Earlier this week, I joined our nursing students, Rylee Stechkewich and Megan Day, along with the Minister of Health, Audrey Gordon and the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration, Jon Reyes, to announce 30 additional seats to RRC Polytech’s Bachelor of Nursing program.

Rylee and Megan were essential to this week’s announcement as they are the next generation of nurses entering the health care system in Manitoba. Listening to them both speak about the confidence, skills, and support they’ve received while in the nursing program made me feel incredibly proud to be a part of an institution that prepares our students so they are ready to make a difference in their careers on the first day.

At the College, all of you play a role in creating a learning environment where it’s ok to make mistakes, learn, and grow. Rylee and Megan are just one example of how that happens daily. It’s also an advantage we have as a polytechnic institution where we focus on experiential learning, and it’s also a cornerstone of our strategic plan.

Our students couldn’t say enough about their appreciation for their instructors and how our nursing program gave them the confidence to participate in their clinical practicums in the first year of their studies.

The announcement also showcased how nimble RRC Polytech is and how our work aligns with Manitoba’s labour and health care needs. The innovation and commitment of the Dean, Chair, Academic Coordinator and the staff and faculty in our nursing program is why our program remains in high demand for Manitobans who want to pursue a career in health care.

I’m pleased to say that those additional seats have already been filled. That means, by the end of the 2022/23 academic year, we will have accepted 180 students who, once graduated, will provide health care to individuals, families, and communities each year.

Every time I’m a part of big announcements like this week, I recognize the power that even one graduate can have. It only takes one person to make a difference in health care, the trades, education, hospitality, and so many other fields.

Thank you to Rylee, Megan, and all future generations of nurses for choosing to study at RRC Polytech, and I look forward to seeing the great work you do.