TORONTO — The Ontario government is making it faster and easier for people to connect to primary care, especially in northern and rural areas, by continuing to boost the number of spots available to train new nurse practitioners. Working together with Ontario universities across the province, 121 additional training positions have been added to the Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner Program this year, helping to grow the nurse practitioner workforce for years to come.
“Our government recognizes the important frontline work nurse practitioners do to provide people primary care and support,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Expanding training opportunities to become a nurse practitioner will grow this important profession, ensuring more Ontarians can connect to high-quality care, when and where they need it.”
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced university education that can provide primary care in nurse practitioner-led clinics, long-term care homes, hospitals, and other community settings. They connect people to a full range of health care services including prescribing, ordering and interpreting tests, and diagnosing and treating illnesses.
“Nurse practitioners play a key role in our plan to build a resilient health care system in Ontario,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “Supporting additional training seats will ensure more graduates are part of the next generation of health care professionals that will provide Ontarians the excellent care they deserve.”
Since September 2023, additional nurse practitioner positions include up to:
24 new positions at University of Windsor
20 new positions at University of Toronto
17 new positions at Toronto Metropolitan University
16 new positions at Western University
15 new positions at Queen’s University
11 new positions at York University
8 new positions at McMaster University
6 new positions at Laurentian University of Sudbury
4 new positions at Lakehead University
This expansion, which is part of the government’s Your Health Plan, brings the total number of nurse practitioner training positions up to 321 at schools across the province, and brings the province closer to its goal of 350. Growing the pipeline of talent for Ontario’s health care workforce is one more way the province is ensuring Ontarians can access convenient and connected care, closer to home, now and for years to come.
Applications are open for the Ontario Learn and Stay Grant for the 2023-24 academic year. 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 high-needs communities to work after graduation for a term of service.
The Ontario government invests over $46 million annually to fund nurse-practitioner-led clinics. Twenty-five of these clinics are now supporting 100,000 people who might otherwise face challenges accessing primary care.
Last year, over 15,000 new nurses registered to work in the province, with another 30,000 nursing students currently studying at one of Ontario’s colleges and universities.
"Given the growth of our aging population and the growing complexity of health care needs in our province, nurse practitioners will continue to play a crucial role in strengthening our health care workforce. TMU welcomes these additional training spots, which will allow us to further contribute to the training of the next generation of nurse practitioners."
- Dr. Mohamed Lachemi
President and Vice-chancellor, Toronto Metropolitan University