Ontario adding 2,000 nurses to the health care system

Published on May 20, 2021

Ontario’s long-term care homes, acute care, and home and community care are in immediate need of more nurses. This need existed prior to the pandemic however COVID-19 has made it much more severe.


That’s why we are investing $35 million to increase enrolment in nursing education programs across the province. The additional spaces for Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 semesters have the potential to introduce over 1,130 new registered practical nurses and over 870 BScN nursing graduates (registered nurses) into the health care system.


We are taking a significant step towards keeping pace with the rising demand for frontline health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, especially in sectors where health care workers care for Ontario’s most vulnerable patients such as long-term care, home and community care and acute care


This investment will help long-term care homes create more clinical placements for registered practical nurses, registered nurses, and personal support worker students, ensuring quality clinical placements in long-term care at a time when homes are facing severe staffing challenges. It will also provide nurses already in the long-term-care sector an opportunity to grow their careers by working as clinical experts for students.


This investment is also supporting this government's Long-Term Care Staffing Plan, which sets out the actions we’re taking to train and recruit tens of thousands of new healthcare staff through partnerships with labour, long-term care homes, and education and training providers so that homes can provide four hours of direct care per day to residents.


The investment also has both short and long-term benefits. Increasing nursing supply is critical to ensuring Ontario has the Health Human Resource (HHR) capacity required for various health system transformation, including government long-term care expansion and acute care expansion, increasing home and community care supports and long-range acute care expansion.


This program is one of the innovative ways that this Government is making changes to the historically underfunded and ignored Long term care sector and supports Ontario's implementation of this historic long-term care staffing plan, released in December 2020. 


A Better Place to Live; A Better Place to Work: Ontario’s Long-Term Care Staffing Plan is the government’s plan to increase the hours of direct care for residents to an average of four hours per day.


To implement this staffing plan, we are making additional annual investments, culminating in $1.9 billion annually by 2024-25 to create more than 27,000 new positions for personal support workers, registered nurses and registered practical nurses in long-term care.


It is clear now more than ever that we must continue to create a modernized long-term care sector that is truly resident-centred, one that provides the highest quality of care for our most vulnerable people, where and when they need it.


To learn more: Click Here