labour shortage.

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé.

“I am pleased by the launch of this first school/clinic, which answers to the real pledge by the government to find quick answers for the situation in emergency departments in Quebec,” Dubé said in a statement.

Additional human resources

“This school/clinic model also allows us to propose an additional solution for human resources needs through the training of new nurse practioners and clinical nurses by making internships available. I wish to thank all the teams who have been working had in order to allow us to continue to answer to the health and clinical care needs everywhere in the province.”

“This new clinic-school is a good example of the key cooperation between the university sector and the health and social services network,” said Quebec Miniter for Higher Education Pascale Déry.

“This allows us simultaneously to train replacement workers in nursing care in Quebec, while providing the population improved access to front-line health services. We will continue to invest in the training of nurses in order to offer students stimulating learning environments and quality services for the entire community.”

‘Good news,’ says Skeete

“The situation in the emergency departments of the region is as difficult for personnel as it is for users,” said Sainte-Rose MNA Christopher Skeete. “The opening of this first clinic-school is good news. This is an innovative solution that will make new services available to the population of Laval.”

CAQ MNA for Laval’s Sainte-Rose riding Christopher Skeete.

“I share the pride and joy of everyone who worked so intensely on this project over the past few months,” said Laval-des-Rapides MNA Céline Haytayan. “This approach for a clinic-school being brought forward moves me a lot. For the people of Laval, it is very good news. We will thus be able to reduce overcrowding at Cité de la Santé hospital, while contributing to the training of future nurses. I would like to salute the commitment of all the partners who united their efforts around this project.”

More treatment spaces

According to the health and higher education ministries, the opening of the new clinic-school will create 210 additional places per week for front-line medical treatment. Nurse practitioners have received advanced training at the university level in medical care. Since 2021, they have been able to diagnose chronic illnesses, prescribe diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, determine medical treatments without the direct supervision of a doctor. At the same time, they work closely with other health professionals.