Opening doors for internationally educated nurses

The School of Nursing at York University’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies will receive $535,000 in funding from the Ontario government towards the school’s proposal for a bridging program that would allow internationally educated nurses to gain licensure, certification and employment in Canada.

Left: York’s new bridging program will remove barriers to highly-skilled internationally trained nurses.

“This funding is important in terms of what York University is doing overall to assist internationally educated professionals in securing relevant employment in Toronto and Ontario more generally,” said Atkinson Dean Rhonda Lenton. “Internationally trained nurses face serious barriers to employment in Ontario. We want to ensure that we remove those barriers.”

The funding, from Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU), Skill Investment Branch, will support a pilot project of Atkinson’s School of Nursing that would offer a qualifying pre-session for its Post-RN BScN. This pre-session will enable internationally educated nurses to obtain licensure, certification and employment, and provide essential support in terms of language, mentorship and acculturation.

This initiative is in addition to York’s participation in the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council and the Career Bridge internship program. The internships, for internationally educated professionals, offer crucial Canadian work experience and thereby enhance accessibility to the labour force. As part of this program, York University has made a commitment to offer six internships in 2004-2005.

Right: Internships for internationally educated nurses will offer crucial Canadian work experience

The Ministry funding for the qualifying pre-session will support the overall development of the initiative, as well as a pilot program for 32 participants in the first year.

The award is part of $9.5 million in funding from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) to increase access and eliminate barriers to credential recognition and job entry.