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Ontario Government’s $10 Million Investment Boosts Emergency Department Nursing Skills

ORILLIA, ON — In a significant move to fortify the healthcare system, the Ontario government has announced a $10 million investment to enhance the skills of over 1,000 nurses in emergency departments across the province. This initiative aims to support rural and remote hospitals, ensuring that critical care is available closer to home for more Ontarians.

Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Sylvia Jones emphasized the importance of this investment. “Our government continues to expand Ontario’s healthcare workforce and add thousands of new nurses to deliver high-quality care for people and families closer to home,” Jones said. “This investment will break down barriers and provide more opportunities for emergency department nurses to grow in their careers as we build a stronger, more resilient healthcare system for generations to come.”

The program, launched last year, has already seen considerable success, with over 400 nurses from 72 rural and remote hospitals receiving upskill training. The additional funding will enhance the program, offering more than 1,000 nurses access to four crucial training and education components:

  1. Virtual Training Modules: These sessions deliver high-quality, interactive training for general emergency department orientation and core competency skills. Last year, 847 sessions were attended by nurses from 72 small, rural, and remote hospitals.
  2. Immersion Programs: Multi-day, in-person skills training aimed at new emergency department nurses in small, rural, and remote hospitals. In the previous year, 53 nurses from 26 such hospitals attended three Immersion Programs, receiving hands-on upskilling.
  3. Specialty Training Fund: This fund provides grants for nurses to complete courses in core emergency department nursing skills. Last year, over 2,600 courses were funded, removing financial barriers for nurses seeking to enhance their skills.
  4. Regional Educator Program: This program increases access to continuing education and training resources for emergency department nurses within their regions.

Judy Linton, Executive Vice-President and Chief Nursing Executive at Ontario Health, highlighted the positive feedback from nurses. “Nurses are telling us this program is invaluable,” Linton said. “They are able to effectively apply the content and skills learned in the course to their work, which is helping to ensure quality care to more Ontarians in emergency departments across the province.”

Through its “Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care,” the Ontario government is taking decisive action to support the province’s highly skilled healthcare workforce. The Emergency Department Nursing Education, Retention, and Workforce Program plays a crucial role in enhancing nursing skills, particularly for those in remote areas who would otherwise have to travel long distances for training. This initiative is not only about upskilling but also about ensuring the retention and recruitment of emergency department nurses, thereby sustaining high-quality emergency care across Ontario.

This investment is expected to have a lasting impact on the province’s healthcare system, providing much-needed support to rural and remote hospitals and ensuring that more Ontarians have access to critical care when and where they need it.

Samantha Deschamps

Samantha Deschamps serves as the Queens Park Reporter, offering insightful coverage of provincial politics with depth and accuracy. With a keen understanding of legislative intricacies, Deschamps provides invaluable perspectives on matters affecting Ontario. For inquiries or feedback, contact Samantha at

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