Calgary, 14 February 2023 – Consul General Zaldy Patron has called on the Filipino internationally educated nurses (IEN) in the Province of Alberta to take advantage of the new and expanded support program recently announced by the Alberta Government for the IEN in the province.

In a press conference held on 13 February 2023 at the Mount Royal University (MRU) in Calgary, Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides and Health Minister Jason Copping reported that the Alberta Government would invest CAD15.1 million to provide financial grants to the IEN and create 626 new seats for the province’s nursing bridging programs.

Consul General Patron also spoke at the press conference to express the appreciation of the Philippine Government for Alberta’s new support program that would benefit many Filipino IEN in the province who are yet to start the process for the recognition of the nursing credentials they earned in the Philippines.

Under the province’s Budget 2023, the Alberta Government would invest CAD7.8 million annually to fund non-repayable financial assistance for the IEN.

Starting in 2023-24 academic year, each IEN would be able to access as much as $30,000 over five years to help offset the tuition for the nursing bridging program, the licensing fees, and other living expenses.

Recipients of the financial grant will be required to complete a year of nursing service in Alberta for every $6,000 they get.

IEN who successfully enrolled in an approved bridging program will be eligible for the financial grant regardless of their eligibility for any other federal or provincial student aid.

The amount of the financial grant will be determined based on the individual’s program of study, tuition costs, licensing, and program fees, with a minimum of CAD8,000 to be awarded.

The Alberta Government will work with a third party that will oversee the financial grant program and disburse the assistance on behalf of Alberta Student Aid.

The Alberta Government has acknowledged that the new financial grant fulfils one of the provisions of the Philippines-Alberta MOU on the Recruitment of Filipino Nurses that was signed on 6 October 2022.

The Philippine Consulate General in Calgary, in partnership with the newly created Department of Migrant Workers and then Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Vancouver, successfully negotiated the MOU with the Alberta Government.

In addition to the increased budget for the financial grant for the IEN, the Alberta Government is also investing another CAD7.3 million over three years to create more than 626 new seats for registered nurse and licensed practical nurse bridging and licensing programs starting in the 2023-24 academic year.

Out of the total new seats, 256 new seats for the registered nurse bridging program will be created at MRU.

On the other hand, Bow Valley College in Calgary and NorQuest College in Edmonton will be given be given funding for 120 new seats and 250 new seats, respectively, for their licensed practical nurse bridging programs.

“With the increased financial grant now available for the IEN in Alberta, this is the best time for the Filipino nurses who earned their degrees in the Philippines and are now in Alberta, but are not yet working as nurses, to consider undergoing the province’s nursing credentialing process so they can eventually work as nurses and realize their full human potential,” said Consul General Patron.

Consul General Patron added that his office would invite the representatives of the Alberta Government to conduct a separate briefing for the Filipino nurses regarding the new support program for the IEN.

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