Ontario invests $49M for nursing education

Archived Release

Ontario invests $49M for nursing education

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

1,100 more new nurses each year by 2004
TORONTO, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - The Ontario government will invest an additional $49 million in enhanced university and college nursing programs that will educate more nurses to meet the challenges of 21st century health care, announced Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Dianne Cunningham and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Elizabeth Witmer today.
"This funding will help colleges and universities provide new programs that will give nursing students the education, training and flexibility they need to continue providing the best possible patient care in a rapidly changing field," said Cunningham.
"Today we're not only announcing new programs to enhance nursing education, we're also increasing the number of new nurses trained in Ontario so that we can continue to meet the health care needs of our growing and aging population," said Witmer.
In total, the Ontario government has committed more than $70 million in new funding for nursing education since April 2000. Over the next three years, the new programs will provide funding to increase the number of new nurses graduating each year in Ontario to 2,800 - an increase of 1,100, or 60 per cent, over 1999/2000.
"We are delighted with the government's continued support for the collaborative baccalaureate nursing degree programs. This funding will support the college and university partners to prepare the required number of appropriately educated nurses to meet the demands of the health system," said Mary MacLeod, RN President, College of Nurses of Ontario.
The funding announced today includes $14.7 million for fast-track nursing programs that will allow students to earn their four-year degree in a shorter period of time. These transitional programs will operate for three years.
Another $24.3 million will be invested over three years to increase nursing enrolment and an additional $10 million will be used to cover one-time costs including the purchase of new equipment, library holdings and developing curriculum.
In April 2000 the government provided $10 million for development of the new programs and $12.6 million to expand graduate programs for nursing faculty.
Beginning January 1, 2005, the College of Nurses of Ontario will require registered nurses to have a degree in order to register to practice in the province.

Backgrounder
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NEW FUNDING TO INCREASE ENROLMENT IN NURSING PROGRAMS

The degree requirement for registered nurses was recommended by the College of Nurses of Ontario, following their extensive review of competencies required from new graduates in the 21st century. The Nursing Task Force supported this change.
In February 1999, the Nursing Task Force advised the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities that a new education standard for nursing practice should be implemented through joint college-university programs.

Funding

The government is funding degree nursing education in the new programs at the university level and all eligible students can access the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).
Including today's announcement, the government has committed a total of $71.6 million to implement the new education standard for registered nurses. This includes:

- $20 million for one-time transitional costs such as developing
curriculum, expanding library holdings and buying equipment (Ministry
of Training, Colleges and Universities);

- $14.7 million over three years for universities that wish to offer
accelerated nursing programs where students complete a four-year
program in a shorter period of time through such means as summer
programs (MTCU);

- $24.3 million over three years to fund one more class of students this
fall into three-year college diploma programs. These programs will be
phased out as the new baccalaureate requirement takes effect (MTCU);

- $5.6 million over seven years, beginning 2001/02, to expand graduate
programs in nursing to permit 180 college faculty teaching in the
collaborative nursing programs to complete graduate studies (MTCU);

- $2.1 million over seven years, beginning 2001/02, to cover the tuition
costs of graduate studies for college faculty teaching in the
collaborative programs (Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care); and

- $4.9 million over seven years, beginning 2001/02, to enable
universities to expand their graduate programs to accommodate an
additional 140 graduate nursing students who will pursue careers
related to nursing education in Ontario (MOHLTC).

Nursing Commitment

Today's announcement builds on the government's $375-million commitment to nursing, which includes:

- 12,000 new permanent full-time/part-time nursing positions in
hospitals, long-term care facilities and in the community over the next
three years;

- 116 Nurse Practitioners to work in long-term care facilities and in
underserviced areas;

- $10 million for nursing training and recruitment initiatives, including
a $1500 reimbursement for tuition costs for nursing education and
skills upgrades; and

- nursing research data collection and outcome measurement.

Disponible en fran├žais
For further information: Contact: Tanya Cholakov, Communications Branch, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, (416) 325-7526; Anne Matthews, Manager, Media Relations, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (416) 327-4382; Kerry Kincaid Delaney, Minister's Office, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, (416) 326-1625; Barry Wilson, Minister's Office, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (416) 327-4521; For more information visit www.edu.gov.on.ca