Alberta Boosts Efforts To Recruit More Registered Nurses
The Alberta government is investing more than $5 million this year to assess more internationally educated registered nurses and increase the number of registered nurses working in Alberta.
The College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) recently received $500,000 from Alberta Health and Wellness to support the college's assessment of applications from internationally-educated nurses who want to practise in Alberta. CARNA recently hired two additional nurse consultants and support staff to handle increased applications from internationally-educated nurses.
To date, CARNA has received 1,012 applications from internationally-educated nurses, an average of 150 to 200 applications per month in the last six months.
Alberta Health and Wellness is also covering the costs of former registered nurses taking training to become re-licensed in Alberta. Grant McEwan College will receive $750,000 to reimburse nurses enrolled in the nursing refresher program at any site in Alberta.
"Our investment in a range of initiatives will help us to get more qualified registered nurses working in the province," said Dave Hancock, Minister of Alberta Health and Wellness. "We know this is an untapped group of professionals. With a concentrated and collaborative effort by all our partners in government, the RHAs and CARNA, the benefits to the health care system will be enormous. This strategy is part of our Health Workforce Action Plan to address health workforce shortages."
Mount Royal College will receive more than $4 million to expand its assessment program for internationally-trained registered nurses seeking to be licensed in Alberta. The funding will allow Mount Royal College to hire staff to increase the number of assessments it completes in an average year from 100 to 600. The funds will also support the addition of an office next month in the Oxford Tower in Edmonton to process assessment applications, as well as establish teaching space for Mount Royal College's Bridge to Canadian Nursing program in Edmonton.
"We have committed $3.8 million this year to attract foreign nurses and other health professionals to Alberta, but getting them here is only part way to getting them into our workforce," said Iris Evans, Minister of Employment, Immigration and Industry.