The Ontario government is providing a new pathway for nursing education with the launch of Georgian College’s new stand-alone four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
Details were shared today by Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities who was joined by Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO, Georgian College and Janice Skot, President and CEO, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre.
"This is an important milestone for postsecondary education in Ontario as Georgian College becomes one of the first colleges to offer stand-alone nursing degrees," said Minister Dunlop. "By allowing colleges and universities to have stand-alone degrees our government is increasing choice and reducing barriers to access high-quality, local education for our students."
The new program builds on Ontario’s recent changes allowing both publicly-assisted colleges and universities to offer a baccalaureate degree in nursing to increase opportunities for students to access a high-quality education. This includes stand-alone Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs offered at universities, colleges, and through collaborative university-college partnerships.
"Georgian College’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program gives students the option of studying and staying closer to home here in Barrie,” said Andrea Khanjin, MPP for Barrie-Innisfil. “With the demand for nurses at an all-time high, the internationally renowned postsecondary training students get in Ontario is critical to our communities, the economy, and the future of our province."
“Ontario’s nurses go above and beyond to provide exceptional care to patients and we are grateful for their continued efforts throughout the pandemic,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Georgian College’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program will provide students with more choices for nursing education, further strengthening our health care workforce as more Ontarians pursue this important career.”
Georgian College will welcome the first cohort of new nursing students starting in September 2022.
“To further support our community, I am pleased that we will continue to offer world-class health care and add more highly trained professionals to our health care system locally,” said Doug Downey, MPP for Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte. “Georgian College’s new stand-alone four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is one of the first offered at a publicly-assisted college in Ontario independent of a university partner. Having this option available in our community gives students more choice to study locally, right here at home.”
“This is a bold, progressive move by the Ontario government, that will provide our students the opportunity to complete a highly sought-after degree – right here in our community,” said Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes, Georgian College President and CEO. “Georgian is well-positioned to offer all four years of a truly exceptional Honours Bachelor of Science – Nursing degree program with some of the latest in high-fidelity nursing simulation lab technology and highly skilled faculty.”
As part of the government’s recently announced $35 million investment to increase enrolment in nursing education programs in publicly-assisted colleges and universities across the province, the province is also providing up to $564,308 to help increase enrolment in nursing education programs at Georgian College, supporting the training of 62 new practical nursing students.
To become a registered nurse in Ontario (and be registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario), individuals must obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
Investing in nursing education supports the government's Long-Term Care Staffing Plan that was launched last year. At the centre of this plan, the hours of direct care for residents in long-term care will be increasing to an average of four hours per day over four years. To implement this initiative, the government will be making overall investments of $1.9 billion annually by 2024-2025.