York gets new funding to help internationally-trained nurses

York University is receiving $800,000 from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration to ensure a fairer registration process and evaluation of international equivalency for internationally-educated nursing students (IENs).

Left: The project will help evaluate qualifications of foreign-trained nurses

A total of $2.9 million will support two new bridging programs for foreign-trained nurses in the province, which will provide newcomers with the language training, licensure preparation assistance, and practical experience they need to work in regulated trades and professions. The money will be used to create and pilot-test assessment tools, measures, and policies based on Prior Learning Assessment Recognition (PLAR).

“From York’s perspective, this project will help evaluate qualifications of internationally-educated nurses in a fair and open way and identify both gaps and strengths in their knowledge, skill and judgment,” said Lesley Beagrie, drector of the School of Nursing at York. “The result will be that qualified IENs will be able to more rapidly move into Ontario nursing jobs.”

Over a three year period, York – in partnership with the CARE (Creating Access to Regulated Employment Centre), and the College of Nurses of Ontario – will develop a fair and transparent mechanism to evaluate "BScN equivalency" in knowledge, skill, and judgment, based on the College of Nurses of Ontario Entry to Practice Competencies.

York University School of Nursing currently offers a very successful program of study designed specifically to enable IENs to earn a BScN degree in just 20 months. This new project will promote greater access to registration for IENs, many of whom arrive with specialized knowledge and skill but not necessarily a paper credential that can be evaluated using traditional methods.

Right: Lesley Beagrie        

Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Michael Colle said, “Ontario attracts talented nurses from around the world. These innovative programs will provide the training, support and experience they need to work in their field of expertise sooner.”

“The project also bring together partners with experience working with IENs (York’s School of Nursing and CARE) such that we will create an integrated network of referral to ensure that participants are able to directly access the programs to which they are best suited,” said Beagrie.