Manitoba is looking to add hundreds of nursing education seats at post-secondary institutions across our province.
Health and Seniors Care Minister Heather Stefanson, Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration Minister Wayne Ewasko, and Economic Development and Jobs Minister Ralph Eichler announced Thursday that nearly 400 seats will be added across Manitoba. As well, a new initiative will be launched that will provide financial and process support for internationally educated nurses (IENs) looking to become licensed in Manitoba.
"Our government is committed to ensuring Manitoba has a strong nursing workforce now and into the future," says Stefanson. "Increasing the number of nursing seats and supporting IENs' pathway to licensing will accelerate the entry of students and internationally educated nurses into nursing professions, and will increase the number of nurses in Manitoba who can staff our hospitals and health-care clinics."
There are currently more than 800 nursing seats in Manitoba, offered at six publicly funded post-secondary institutions across the province. The province plans to create close to 400 new seats over the next few years, starting with intake as early as 2021-22. The government will work with post-secondary institutions to identify what steps are needed to ensure they can increase their seat capacity in a sustainable way.
"We know that educating more nurses is key," says Ewasko. "We look forward to working with our partners and welcoming more nurses into the professions in the years to come."
The ministers also note the province is launching a separate initiative to help provide IENs already in Manitoba with financial assistance for assessment and training costs to support their goal of working in the nursing field.
"There are many internationally educated nurses in Manitoba who may have faced challenges in getting a license to practice," says Eichler. "These are people who live in Manitoba and work in Manitoba, and we need to support them by easing financial and other barriers to getting licensed in this province."
The Manitoba government will provide up to $23,000 per IEN to help cover a variety of costs that come with obtaining licensure in Manitoba. This includes funding for clinical competence assessments and bridge training, as well as other related expenses such as living allowance, transportation and child care. Supports will be tailored to each individual's needs.
The province plans to work with key partners and various community organizations to identify and guide IENs already in Manitoba through the appropriate steps.
Those IENs who wish to begin the process of accessing financial support can do so through the new online portal. Through the portal, individuals will be asked to provide information on their education and experience to help them plan their steps to be licensed in Manitoba, as well as determine what financial supports may be available to complete these requirements.