The Ontario government is making a move it hopes will help alleviate a nursing shortage, especially in rural communities.
Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano was at Georgian College in Owen Sound on Tuesday to announce community colleges will be able to offer a full, four-year Bachelor of Science Nursing Program on campus.
Romano noted currently students spend two years at college and then have to transfer to a university to complete the program. He says often they don't come back and that's not a good thing for the students and the community.
"That opportunity then translates to being able to stay home, work on the relationships they've made at home, family and friends as well as the employment sector. That's such a positive thing for our young people," said Romano.
Bruce Grey Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker said the change means students are more likely to stay and serve their community after graduation.
"This is going to have a huge impact positively for people to be able to stay in those communities like Chesley in our own back yard that has a nursing shortage. This is going to be a game-changer," said Walker.
Georgian College President MaryLynn West-Moynes was also on hand for the announcement on Tuesday and hailed the change. She said she expects the first cohort of about 40 students will start the new four-year program in Owen Sound in 2022.