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B.C. eliminates application fees for internationally-trained nurses

Province also announces financial supports for nurses returning to workforce
The provincial government on Monday announced new financial supports and the elimination of application fees for internationally-trained nurses and nurses returning to the work force.

The B.C. government ius making it easier for internationally educated nurses to work in B.C.'s health care system with new financial supports and a faster, more efficient assessment pathway.

Internationally educated nurses will no longer be required to pay application and assessment fees upfront, which cost more than $3,700. These fees will be covered directly by the province in order to remove financial barriers for internationally educated workers who want to work in B.C.

“Supporting nurses is key to our work to making health care accessible to all British Columbians. Still, the demand for nurses is outpacing the supply,” said Premier David Eby in a release. “There are talented and skilled nurses with the right experience who want to practise in B.C. and support high-quality care, but they are kept on the sidelines by an expensive and complicated registration process. Whether a nurse was trained in or out of the province, we are ready to welcome those who are ready to care for British Columbians.”

The province is also providing new financial support to nurses returning to practice after a period of absence. Nurses looking to return to practice will no longer be required to pay a $300 application fee, and more than $4,000 in financial support will be available to cover assessment and eligible travel costs for nurses taking assessments in order to re-enter the workforce.

Nurses returning to practice will also be eligible to access as much as $10,000 in bursaries for any additional education required for returning to practice.

“By removing the barriers for more nurses to join our health care workforce, we are ensuring that people throughout the province have greater access to the health services they need, when they need them,” said health minister Adrian Dix. “Our government will continue to take action to recruit and train more health-care workers to meet the health care needs of British Columbians. In creating more accessible careers for nurses in B.C., we are delivering on our commitment to build a sustainable health system for many years to come.”

Last April, the government announced $12 million to provide bursaries for internationally educated nurses.