This afternoon, the Government of British Columbia announced a faster, more efficient assessment pathway for internationally educated nurses (IENs) who would like to work in the province. The new pathway, which will be launched by 2023, will include more options for credential recognition and an updated approach to assessing English-language proficiency. The provincial government will also provide new financial supports for IENs, who no longer need to pay upfront for application and assessment fees.
In addition to new IEN supports, the provincial government also announced new financial supports for returning nurses. They will no longer be required to pay a $300 application fee, and more than $4,000 in financial support will be available to cover assessment and eligible travel costs. Nurses returning to practice will also be eligible to access up to $10,000 in bursaries for any additional education required.
“By removing the barriers for more nurses to join our health-care workforce, we are ensuring that people throughout the province have greater access to the health services they need, when they need them,” says Hon. Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.
BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) thanks Hon. Adrian Dix and Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors’ Services and Long-Term Care Harwinder Sandhu for taking these important steps to address labour shortages facing seniors care operators, provincewide.
“This is good news,” says BCCPA CEO Terry Lake in his interview on CBC: B.C. Today with Michelle Eliot, “we’ve been advocating for this for a long time.” “We have a lot of internationally educated nurses in B.C. that are ready and willing to help out as we address HHR challenges.”
BCCPA has worked closely with the College of BC College of Nurses and Midwives this past year and has strongly advocated for easing pathways for IENs to work in the province. Removing costly financial barriers and streamlining the assessment process for IENs have been key goals of BCCPA’s advocacy in recent years, especially as it pertains to the growing need for more healthcare workers in seniors care.
See the official news release from the Government of British Columbia here.