Colleges’ new online courses help more internationally educated nurses pursue careers in Ontario


(TORONTO, Jan. 27, 2023) – Ontario’s colleges have launched new upgrading courses for internationally educated nurses that could allow some nurses to attain the qualifications to work in Ontario within four to six months.

“Colleges are playing a prominent role in strengthening the health-care workforce,” said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. “A key part of this effort is ensuring more internationally educated nurses have access to courses that ensure they have the qualifications to work in Ontario.”

“Part of Ontario’s plan to fix long-term care is attracting and retaining more health-care workers, and these courses help break down barriers for internationally educated nurses looking to pursue careers across the province” said Long-Term Care Minister Paul Calandra. “Our government is strengthening Ontario’s health-care system and that starts with ensuring that health-care workers have access to the training and education they need.”

Beginning Feb. 1, new tuition-free upgrading courses will be available primarily online for internationally educated nurses who need to complete additional studies to qualify for work in Ontario as registered practical nurses and registered nurses.

The courses are offered through a modular approach that allows each student to only select the courses the student needs to complete, rather than enrolling in a full program. This innovative approach is more efficient and will help many nurses qualify for work more quickly.

Starting March 1, colleges will also offer new online upgrading courses for personal support workers who want to pursue careers as registered practical nurses. Students who successfully complete these upgrading courses will be eligible to fast-track into a practical nursing program at college.

PSWs who enrol in the upgrading courses may be eligible for financial support from WeRPN (the Registered Practical Nurses Association). 

“These new courses will strengthen the quality of care at health-care facilities throughout the province,” Franklin said. “Internationally educated nurses and personal support workers are encouraged to learn more about these great opportunities at Ontario’s colleges.”

About Colleges Ontario

Colleges Ontario is the advocacy organization for the province’s 24 public colleges. The organization advances policies and awareness campaigns to ensure Ontario produces the highly qualified workforce that is essential to Ontario’s prosperity. For more information, visit

Follow us on Facebook ǀ Follow us on Twitter


For more information:

Amy Dickson
Senior Communications Advisor, Public Affairs
Colleges Ontario