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Romano shows up to Sault College, announces previously-announced changes to nursing degree programs

If you think you've heard this story before, you probably have
Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and Sault Ste. Marie MPP Ross Romano was at Sault College's nursing simulation lab Friday to announce (again) that standalone nursing degree programs for colleges in the province are now a possibility. James Hopkin/SooToday

Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and Sault Ste. Marie MPP Ross Romano was at the nursing simulation lab at Sault College Friday to announce policy changes that would allow Ontario colleges to offer standalone nursing degree programs without partnering with universities. 

The changes will allow Sault College to dissolve its partnership with Laurentian University, which worked with the college to deliver a collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program. 

A SooToday story from last week on Sault College's plans to establish its own standalone nursing degree program can be found here

A news release from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities follows:

The Ontario government is making changes to permit colleges and universities to offer Bachelor nursing degree programs on a stand alone basis. For colleges, this will be the first time they would be able to offer the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) degree independently of a university partner.

Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities was at Sault College to announce a new nursing education policy that will give students more choice around accessing a high-quality education to pursue a rewarding career in registered nursing.

“Building Ontario’s economy means ensuring our postsecondary institutions are training students for the jobs of today and the future,” said Minister Romano. “This new pathway for nursing education will offer students greater choice and make it easier for them to pursue rewarding nursing careers.”

Since the collaborative nursing model was implemented in 2000, postsecondary education and health systems have grown and evolved. Many colleges now have experience in offering stand-alone degree programs in other areas of study. And both colleges and universities are able and willing to offer their own degrees independent of a partner institution.

“This new policy will expand choice for students and give institutions greater autonomy and flexibility over their programming,” said Minister Romano. “Institutions will be able to choose whether to deliver their programs collaboratively or on a stand-alone basis.”

“Granting colleges the ability to deliver a stand-alone nursing degree is a strong testament to the strength of our college programs, and further complements our ongoing commitment to offering a quality education,” said Dr. Ron Common, President, Sault College. “We are so grateful to Minister Romano and the provincial government for this opportunity to ensure more graduates enter the profession with the qualifications and the expertise to improve health-care delivery in our

Maintaining excellence in nursing education continues to be a priority for Ontario. By having safeguards in place, Ontario is ensuring we maintain excellence in nursing education, while expanding choice for students and providing greater autonomy to institutions.

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