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Ontario’s RPNs applaud government commitment to expand access to nursing education

by WeRPN

TORONTO, February 11, 2020-  The Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (WeRPN) commends the government’s plan to remove barriers to nursing education by allowing colleges to grant Bachelor of Nursing degrees.

At a time when Ontario is experiencing a shortage of Registered Nurses (RN), all efforts to remove barriers to nursing education are essential to sustain the province’s nursing workforce and ensure nurses are available to respond to the needs of Ontarians.

“We’re thrilled that the government has listened to the concerns of nurses” said Dianne Martin, CEO of WeRPN. “With our aging population and our health system already facing pressures, steps like these help to ensure we have nurses where we need them.”

For the past several years, the association has been calling on government to take steps to make nursing education more accessible, particularly to those in rural and remote communities. Ontario has a healthy supply RPNs, many of whom may be interested in obtaining addition education to career ladder to the RN role. Currently, to pursue this path, many RPNs have to leave their communities to complete that education at universities but today’s announcement removes those barriers and provides exciting new opportunities for RPNs.

“As a nurse who pursued a Nursing Diploma (RN) at a community college, when it was possible to do so, I can tell you this will have a tremendous impact and provide meaningful new opportunities for nurses in those communities” said Martin.

Allowing colleges to grant nursing degrees will provide prospective nursing students and Registered Practical Nurses (RPN) with more choice and the ability to complete their nursing education closer to home, keeping nurses in those communities that need them most.

WeRPN looks forward to working with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, Colleges Ontario and local colleges to ensure Ontario continues to have a robust nursing workforce.


For media inquiries, contact:

Tiff Blair
Director of Policy and Communications