TORONTO, Nov. 23, 2021 — The Ontario government is providing new pathways for nursing education with the launch of York University’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 Rhonda Lenton, President & Vice-Chancellor of York University.
“I’m here today to highlight an important milestone for postsecondary education in Ontario. York University’s stand-alone Bachelor of Science in Nursing will allow students to complete their nursing degree entirely at York University,” said Minister Dunlop. “In Ontario, both colleges and universities are now able to offer stand-alone nursing degrees, increasing choices and reducing barriers to high-quality, local education for Ontario’s 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. York previously partnered with two colleges in offering this program; now each of the three institutions offer this degree independently, providing more choice and opportunity to students.
“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. “York University’s 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.”
York University will welcome the first cohort of new nursing students starting in September 2022.
“York University’s School of Nursing has become one of the largest and most comprehensive in Canada, and the new stand-alone Nursing degree will reduce barriers and create more opportunities for students to respond to the needs of the culturally diverse communities we serve, reduce health inequalities, and explore social, economic and cultural determinants of health and healthcare outcomes,” said Rhonda Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University. “This is another important milestone in demonstrating York University’s leadership and expertise in health education and health governance.”
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 $385,000 to help increase enrolment in nursing education programs at York University, supporting the education of 42 additional Bachelor of Science in 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.
- To strengthen the health and long-term care workforce, Ontario is investing $342 million, beginning in 2021–22, to add over 5,000 new and upskilled registered nurses and registered practical nurses as well as 8,000 personal support workers. In addition, Ontario is investing $57.6 million, beginning in 2022–23, to hire 225 nurse practitioners in the long-term care sector.