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Responding to the Need for Nurses: Trent University Leads New Provincial Initiative

April 15, 2019

Consortium offers competency-bridging program of study for internationally educated nurses to practice in Ontario

Trent University students participating in a Nursing lab simulation alongside instructors.

A consortium has been formed to address the growing shortage of registered nurses across the province, and Trent University is leading the way as a principal partner.

The Trent/Fleming School of Nursing at Trent University, is a lead partner in the Ontario Internationally Educated Nurses Course Consortium (OIENCC), which aims to support internationally educated nurses (IENs) in their journey to become registered nurses (RNs) in Ontario, and brings together expertise from the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University, Health Leadership and Learning Network and School of Nursing at York University, and Continuing Education at University of Windsor.

“The Trent/Fleming School of Nursing is proud to be a partner on this important initiative to create a pathway for nurses who were educated in other countries to become registered and practice their profession in Ontario,” said Professor Kirsten Woodend, dean of the Trent/Fleming School of Nursing. “This collaboration breaks new ground in terms of providing both online and hands-on learning that is accessible to internationally educated nurses.” 

Supported through a $2 million funding boost from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, the OIENCC is developing a two-year competency-bridging program of study for internationally educated nurses.

“The Ontario Internationally Educated Nurses Course Consortium is thrilled to create innovative pathways for nurses who were educated in other countries to become registered nurses in Ontario and realize their professional potential. These nurses are important resources for our health care system,” said Ayesha Bhatti, program manager of the competency-bridging program of study.

IENs are essential to creating a diverse workforce responsive to the expanding healthcare needs of Canada’s multicultural population, however, before IENs can contribute to the workforce, they must meet the College of Nurses of Ontario baccalaureate level nursing education requirements.

The new initiative provides IENs with courses that specifically address the full range of RN entry-to-practice competencies, including two English language and communication courses, six competency-based courses, 96 hours of simulation labs, 432 hours of intensive clinical placements, 24 hours of preparation for the licensing exam, a workshop on resume writing and interview skills, and job counselling support.

For more information about the competency-bridging program of study visit Applications will be accepted in May 2019 through the website.

About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.

About the Ontario Internationally Educated Nurses Course Consortium
In 2014, Elaine Santa Mina, associate professor in the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing at Ryerson University, Kirsten Woodend, dean of the Trent/Fleming School of Nursing at Trent University, Linda Patrick, dean of the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Windsor, and Pat Bradley, associate professor and coordinator of the Internationally Educated Nurses BScN Program 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. In 2016, the OIENCC developed English language courses and competency-based courses for IENs in the entry to practice competency areas of ethical practice, professional responsibility and accountability, self-regulation, and service to the public with funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development and support from Alice Ormiston from the Council of Ontario Universities. Two cohorts of IENs completed the courses and are in the process of becoming RNs in Ontario.

For more information contact:
Elizabeth Bower-Gordon, communications & media relations officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6240 or  

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