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New Brunswick Takes Steps to Address Nursing Shortage, Plans To Cover Costs for IENs

Nursing Shortage


1. New Brunswick plans to welcome more Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) to cover various costs associated with becoming eligible to work in the province. 

2. The five-year commitment will cover up to 300 nurses each year.

3. The initiative is part of the government’s broader plan called Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action to address the nursing shortage in New Brunswick.

4. New Brunswick already reduced the registration process for nurses from India from 12-18 months to as few as two weeks. 

The New Brunswick government has announced a new initiative to reduce financial barriers for internationally educated nurses (IENs) entering the province’s healthcare system. Canada pnp finderThe five-year commitment will cover various costs associated with becoming eligible to work in the province, including:

1. Pre-arrival assessments

2. Competency assessments

3. Bridging program tuition

4. First-time Nurses Association of New Brunswick registration

The initiative is expected to benefit up to 300 IENs each year.

Who are IENs in Canada?

Internationally educated nurses (IENs) are nurses who have completed their nursing education outside of Canada and are seeking to practice in Canada. There are over 100,000 IENs working in Canada, making up about 9% of the nursing workforce. 

To be eligible for securing benefits under New Brunswick’s latest plan, IENs must:

1. Be accepted for immigration to New Brunswick;

2. Have received a provincial nomination certificate or endorsement;

3. Have accepted an offer of employment (or be currently working in the province);

4. Be a regulated, licensed nurse in their country; and

5. Pursue the licensure/registration process in New Brunswick.

The new initiative is expected to be implemented in the coming months.


Also, read>> Newfoundland and Labrador Is Making It Easier For Internationally-Trained Nurses To Work In Province

Also, read>> Prince Edward Island Adds Two New Healthcare Roles, Improving Scope For Canadian Immigration


Critical Shortage of Nurses in Canada

The announcement comes as New Brunswick faces a critical shortage of nurses. The province has about 1,000 vacant nursing positions, and the number is expected to grow in the coming years. 

Moreover, Canada is facing a critical shortage of nurses. According to a 2022 report by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU), there are currently 117,600 vacant nursing positions in the country. This shortage is expected to worsen in the coming years, as the population ages and the demand for health care increases.

The financial barriers that IENs face can be significant. The cost of pre-arrival assessments, competency assessments, and bridging programs can be upwards of $10,000. This can be a major obstacle for IENs who are already facing financial challenges.

New Initiative by Nurses Association of New Brunswick

Early in May 2023, the Nurses Association of New Brunswick reduced the registration process for nurses from 14 countries from 12-18 months to as few as two weeks.

The 14 countries represent over 75% of all international nurse applicants to New Brunswick. These countries are the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Hong Kong, India, Philippines, United Arab Emirates, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Morocco, and Lebanon. 

Other initiatives to welcome more nurses in New Brunswick include increasing the number of seats in nursing programs, expanding the use of nurse practitioners, and providing more support for nurses in the workplace.

If you’re interested in immigration to Canada, contact RICC-licensed and regulated consultants like CanApprove. Book your free appointment today. 

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