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Canadore’s President George Burton happy with nursing degree decision

Feb 12, 2020 | Cindy Males, Public Relations and Communications Specialist

Canadore nursing students in training

The Ontario government’s decision to give colleges the option to deliver stand-alone nursing degree programs will produce more qualified nurses to fill key shortages in many communities.

“We are very pleased with this decision as it will provide greater access to people in our region who want to pursue a career in nursing, as well as meet the growing healthcare needs of Ontario” said Canadore College President, George Burton.

Since 2000, the province has required any college wishing to offer a nursing degree program to partner with a university. This has created unnecessary costs and other bureaucratic hurdles that often discourage students from going into nursing.

For example, it can often mean students enrolled in a college program have to relocate to a different community to complete their studies at university. That’s despite the fact a number of colleges have the capacity to deliver the full program on their own.

A number of colleges already deliver at least 90 per cent of the current curriculum and some colleges currently deliver 100 per cent of the curriculum.

Providing students with the option to complete their nursing degree program in one community reduces the costs for students and government and makes nursing programs more attractive to many students.

It will also create a more diverse nursing workforce that can respond more effectively to patients. The student population at colleges mirrors the general population and college is often the preferred post-secondary destination for first-generation students and many Indigenous students.

Some college-university partnerships are working well for students and will continue. In other cases, it makes more sense for colleges to offer the four-year degree program independent of any university.

“This announcement is a tribute to the strength of our college programs,” Burton said.  “We are grateful for this opportunity to ensure more graduates enter the profession with the qualifications and the expertise to improve health-care delivery in our community.”

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