The bachelor of science in nursing program once offered by Great Plains College in Swift Current appears to be returning.

President and CEO of Great Plains College Brad Mahon shared yesterday at the City's governance & priorities committee meeting they're moving toward the degree being offered in Swift Current by September 2025.

Talks between the college and the University of Saskatchewan's College of Nursing began last summer to bring the four-year program to the southwest. It culminated in a site visit from the university in January.

"Not only did the whole team from U Sask come down and tour our campus but they also spent some time touring some of the SHA facilities here in town," Great Plains College President and CEO Brad Mahon told Swift Current's city council. "It's created a bit of a buzz and probably the worst kept secret but I mean that in a good way."

brad_mahon_apr24_dzBrad Mahon presenting Great Plains College's updates with the City.

Mahon has been at the helm of the college for two years and has made it a personal mission to bring more programs to the Swift Current campus. The bachelor of science in nursing was previously offered through SIAST and the University of Regina locally until 2017.

"There's really strong support for this through the SHA and from the (provincial) government too," he said. "I would be remiss to say our MLA Everett Hindley has been very supportive and we appreciate his work on this. We're impatiently going through the process."

A memorandum of understanding is being crafted, with the University of Saskatchewan then submitting it to the College of Registered Nurses of Saskatchewan. The college anticipates the memorandum of understanding will be signed locally in June or July to make it official.

"I know how important it was back when we had it here," Swift Current's mayor Al Bridal said. "We had some nurses graduate that likely wouldn't have otherwise because of family responsibilities. Being able to take the nursing here made it available for them to become registered nurses."

The degree through the University of Saskatchewan is already being offered in Lloydminster and will be launching in North Battleford and La Ronge through their Learn Where You Live approach.

Great Plains College is also in talks with the University of Regina and Saskatchewan Polytechnic to potentially bring a program to Swift Current that would allow licensed practical nurses a chance to upgrade to a registered nurse with a two-year course.