TORONTO: The Ontario government is investing $35 million to increase enrollment in nursing education programs in publicly assisted colleges and universities across the province.
The new spaces will be available for Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 cohorts and will introduce approximately 1,130 new practical nurses and 870 registered nurses into the health care system.
COVID-19 has exacerbated the gap between the current supply of nurses compared to Ontario’s current and future needs across the health care system.
Today’s announcement is a significant step towards keeping pace with the rising demand for frontline health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, especially in sectors where health care workers care for Ontario’s most vulnerable patients such as long-term care, home and community care and acute care.
“Our Government committed to ensuring residents in longterm care receive, on average, four hours of direct care per day. To make this a reality, tens of thousands of new staff need to be hired to provide this care — including registered nurses and practical nurses.” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of LongTerm Care.
“Today’s investment supports our plan to shore up staffing in long-term care and address the need for nurses across the health care system.”
In addition to expanding enrollment to support the increase in nursing supply for all sectors of our health system, including home and community care and acute care, this investment will also support the expansion of clinical education placements for nursing students and personal support worker students in the long-term care sector.
Clinical education placements will be supported in the following ways:
• Increasing training for clinical experts who oversee students in long-term care placements; and
• Providing additional funding to ensure dedicated supervision time from clinical experts to support student learning in long-term care.