The provincial government announced yesterday that it is taking another step to increase the number of nurses in Alberta. 

Millions of dollars will be allocated to train and support more internationally educated nurses.

Minister of Advanced Education, Demetrios Nicolaides says, "We are reducing barriers for internationally educated nurses to come to Alberta. This is truly a ‘win-win’ for our province, and will help us train more nurses to keep our healthcare system strong now, and in the future.”

The plan is to invest $7.8 million in a bursary that would fund non-repayable financial assistance for internationally educated nurses. Educated nurses who are eligible will be able to access up to $30,000 over five years to help offset the costs of nursing bridging programs, tuition, and living expenses. 

The bursary will be available in the 2023-24 academic year.

Bursary recipients are required to complete a year of nursing service in Alberta for every $6,000 disbursed. This will ensure Alberta patients and communities benefit by having more nurses start their careers in the province. A third party will oversee the program and disburse the assistance on behalf of Alberta Student Aid.

In addition, $7.3 million will be invested over three years to make available 600 new seats for registered nurse and licensed practical nurse bridging and licensing programs beginning in the 2023-24 academic year. The learning institutions would include Mount Royal University, Bow Valley College, and Norquest College.