McMaster University’s School of Nursing (SON) will see an increase in student enrolment as a result of the provincial announcement of $35 million in funding to recruit 2,000 new nurses Friday.

The provincial funding aims to boost enrolment in Ontarian nursing education programs as nurses are in high demand and short supply amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We don’t know the exact number of additional students this announcement could mean for our programs, but we have had a large increase in applicants to the nursing programs this spring, a 22 per cent rise to applicants for the four-year nursing program and more than 100 per cent to the accelerated nursing program,” said Sandra Carroll, vice-dean, health sciences and executive director of the McMaster School of Nursing.

“At our McMaster BScN site, we currently accept 120 students in the four-year nursing program and 80 students to the accelerated program each year, and we look forward to learning more from the province.

“Nursing is a great career, and we’ve heard that loud and clear during our celebrations this week of the 75th anniversary of our nursing school.”

As well as investing in frontline nurse recruitment, the provincial investment will pay for the expansion of clinical education placements for student nurses and personal support workers in the long-term care sector.

The province says long-term care homes, hit severely by COVID-19, are facing severe staffing shortages.

“Colleges and universities are crucial partners in our goal to provide high-quality care for long-term care residents and all Ontarians. Today’s announcement is progress to ensuring that Ontario’s healthcare system has the highly-qualified staff needed to provide world-class care for Ontarians and our loved ones,” said Minister of Colleges and Universities, Ross Romano.

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