Alberta ups recruitment of registered nurses

Province invests $5 million in assessing foreign-educated nurses and re-training

Alberta is investing more than $5 million to increase the number of registered nurses in the province.

The money will help the province more quickly and efficiently assess internationally trained nurses and help former registered nurses get re-licensed in Alberta, said Minister of Alberta Health and Wellness Dave Hancock.

"Our investment in a range of initiatives will help us to get more qualified registered nurses working in the province," he said.

The College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) has received $500,000 to help it assess applications from internationally educated nurses who want to practice in the province.

So far the college has received 1,012 applications from foreign-trained nurses, an average of 150 to 200 applications per month in the last six months.

The ministry is also giving more than $4 million to Calgary's Mount Royal College to expand its assessment program for internationally trained registered nurses. The funding will allow the college to hire more staff and increase the number of assessments it completes each year from an average of 100 to 600.

Alberta Health and Wellness will also cover the training costs of former registered nurses who want to become re-licensed in Alberta. The ministry is giving $750,000 to Edmonton's Grant McEwan College to reimburse nurses enrolled in the nursing refresher program.

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