Nurse-education group co-created by York U gets $1.5 million in new funding from Ontario government


Group supports education programs for internationally educated nurses, allowing them to become registered in the province.

TORONTO, March 3, 2022 — A $1.5-million funding boost from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, will support the University-led Ontario Internationally Educated Nurses Course Consortium (OIENCC) in updating its successful competency-bridging program of study for internationally educated nurses to help address the province’s demand for registered nurses.

York University is a key partner with OIENCC, which aims to support internationally educated nurses (IENs) in their journey to become registered nurses in Ontario. The Consortium consists of partners and expertise from Trent University, the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University, the Health Leadership and Learning Network  at York University, and Continuing Education at the University of Windsor.

The Health Leadership and Learning Network  at York University participated in the creation of this Consortium in 2014 to address the need for a pathway for internationally educated nurses to build on their credentials and experience earned in other countries.

“This university-led consortium provides education and support for nurses across the province to become registered in order to practice their professions in Ontario,” explains Dr. Pat Bradley, professor emerita in York University’s School of Nursing. “This collaboration has obtained additional funding so that we can continue to play a key role in addressing the demand for nurses across the province.”

A statement from the consortium Program Management Working Group explains: “COVID-19 has compounded the challenges IENs face in becoming Registered Nurses in Ontario. It has also increased the demand for IENs to work in our healthcare system to meet the diverse needs of our population. This funding for a flexible program is a timely response by the Government as the need to address these challenges becomes more pressing.”

IENs are essential to create a diverse workforce responsive to the expanding healthcare needs of Canada’s multicultural population. The competency-bridging program of study, supported by Health Leadership and Learning Network  at York University, is designed to help IENs meet the College of Nurses of Ontario's nursing education requirement, the College of Nurses of Ontario's evidence of recent practice requirement, and become eligible to write the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The components of the program of study will include: an orientation to the program of study; two English language, communication, and culture of nursing in Canada courses; seven competency-based courses; three simulation lab courses; two clinical placement courses; and a transition to professional practice course that includes employment supports.

“The Ontario Internationally Educated Nurses Course Consortium is thrilled to continue to support IENs through a flexible program that helps them transition to practice in Ontario. IENs provide valuable skills and expertise for Ontarian’s healthcare,” said Ayesha Bhatti, program manager of the OIENCC.

For more information about the competency-bridging program of study visit Applications will be accepted through the website until April 3, 2022.


York University is a modern, multi-campus, urban university located in Toronto, Ontario. Backed by a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners, we bring a uniquely global perspective to help solve societal challenges, drive positive change and prepare our students for success. York's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education. York’s campuses in Costa Rica and India offer students exceptional transnational learning opportunities and innovative programs. Together, we can make things right for our communities, our planet, and our future.

About the  OIENCC:
In 2014, Dr. Elaine Santa Mina, associate professor in the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing at Ryerson University, Dr. Kirsten Woodend, RN, associate professor in the Trent/Fleming School of Nursing at Trent University, Dr. Linda Patrick, associate professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Windsor, and Dr. Pat Bradley, associate professor in the School of Nursing at York University, came together through the Council of Ontario Universities Programs in Nursing to explore a consortium approach to meet the competency based educational needs of IENs. A consortium approach was chosen in order to draw on province-wide expertise in IEN education, align with existing offerings, and to provide access and flexibility for IENs across the province.

Media Contact:
Matt LaForge, York University Media Relations, 437-242-1547,