British Columbia to pay fees, fund further training of foreign nurse recruits
British Columbia, Canada’s government will cover fees of international nurses and help fund training upgrades of former nurses in order to fill its health care system with more health care professionals, Premier David Eby announced.
The province will also spend $1.3 million to set up a new pathway for internationally trained nurses and assess applications faster, to cut the wait down to between four and nine months, according to the Canada Press.
Foreign-educated nurses will no longer be required to pay application and assessment fees, which can be over $3,700.
Jennie Arceno, a nurse trained in the Philippines, quoted by Canada Press, said it took her three years to obtain her British Columbia registered nursing license, and cost her some $40,000 in assessment, registration and tuition fees.
The provincial government also said it will support up to $4,000 in application fees, assessments and eligible travel costs for current nurses to re-enter the system, along with up to $10,000 reimbursement for any additional education they might need to reenter the system.
B.C. Nurses Union President Aman Grewal expressed support for the changes. “At the moment there are, as of this past spring, 5,200 vacancies here in B.C. and by 2031, we need 26,000 new nurses,” she told a news conference.