Updated: Jan 21, 2022
The government of Ontario is going to deploy internationally educated nurses (IENs) to hospitals and long-term care homes that face staffing shortages due to the pandemic.
On January 11, 2022, Health Minister, Christine Elliott, announced that international nurses who have applied to practice in Ontario "will have the opportunity to meet their applications requirements by working in healthcare settings under the supervision of a regulated healthcare provider."
She also said that there were already more than 1,200 applicants who expressed their interest. The government will match these applicants with hospitals and long-term care homes and allow them to work in the province.
According to CTV news, the government reports that the median stay in intensive care for COVID-19 patients is currently seven days, compared to 20 days during the peak of the Delta wave. Staff shortages have arisen across essential sectors, including hospitals, due to the highly infectious Omicron strain.
The College of Nurses of Ontario and Ontario Health have associated with the "Supervised Practice Experience Partnership" to allow applicants to satisfy their language proficiency and evidence of practice requirements while working in the field.
The program will begin immediately with about 300 IENs who will be matched with 50 hospitals in Ontario and will begin work as soon as possible. According to Health Minister Christine Elliott, about 1,200 IENs have already expressed interest in the program.