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nursingRoss Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities, was at Georgian College’s Owen Sound Campus to announce a new nursing education policy.

The Ontario government is making changes to permit both colleges and universities to offer Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BscN) degree programs on a stand-alone basis. For colleges, this will be the first time they would be able to offer the degree independent of a university partner.

Romano, MPP for his home community of Sault Ste. Marie since 2017, said Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker had been advocating for this change since Romano took on his portfolio.

Many colleges, including Georgian, now have experience in offering stand-alone degree programs in other areas of study, and both colleges and universities are able and willing to offer their own degrees independent of a partner institution. Institutions will be able to choose whether to deliver their programs collaboratively or on a stand-alone basis.

This new policy will expand choice for students and give institutions greater autonomy and flexibility over their programming. 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.

“This announcement today is an important step forward in ensuring communities, such as the ones we serve in central Ontario, have the exceptionally talented degree nurses who are so integral to Ontario’s health-care system. For the first time, someone dreaming of becoming a degree nurse will have access to a high quality program, without having to move to the GTA or beyond,” said MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO of Georgian College.

“We have heard that students entering nursing programs wish to complete their studies right here at home,” said the Hon. Bill Walker, MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound. “This announcement is incredibly important to rural areas like Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound to encourage more local students to enter nursing which will also significantly benefit our local hospitals.”

It is also intended that the new model will create a diverse nursing workforce that can respond more effectively to the needs of communities and patients.

source: media release

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