Bridging the nursing gap

The gastroenterology nursing certificate program at Okanagan College is seeking students

B.C. hospitals could face a crunch as an increased number of patients comes at the same time as nurses retire.

The gastroenterology nursing certificate program at Okanagan College aims to help health authorities bridge the skills gap in an increasingly in-demand specialization.

“This program has been well received by the first group of Interior Health nurses participating in the studies as well as by their managers,” said  Denise Dunton, the Interior Health Authority’s surgical services clinical leader.

Okanagan College launched the program last October, after consultation with IHA and with the support of the Canadian Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates.

The program is delivered online and focuses on providing practicing nurses with the knowledge and skills for endoscopy-room nursing. It includes 232 hours of theory and a 70-hour practicum.

The next intake for the program is Sept. 12.

Dunton is excited about the program’s ongoing development and the need it is filling.

“Feedback has been excellent and I am pleased to be supporting the second cohort of students in this comprehensive program,” she said.

To review admission requirements or for more information about the gastroenterology nursing certificate program, visit