Health workforce shortages: Ontario wants to speed up the accreditation process
Allison Jones, The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Ontario’s Minister of Health is calling on the College of Nurses to quickly introduce regulatory changes that could allow thousands more internationally educated nurses to practice in that province sooner.
Labor shortages led to temporary emergency department closures at several Ontario hospitals this summer. Minister Sylvia Jones had asked the College in August to develop plans to register internationally educated professional nurses more quickly.
The Order has notably proposed to authorize nurses trained abroad to practice even if the registration process is not completed, in particular the end of studies and the entrance examination.
The College has also offered to facilitate the return to work of approximately 5,300 “non-practising” nurses who already live in Ontario, if they wish.
Current rules state that a nurse must have practiced for the past three years to be reinstated, but this requirement could be waived by the College.
Minister Jones is now asking the professional body to immediately draft changes to its bylaws and bylaws.
“If these changes are approved by the government, I expect the College to immediately begin registering both (internationally educated nurses) and other candidates who will benefit from these changes,” the College wrote. Minister Jones in a letter to the College, obtained by The Canadian Press.
The College of Nurses estimates the changes could help up to 5,970 active international applicants who already live in Ontario, but Minister Jones asked the professional body how many nurses specifically are expected to benefit from the measures.
The College had also indicated that with temporary registrations, it could change the rules to only revoke a temporary certificate after two failed exam attempts, instead of just one. On this measure, the ministry said it would rely on the expertise of the College to know exactly what should be included in the regulatory amendments it is drafting.
Temporarily registered nurses must be supervised by a licensed practical nurse, registered nurse or nurse practitioner.
Minister Jones also allowed the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to offer temporary three-month accreditation for physicians who have already been licensed to practice in another province.
The College had also stressed to the minister the need to put in place a program of readiness-to-practice assessments, a measure that would allow foreign-trained physicians to be quickly assessed over a period of supervision and observation. 12 weeks direct.
Such programs are already in use in seven other provinces and are designed to deploy doctors to underserved communities and pave the way for obtaining a license to practice, the College pleaded with the minister.
“With government funding and coordination among key partners in the system, a program could be implemented immediately and begin injecting a new supply of (foreign-trained doctors) into the system as early as spring 2023 and beyond. beyond, ”says the College.
Ms Jones replied that her department was “looking carefully at this concept”.