No need for new stand-alone college nursing degrees

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TORONTO, Mar 17, 2021 — OCUFA believes that Humber College’s new stand-alone nursing degree program is unnecessary and short-sighted. Current university programs and joint university-college programs already provide a quality, well-rounded nursing education that is based on science and encompasses hands-on training and research. Like many of the Ford government’s postsecondary education initiatives, this is a solution in search of a problem developed without appropriate consultation.

The College of Nurses Ontario’s mandate is to protect the public. However, new stand-alone college nursing degree programs are not in the public interest. They will put the public at risk by de-skilling Ontario’s nurses and making them more vulnerable in the medium and long terms.

As has been the case for many years now, nursing degrees awarded by Ontario universities, as research institutions, ensure that graduating students have a well-rounded, research-based education that gives graduating nurses the research, scientific and technical skills they need to serve their patients and keep up with the ever-changing landscape of medicine. There is ample evidence suggesting that the proportion of nurses holding a university bachelor’s degree positively impacts quality of care for patients and results in reduced mortality rates.

This was the rationale of the previous Ontario Progressive Conservative government when, in 2000, it approved the College of Nurses of Ontario’s recommendation that the entry-level requirement for new Registered Nurses become a university baccalaureate degree in nursing and enacted a regulatory amendment to reflect this change.

Instead of moving ahead with this ill-conceived initiative, the Ontario government should improve the accessibility of nursing education for students by addressing longstanding challenges, such as the lack of clinical placement opportunities that students require for graduation.

With no added funding or plan to expand clinical placements, creating new stand-alone nursing programs at colleges would be irresponsible and would intensify existing challenges. It certainly would not serve nursing students, faculty, or the public.

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 professors and academic librarians in 30 faculty associations across Ontario. It is committed to enhancing the quality of higher education in Ontario and recognizing the outstanding contributions of its members towards creating a world-class university system. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at


For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Ben Lewis, OCUFA Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or