The Ranking of Nurses in Quebec lifts university degree requirements for nurses

Quebec’s nurses’ system is changing course, saying it will temporarily suspend its plan that would have required nurses to obtain a university degree before working in the profession.

the Order of Nurses of Quebec OIIQ, which regulates nursing in the province, says it will focus its efforts on improving the licensing exam at the end of nursing studies.

In May 2022, the order announced it wanted new nurses to have a college degree. However, since then, the nursing exam that nursing students must pass to enter the field has come under fire for its high failure rate, with some nurses calling for a change in the way future nurses are tested.

The largest nurses’ union in Quebec, Occupational Health Federation of Quebec (FIQ) welcomes this decision.

“FIQ calls on OIIQ to focus its energies now on the fundamental problems of the nursing profession,” said FIQ President Julie Bouchard. “The OIIQ has condemned these problems in the past. For example, an employer transfers nurses from one care unit to another without proper preparation.”

Bernard Tremblay, president of the Quebec Federation of CEGEPs, also welcomed the order that dropped the university requirement, citing labor shortages and a seven per cent drop in registrations for nursing programs in 2023.

Tremblay says attracting young people to the profession is a challenge. He says he wants Quebec’s Ministry of Health to better promote nursing certifications at the CEGEP level so that the province’s next generation of nurses can come forward with “full confidence” that they will be able to practice.

Quebec currently has about 81,000 nurses, 53 per cent of whom have a bachelor’s degree.

OIIQ also suspended its plan to use the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), which is used in the United States and other Canadian provinces to obtain a license to practice.

“It is recommended that nursing candidates not wait for the NCLEX-RN to register for the professional exam,” Alexandre Banville, Chief of the Office of the President, said in the order.

The next test is scheduled for March 26 and will be open to all candidates, regardless of how many times they have failed it.

In November, Quebec’s Professions Office announced that it wanted to force the OIIQ to revise the entrance exam.

In January, the OIIQ’s annual report showed that it had issued fewer permits in 2022-2023 than in the previous decade.

(tags for translation)University

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