In 1984, the college of nursing at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), the First Nations University of Canada and the University of Regina, with funding from Health Canada, established the National Native Access Program to Nursing (NNAPN). This program promoted nursing to aboriginal people, negotiated access seats for aboriginal students at all Canadian universities and offered a nine-week spring orientation program intended to prepare aboriginal students for the demands of campus life and nursing programs. A restructuring of the program in 1997 made it provincial in scope, becoming NAPN, which focuses on the recruitment, support and retention of aboriginal nursing students at the U of S's Nursing Education Program of Saskatchewan (NEPS). Currently, more than 200 self-identified aboriginal students are enrolled in NEPS. All aboriginal students are encouraged to access the NAPN services and to become involved in NAPN activities. NAPN advisers strive for success and excellence for aboriginal nursing students through support and advocacy (personal issues, social services, individual funding, academic assistance, advocacy with faculty), summer employment assistance, recruitment efforts and community partnerships (including community-building activities among the students and building partnerships with outside stakeholders, both First Nations and non-First Nations).