There is a growing need of healthcare professionals in the province.
Post-secondary school play an important role in ensuring there are enough qualified nurses when and where Albertans need them. Alberta’s government is investing $11 million in nurse bridging programs for internationally educated nurses.
Through this funding, internationally educated nurses will have access to an additional 1,221 spaces at post-secondary institutions so they can complete the programs they need for certification in Alberta.
Minister of Advanced Education, Rajan Sawhney said that investing in more seats in bridging programs helps internationally educated nurses get to work in our communities and meet Alberta’s need.
"Our post-secondary institutions are valued partners in meeting that need, both in their home communities and across the province.”
The funding will ensure that Alberta’s government will create 848 new registered nurse pathway seats and 373 new licensed practical nurse seats over three years to help nurses who were trained in other countries become licensed to practice nursing in Alberta.
Minister of Health, Adriana LaGrange explained that adding additional seats for nurse bridging programs is a vital step towards addressing the growing demand for health care professionals.
" Internationally educated nurses play a crucial role in meeting the health care needs of Albertans and this initiative will help them integrate more easily into communities across our province.”
"The College of Registered Nurses of Alberta supports the announcement of the investment to create additional seats in bridging programs for internationally educated nurses. The college looks forward to seeing the impact this has on strengthening the health care ecosystem in Alberta," Joy Peacock, Chief executive officer and registrar, College of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CRNA) said.
Alberta’s government is also investing $3 million for planning and design work at University Hall at the University of Lethbridge. Known for its award-winning design and being the first building built on campus, its former lab spaces will be modernized to better suit the needs of the growing university.
“Investments in initiatives that enhance Alberta's health care system are of utmost importance. Access to a high-quality health care system not only promotes individual well-being but also plays a pivotal role in fortifying the resilience of Alberta's communities," explained Digvir Jayas, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lethbridge.
Eligible internationally educated nurses can access as much as $30,000 over five years to offset the costs of nursing bridging programs, including tuition. The bursary is non-repayable for those who agree to live and work in rural Alberta as a nurse after graduation for a period of one year for every $6,000 in assistance provided.
The $11 million over the next three years will create 1,221 additional seats for nurse bridging programs at:
- $2.4 million – University of Lethbridge/Lethbridge College: 100 seats
- $2.6 million – Lethbridge College partnering with Bow Valley College: 108 seats.
- $0.5 million – Bow Valley College: 96 seats.
- $0.5 million – Northwestern Polytechnic: 96 seats.
- $0.5 million – Portage College: 96 seats.
- $0.5 million – Keyano College: 96 seats.
- $2.4 million – MacEwan University: 364 seats.
- $0.5 million – Keyano College partnering with NorQuest College: 40 seats.
- $0.6 million – Red Deer Polytechnic partnering with NorQuest College: 135 seats.
- $0.4 million – NorQuest College: 90 seats
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