A new Okanagan College online program focused on gastroenterological care addresses a national need among practicing nurses.
The 302-hour gastroenterology nursing certificate program provides online curriculum (the theory portion is 232 hours) bolstered by a practicum.
“We need to recognize the role that Interior Health played in development of this program,” said Dennis Silvestrone, Okanagan College’s director of continuing studies.
“Administrators and nursing staff identified the need for this program and the national lack thereof.
“They have since been intimately involved in developing and reviewing curriculum and we have enjoyed the support of the Canadian Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates.”
Denise Dunton, Interior Health’s surgical services clinical leader, says the need for such a program became obvious after discussions with gastroenterological nurses and administrators.
She checked in with other health authorities and they were supportive of a program being developed.
There is increased demand for the specialty training.
Dunton says that since the B.C. Cancer Agency launched a colon screening program in 2013, the number of colonoscopy procedures at Interior Health have increased substantially.
The Okanagan College program launches its first intake in October.
The program is focused on providing practicing nurses with the knowledge and practical skills for entry into endoscopy-room nursing. It includes theory, demonstrations, and practical skill training.
To review admission requirements or for more information, visit Okanagan.bc.ca/GINursing