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Alberta invests $11 million for international nursing students

By Leo Andrew Cruzat on October 24, 2023

The Alberta government invested $11 million in the nursing bridging program to open more than 1,200 seating capacities for international nursing students.

The investment aims to provide pathways for foreign nurses to get credentials in Alberta and help address the current nursing shortage.

“One of the reasons was to make sure we tap into all of that potential that is out there but really has no clear pathway to getting those credentials here in Canada and in this case in Alberta,” said Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Advanced Education.

Post-secondary institutions that are part of the bridging program:

  1. $2.6 million – Lethbridge College partnering with Bow Valley College: 108 seats
  2. $2.4 million – University of Lethbridge/Lethbridge College: 100 seats
  3. $2.4 million – MacEwan University: 364 seats
  4. $600,000 – Red Deer Polytechnic partnering with NorQuest College: 135 seats
  5. $500,000 – Bow Valley College: 96 seats
  6. $500,000 – Northwestern Polytechnic: 96 seats
  7. $500,000 – Portage College: 96 seats
  8. $500,000 – Keyano College: 96 seats
  9. $500,000 – Keyano College partnering with NorQuest College: 40 seats
  10. $400,000 – NorQuest College: 90 seats

The government invests $7.8 million annually over the next three years to provide bursaries for internationally educated nurses.

“Anybody who’s entering this bridging program to be able to apply for a bursary, to help offset the cost of living for them while they’re studying. And part of that stipulation of this bursaries to ensure that people are looking at those spots in rural Alberta because that’s where the major labour shortages are,” Minister Sawhney added.

Eligible nurses are able to receive $30,000 for over five years to offset the cost of the program which includes tuition fees. The bursary is non-repayable for those who are willing to live and work in rural Alberta. 

A total of 24.7 million was invested which covers the seating capacity, bursaries, and CMR (Capital Maintenance and Renewal).



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