The Alberta government is putting $11 million into post-secondary programs to help prepare internationally educated nurses to work in the province.
The money will create 1,221 new spaces in nurse bridging programs at nine post-secondary institutions across the province. This includes 848 seats for registered nurses and 373 for licensed practical nurses.
The funding breakdown will create 256 new seats for the registered nurse bridging program at Mount Royal University, 120 new seats at Bow Valley College and 250 new seats at NorQuest College for its licensed practical nurse bridging programs.
“These new seats are being created over three years to help nurses who are trained in other countries become licensed to work and live here in Alberta,” said Rajan Sawhney, minister of advanced education. “We are fortunate to have both the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College as partners some of the programs that we are announcing.”
To go along with the new seats, the province is investing $7.8 million into bursary programs for internationally educated nurses. They will offer students up to $30,000 over five years to help with living expenses and tuition.
“If a recipient agrees to live and work as a nurse in rural Alberta, their work will return part of the bursary they received on a ratio of $6,000 for every year of work. This will make it even more attractive for them to establish their careers where we need them the most,” Sawhney said.
“Lethbridge will play a major role in this program, as it is uniquely positioned with two leading post-secondary institutions that will be connected to almost one-quarter of the new seats and will help open opportunities for nurses outside of Alberta’s major centres,” said Nathan Neudorf, MLA for Lethbridge-East.
The province also announced $3 million for planning and design work for modernizing University Hall at the University of Lethbridge.
Written by: Tyler Hay – MyLethbridgeNow/Vista Radio