College in Ontario proposes to temporarily register foreign nurses

College in Ontario proposes to temporarily register foreign nurses

The province continues to struggle with the crisis.

On August 18, the Ontario government released an 18-page document outlining a work plan to get out of the health care crisis. Sylvia Jones, the provincial minister for the industry, has instructed the College of Nursing of Ontario to develop schemes within two weeks for faster registration of professionals educated outside Canada.

On August 18, it was announced that Ontario now has 5,970 active foreign applicants and, if the minister supports the initiative, these applicants will be temporarily enrolled while they study and get their licence.

Temporary registered nurses will be supervised by experienced certified staff. The College reports that these changes will allow IEN (Internationally Educated Nurse) license applicants to work in the profession under the terms and limitations of the public defense until they pass the final exam.

The college is also proposing to make it easier for about 5,300 non-practicing nurses living in Ontario to return to work if they so choose. Current rules state that a nurse must have practiced within the past three years to be reinstated, but the announcement says those rules are subject to change as well. In addition, an increase in the number of residency slots available for internationally educated physicians has been requested:

"Immediate action now can create new opportunities for the summer of 2023 by quickly bringing qualified IEPs into the system as interns and creating a clear path to independent practice for this group."

The College is also proposing a new temporary three-month registration in Ontario for physicians licensed in other provinces or territories, asking that rules be changed to make it easier for retired doctors to return to practice, and reminding hospitals that they can hire foreign medical graduates waiting to register under the 30-day "short-term" license when physicians are needed urgently.

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