Ontario Expanding Access to French-Language Nursing Programs
TORONTO — As part of the Ontario government’s plan to train more health care professionals, the province is expanding French-language nursing education, with the launch of Collège Boréal’s new stand-alone four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at its Sudbury and Toronto campuses.
The new program will give French-speaking students more opportunities to learn closer to home in their primary language and help ensure the province’s Francophone communities will be connected to the care they need, when they need it.
“By allowing Collège Boréal to offer a new stand-alone degree as well as expanding the number of practical nursing spaces, our government is addressing the urgent need for more nurses in Ontario while also offering more opportunity for French-language postsecondary education,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “The new degree and additional nursing spaces provide more choice for students when it comes to their education and reduce barriers to French-language education in Sudbury and Toronto, so they can go on to have rewarding careers while offering Ontarians the care they deserve.”
“By building a new pathway for nursing training through Collège Boréal’s stand-alone four-year Bachelor degree, Ontario's government strengthens its commitment to establishing a resilient and growing Francophone health care workforce," said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Francophone Affairs. “We will continue to support the government's efforts to provide better access to services and the right care to Francophones in the language of their choice.”
As of 2020, Ontario’s colleges and universities can offer four-year, stand-alone nursing degrees without having to be in a collaborative nursing partnership. As of June 2023, 17 stand-alone Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree programs have been approved by the ministry.
“With the launch of College Boréal’s new four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program as well as the addition of practical nursing spaces, French-speaking Ontarians in Northern and Southern Ontario will benefit from more health care workers practising in our health system,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This important expansion is another part of our plan to connect people to the care they need, closer to home.”
In addition to the new bachelor nursing program, the Ontario government is providing up to $630,000 to support an additional 70 practical nursing spaces at Collège Boréal for the 2023-24 school year.
“Collège Boréal is particularly proud of this new Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which represents a logical step in expanding the range of French-language post-secondary programs in Northern and Central-Southwestern Ontario,” said Daniel Giroux, President of Collège Boréal. “Thanks to this new bachelor’s degree, our institution is in a better position than ever to help alleviate the shortage of highly qualified healthcare workers capable of meeting the significant needs of French-speaking communities in both official languages.”
This milestone is part of a broader expansion of nursing education across the province, supported by Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care. The Ontario government is investing $80 million in 2023-24 to increase enrolment in nursing education programs in publicly assisted colleges and universities, allocating 500 practical nursing and 1,000 Bachelor of Science in Nursing spaces across the province. This is in addition to the 1,500 nursing education spaces added in 2022-2023.
The new degree programs will launch in September 2024 in Toronto and Sudbury and will each have a cohort of 16 students per year.
The stand-alone Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program offers training for students who are planning to become registered nurses (RNs) and the practical nursing spaces offer training for students who are planning to become registered practical nurses (RPNs).
To become a registered nurse in Ontario (and be registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario), individuals must obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
The Ontario government’s Plan for Connected and Convenient Care focuses on providing people with a better health care experience by connecting them to more convenient options closer to home while growing the health care workforce for years to come.
Since 2018, over 60,000 new nurses and nearly 8,000 new doctors have registered to work in Ontario. 2022 was a record-breaking year for new nurses in Ontario with over 12,000 new nurses registered and another 30,000 nursing students studying at an Ontario college or university.
Applications are now open for the Ontario Learn and Stay Grant. The grant provides full, upfront funding for tuition, books and other costs for first-year postsecondary students who enrol in an eligible nursing, paramedic or medical laboratory technologist program and agree to stay in priority communities to work after graduation.