Ontario’s Learn and Stay Grant is being expanded to nursing, paramedic, and laboratory technologist post-secondary programs in underserved areas of the province.
The province announced nursing programs at Canadore College and Nipissing University along with the paramedic program at CTS Canadian Career College in North Bay are included.
Officials with Collège Boréal confirm the nursing program at their Sturgeon Falls campus will also be participating.
“Since the onset of the pandemic our valued partners in the EMS sector have been understaffed and underserved,” says Dr. Amanda Harris, President of CTS Canadian Career College. “This invaluable initiative will help EMS Services to fulfill the overwhelming staff needs while simultaneously assisting students to make education both realistic and affordable.”
Eligible students will receive full grants for tuition, books, and other educational costs.
If they stay in the community where they went to school and practice there, they will have no debt from their education.
“Our nursing graduates are in-demand across the province and this new funding will encourage our students to stay in our region upon graduation where they will contribute their expertise in contemporary healthcare and leadership skills to our hospitals and healthcare agencies,” says Dr. Kevin Wamsley, President & Vice-Chancellor, Nipissing University.
George Burton, President of Canadore College, says the college is happy the Ontario government is taking this initiative.
“Northern Ontario is experiencing shortages in health care fields like practical nursing,” he says. “This program will attract students into these programs and keep them in the region once they graduate.”
The province says the expansion responds to labour market needs, including in health care, and helps communities get the workers they need for in-demand professions.
“This is a historic investment in our students and in the future of our healthcare workforce in Nipissing,” said Vic Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing. “By providing targeted financial incentives to encourage students to learn and work close to home, the expanded Learn and Stay grant will ensure that our healthcare professionals get the training they need to make immediate impacts in local hospitals, long-term care homes and other healthcare facilities after they graduate.”
Grant applications will open in the spring for the fall semester.
**With files from Wendy Gray