Ontario Helping More Students Become Nurse Practitioners

121 additional training spots increasing the pipeline of talent for Ontario’s health care workforce

November 20, 2023

TORONTO — The Ontario government is making it faster and easier for people to connect to primary care, especially in northern and rural areas, by continuing to boost the number of spots available to train new nurse practitioners. Working together with Ontario universities across the province, 121 additional training positions have been added to the Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner Program this year, helping to grow the nurse practitioner workforce for years to come.

“Our government recognizes the important frontline work nurse practitioners do to provide people primary care and support,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Expanding training opportunities to become a nurse practitioner will grow this important profession, ensuring more Ontarians can connect to high-quality care, when and where they need it.”

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced university education that can provide primary care in nurse practitioner-led clinics, long-term care homes, hospitals, and other community settings. They connect people to a full range of health care services including prescribing, ordering and interpreting tests, and diagnosing and treating illnesses.

“Nurse practitioners play a key role in our plan to build a resilient health care system in Ontario,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “Supporting additional training seats will ensure more graduates are part of the next generation of health care professionals that will provide Ontarians the excellent care they deserve.”

Since September 2023, additional nurse practitioner positions include up to:

  • 24 new positions at University of Windsor
  • 20 new positions at University of Toronto
  • 17 new positions at Toronto Metropolitan University
  • 16 new positions at Western University
  • 15 new positions at Queen’s University
  • 11 new positions at York University
  • 8 new positions at McMaster University
  • 6 new positions at Laurentian University of Sudbury
  • 4 new positions at Lakehead University

This expansion, which is part of the government’s Your Health Plan, brings the total number of nurse practitioner training positions up to 321 at schools across the province, and brings the province closer to its goal of 350. Growing the pipeline of talent for Ontario’s health care workforce is one more way the province is ensuring Ontarians can access convenient and connected care, closer to home, now and for years to come.