BC announced a slew of new incentives Monday to get more nurses into the workforce, including waived fees for internationally-educated nurses and bursaries for nurses that left the profession to come back.
Premier David Eby announced nurses who were trained outside Canada will no longer have to pay application and assessment fees upfront — which usually total more than $3,700. Instead, the province will cover those fees.
“There are talented and skilled nurses with the right experience who want to practise in BC and support high-quality care, but they are kept on the sidelines by an expensive and complicated registration process,” Eby said in a news release.
The province is also making it cheaper for nurses who left the profession to come back. Nurses returning after an absence will no longer be required to pay a $300 application fee, and more than $4,000 will be available to help them cover assessment and travel costs to re-enter the workforce.
Returning nurses can also access up to $10,000 in bursaries for any additional education that’s required.
The latest announcement follows the $12 million allocated in April 2022 to provide bursaries for foreign-trained nurses, provide navigational supports, and consolidate the assessment approach.