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Alberta invests $11 million in nurse bridging programs for internationally educated nurses

Red Deer Polytechnic programs receive $600,000
FILE - On Oct. 17, 2023, Alberta’s government announced funding so internationally educated nurses can access an additional 1,221 spaces at post-secondary institutions so they can complete the programs they need for certification in Alberta. (BLACK PRESS)

Red Deer Polytechnic, in partnership with NorQuest College, is getting $600,000 to fund 135 seats in programs for internationally educated nurses.

It’s part of $11 million announced by the province on Tuesday so internationally educated nurses will have access to an additional 1,221 spaces at post-secondary institutions so they can complete programs they need for certification in Alberta.

The funding will create 848 new registered nurse pathway seats and 373 new licensed practical nurse seats over three years to help nurses who were trained in other countries become licensed to practise nursing in Alberta.

This builds on the more than 600 new seats for registered nurse and licensed practical nurse bridging programs announced in February.

“Adding additional seats for nurse bridging programs is a vital step towards addressing the growing demand for health care professionals in our province. Internationally educated nurses play a crucial role in meeting the health care needs of Albertans and this initiative will help them integrate more easily into communities across our province,” said Health Minister Adriana LaGrange, in a statement.


Central Alberta sites to benefit from newly recruited international nurses: AHS

Joy Peacock, chief executive officer and registrar of the College of Registered Nurses of Alberta, said the college looks forward to seeing the impact this investment has on strengthening the health care ecosystem in Alberta.

The province said there is a growing need for health care professionals to help address current and future demand throughout the health care system. Alberta’s post secondaries play an important role in ensuring there are enough qualified nurses when and where Albertans need them.

“Investing in more seats in bridging programs helps internationally educated nurses get to work in our communities and meet Alberta’s need for highly skilled and dedicated health care workers. Our post-secondary institutions are valued partners in meeting that need, both in their home communities and across the province,” said Advanced Education Minister Rajan Sawhney.


Red Deer Polytechnic expanding its research capacity with child advocacy centre and other partners

Other post-secondary institutions to receive funding included:

• $2.4 million - University of Lethbridge/Lethbridge College: 100 seats.

• $2.6 million - Lethbridge College partnering with Bow Valley College: 108 seats.

• $2.4 million - MacEwan University: 364 seats.

• $500,000 - Bow Valley College: 96 seats.

• $500,000 - Northwestern Polytechnic: 96 seats.

• $500,000 - Portage College: 96 seats.

• $500,000 - Keyano College: 96 seats.

• $500,000 - Keyano College partnering with NorQuest College: 40 seats.

• $400,000 - NorQuest College: 90 seats.

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