The Rural Education and Advanced Learning (REAL) Program is intended to further the health of rural Albertans by supporting the access of rural health professionals to continuing professional development and skills enrichment training and education opportunities that will help them better address the health needs of their communities. This initiative is aimed at rural Nurse Practitioners, nurses, midwives, and allied health professionals who are non-union employees or in private/independent practice.
One of RhPAP’s key strategic goals is “to expand and formalize RhPAP’s programs to other key rural health professionals.” Aligned with this goal, the REAL Program has been modelled after RhPAP’s existing Peter K. Lindsay Enrichment Program, which has had tremendous success supporting rural physicians in their continued professional development and skills enrichment. This support enables providers to better deliver high-quality rural health care closer to home. Like all of RhPAP’s continuing professional development initiatives, these programs are designed to support the attraction and retention of a skilled health workforce to rural Alberta.
REAL Program funding will be offered to eligible health professionals to support professional development and skills enrichment training that will help them better meet the health needs of their rural communities.
REAL funding may cover tuition/course fees, accommodations, mileage/travel expenses, course material costs, and locum support for nurse practitioners and midwives, where applicable.
The program has been designed to be flexible, recognizing that the health needs of rural communities vary between communities and that training opportunities need to be able to address these different needs as well as the unique demands of rural practice. As such, applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Employees applying for REAL Program funding are required to provide a letter of support from their manager or supervisor, speaking to the need for this training and how it will benefit the community. An applicant in private or independent practice will be required to provide a reference, usually a health-care colleague, who can speak to their practice and the community need for this training. These references may be contacted as part of the application evaluation process.
Please contact Amy Deagle, Director, Health Professions for more information