RNAO and CARE Centre Applaud the Ontario Government's Expansion of the Nursing Graduate Guarantee Program

TORONTO, May 8, 2013 /CNW/ - The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) and CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) commend the Ontario government for expanding the Nursing Graduate Guarantee program. The government's announcement on May 6 - the first day of Nursing Week - adds to the very successful $100-million program where new nursing graduates from Ontario are matched with employers who are willing to bridge them to full-time employment.

The expansion - Nursing Career OrIENtation Initiative - will help internationally educated nurses (IENs) as well as those educated in Canadian jurisdictions outside of Ontario, transition to practise full-time in Ontario. This will provide nursing graduates educated outside of the province with an opportunity to gain full employment and to work with experienced nurses to enhance their knowledge and skills.

"The Nursing Graduate Guarantee has helped thousands of new nursing students from Ontario realize their dream of working full-time in our magnificent profession. The additional funding to allow nursing graduates from other provinces and other countries who have already made Ontario their new home is welcome news," says RNAO's Chief Executive Officer Doris Grinspun, adding that no funding should be used to poach nurses from countries that need nurses to meet the care needs of their own citizens."

"Internationally educated nurses make up a significant portion of the nursing workforce in this province, and this new initiative from the government will give our Ontario-registered nurses equal opportunity to bring their wealth of experience to our hospitals, long-term care homes and other health-care workplaces in the community," says Zubeida Ramji, Executive Director of CARE Centre for IENs, a bridge-training program funded by the provincial government and the federal government. "IENs have important language and cultural skills that reflect the needs of the population to provide the best care to patients and their families."

The Nursing Graduate Guarantee was established in 2007 and provides first-time employment to 2,200 new Ontario nurses every year leading to full-time work. Program details are available on the HealthForceOntario website at http://www.healthforceontario.ca.

The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses' contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.  For more information about RNAO, visit our website at www.RNAO.ca.  You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses has supported over 1,400 nurses from more than 140 countries to become registered in the province since 2001. CARE Centre is a not-for-profit professional organization funded by the Ontario Government and the Government of Canada. CARE Centre provides immigrant nurses with the one-on-one case management, language and communication skills, exam preparation, professional development, mentoring and networking to be successful in the nursing profession. CARE Centre recognizes the value of nurses with diverse education and experience and is committed to advocating for their full contribution to Ontario's healthcare system. To learn more about CARE Centre and its work, please visit www.care4nurses.org.

SOURCE: Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

For further information:

For media inquiries please contact:

Marion Zych
Director of Communications
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario
416-408-5605 (office)
647-406-5605 (cell)

Tina Novotny
CARE Centre for IENs
Phone: 416-836-1989, ext. 240
Cell: 416-836-1989


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