Ontario Upskilling More Nurses to Work in Critical Care

Record number of new nurses registered in Ontario so far this year

December 01, 2022

Office of the Premier

Table of Contents

  1. Content
  2. Quick Facts
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TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing over $4.6 million in the Michener Institute to remove financial barriers for nurses wanting to upskill to work in critical care areas of hospitals.

“While there is still more work to do, our plan to expand Ontario’s health workforce is adding thousands of new nurses, with nearly 14,000 new nurses registered to work in the province so far this year,” said Premier Doug Ford. “We’re breaking down barriers for internationally educated nurses to work here in Ontario and are providing more opportunity for all nurses to grow in the job. It’s all hands on deck as we use every tool we have to get more nurses working in Ontario right now.”

The funding provides free tuition for students and all college and hospital costs, including backfilling their current roles to ensure continuity of care, and allows nurses to train to work in critical care areas of hospitals. By spring 2023, close to 600 registered nurses will have completed their upskilling education and will be ready to support critical care in hospitals across Ontario.

“With a record number of new nurses registering in Ontario this year, our plan to bolster our health care work force and ensure high quality health care is there for patients when they need it is working,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “We will continue to invest in programs to recruit, retain, and train more nurses as we build a stronger, more resilient health care system for generations to come.”

In addition to the Michener Institute, the government is also investing more than $9.4 million to support accelerated critical care nursing at Centennial College, Conestoga College, George Brown College, Laurentian University, Mohawk College and St. Lawrence College.

Quick Facts

  • Between 2018 and 2021, Ontario added over 14,500 net new nurses.
  • For 2022, a record number of nurses have registered in Ontario. So far, nearly 14,000 new nurses have registered in the province, of which 6,300 are internationally educated.


“Our government knows that a strong health care system starts with a strong postsecondary education system. By increasing postsecondary opportunities for healthcare workers to upgrade their credentials in critical care areas, we are strengthening Ontario’s healthcare system and ensuring those in need have the care they need, when they need it.”

– Jill Dunlop
Minister of Colleges and Universities

“Part of Ontario’s Plan to Stay Open is attracting and retaining more health care workers and, by removing financial barriers for nurses wanting to upgrade their skills, this investment does just that. I am especially excited about the Community Commitment Program for Nurses as well as the Personal Support Worker Return of Service Program, both of which will bring us closer to our goal of providing four hours of direct care per resident per day to long-term care residents.”

– Paul Calandra
Minister of Long-Term Care

“For over 60 years, the primary mandate of Michener has been to partner with the Ontario government to graduate much needed health care professionals who move seamlessly into environments where they become invaluable members of health care teams providing high quality and timely patient care. Never in its history has this mandate been more significant, which is why Michener is on an ambitious program of expansion to help fill the health human resource shortages being faced in Ontario and all of Canada.”

– Harvey Weingarten
Principal of The Michener Institute of Education at UHN

“Our colleges are very pleased to be a part of this important initiative, along with a number of others, that the government has launched to boost our healthcare workforce at this critical time. The investment outlined today will help us graduate more nurses into high demand areas in our hospitals.”

– Linda Franklin
President and CEO of Colleges Ontario

“The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) thanks the Government of Ontario for its strong support for the Critical Care Nursing Upskilling Program. This initiative creates incentives and removes barriers for nurses who are interested in working in critical care and will provide them with supports to provide quality patient care in this environment. Investments in the education and training of health care workers are essential because they help strengthen ongoing access to vitally important health services for the people of Ontario today, and into the future.”

– Anthony Dale
President and CEO, Ontario Hospital Association

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