Note: This release is courtesy of the Ministry of Colleges and Universities
BELLEVILLE — The Ontario government is providing a new pathway for nursing education with the launch of Loyalist College’s new stand-alone four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
Details were shared by Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities who was joined by Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte.
“I’m here to highlight an important milestone for postsecondary education in Ontario. Loyalist College will offer a stand-alone nursing degree independent of a university partner right here in Belleville,” said Minister Dunlop. “By allowing colleges and universities to both offer stand-alone nursing degrees, our government is increasing choices and reducing barriers to high-quality, local education for Ontario’s students.”
The new program builds on Ontario’s recent changes allowing both publicly-assisted colleges and universities to offer a baccalaureate degree in nursing to increase opportunities for students to access a high-quality education.
“Nurses are essential to providing the care necessary to keep our local community healthy,” said MPP Smith. “The pandemic, coupled with our aging population, has accelerated the need for qualified health care professionals. Opening new pathways to health care education close to home at Loyalist College will result in more nurses training, working, and living in the Quinte region.”
“Ontario’s nurses go above and beyond to provide exceptional care to patients, and we are grateful for their continued efforts throughout the pandemic,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Loyalist College’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program will provide students with more choices for nursing education, further strengthening our health care workforce as more Ontarians pursue this important career.”
Loyalist College will welcome the first cohort of nursing students starting in September 2022.
“Loyalist College has been leading the growth and development of our home-grown healthcare work force for many years, and there couldn’t be a more critical time for us to begin offering an Honours Bachelor of Science in Nursing,” said Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, President and CEO of Loyalist College. “Our exceptional Nursing faculty are ready to lend their expertise to educating and training hundreds of new nurses who will make an immediate impact on the frontlines. On behalf of the entire Loyalist College community, I want to personally thank Minister Dunlop, Minister Smith, and the Ontario Government for recognizing our long-standing expertise in healthcare education and for making today’s announcement possible.”
“After learning and working in our community through placements and clinical practice, many Loyalist graduates become essential members of the Quinte area’s health care workforce, including at our community hospitals,” said Stacey Daub, President and CEO, Quinte Health Care. “Having a local, standalone degree program is remarkably advantageous for our community, for local health care organizations and the patients we collectively serve at a time of unprecedented demand.”
As part of the government’s recently announced $35 million investment to increase enrolment in nursing education programs in publicly-assisted colleges and universities across the province, the province is also providing up to $327,860 to help increase enrolment in nursing education programs at Loyalist College.
- 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.
- Investing in nursing education supports the government’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan that was launched last year. At the centre of this plan, the hours of direct care for residents in long-term care will be increasing to an average of four hours per day over four years. To implement this initiative, the government will be making overall investments of $1.9 billion annually by 2024-2025.
- To strengthen the health and long-term care workforce, Ontario is investing $342 million, beginning in 2021–22, to add over 5,000 new and upskilled registered nurses and registered practical nurses as well as 8,000 personal support workers. In addition, Ontario is investing $57.6 million, beginning in 2022–23, to hire 225 nurse practitioners in the long-term care sector.
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