Ontario Provides More Choice and Flexibility for Prospective Nursing Students

Published on March 19, 2021

On March 16, 2021, Premier Doug Ford and Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities, along with Associate Minister Kinga Surma and MPPs Christine Hogarth (Etobicoke - Lakeshore) and Natalia Kusendova (Mississauga Centre), visited Humber College's North Campus to tour the College’s simulated patient care suites and make the announcement of Humber College’s nursing degree.

The Ontario government applauds Humber College for becoming one of the first publicly-assisted colleges in the province to offer a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. This is part of the government's new pathways for nursing education which provides students with more choice and allows institutions to have greater autonomy and flexibility over their programming.

"The pandemic has reminded us all just how invaluable our frontline nurses are as they work incredible hours to care for our sick and most vulnerable," said Premier Ford. "We need more of these health care heroes, which is why it is so important for colleges like Humber to lead the way by offering our students more choice, while maintaining excellence in nursing education."

Humber College, in collaboration with the University of New Brunswick, has offered a Bachelor of Nursing program for almost 20 years. March 4, 2021 marked the formal approval of Humber College's stand-alone Bachelor of Science nursing degree program. Humber College will welcome the first cohort of students to this program starting in September 2021.

"This is an important milestone for postsecondary education in Ontario as Humber becomes one of the first colleges to offer stand-alone nursing degrees," said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. "By allowing colleges and universities to have stand-alone degrees our government is increasing choice and reducing barriers to access world-class training for our students."

Ontario's model of nursing education now includes stand-alone Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs offered at universities, colleges, and through collaborative university-college partnerships.

"Nurses play a vital role in the delivery of health care and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have never wavered in their commitment to delivering high-quality care for patients," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "Humber's new Bachelor of Nursing Science program will provide more choices for students while maintaining and strengthening a high-quality nursing workforce."

Maintaining excellence in nursing education continues to be a priority for Ontario. By having safeguards in place, Ontario is ensuring we maintain excellence in nursing education, while expanding choice for students and providing greater autonomy to institutions.

Quick Facts

  • 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.
  • On December 11, 2020, a regulation amendment made under the Nursing Act, 1991, by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) was approved that allows the CNO to approve a college-conferred baccalaureate degree as meeting one of the requirements for registration as a Registered Nurse in the General Class.
  • By affording institutions the opportunity to offer stand-alone nursing degree programs locally, the government is making it easier for students to access a high-quality education and find a rewarding career in nursing in their community.
  • For almost two decades, Humber has had a successful partnership with the University of New Brunswick (UNB) that has enabled the college to offer one of the province's largest collaborative nursing degree programs.
  • In Fall 2021, Humber College’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program intends to enroll approximately 70 students in their second-entry program and 180 students in their direct-entry program with the first cohort of students expected to graduate in 2023 and 2025 respectively.
  • Late last year the government released A Better Place to Live; A Better Place to Work: Ontario’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan. It is part of the government’s modernization agenda to create a long-term care sector that is resident-centred and provides the highest quality of care for our loved ones. To increase the number of personal service workers and nurses in the province, the government has launched one of the largest recruitment and training programs in Ontario history.
  • As Ontario continues to ramp up capacity to meet demand for COVID-19 vaccines to administer up to 150,000 vaccines per day, the province has expanded eligibility so that more health care workers can administer COVID-19 vaccines, including nurse practitioners, registered nurses and registered practical.