Compulsory baccalaureate to become a nurse: the OIIQ offers a transition

L’OIIQ takes a new step in its desire to improve the conditions for entry into the nursing profession.

In a brief of nearly 300 pages sent to the Office des professions du Québec, theOIIQ in particular, lists the proposed changes and exposes the dangers of the status quo.

According to this document, consulted by Radio-Canada, the only diplomas giving access to the driving licenseOIIQ must be at university level, after a bachelor’s degree in nursing or a course DECBAC.

A floor of the Cégep de Rimouski has been refurbished to allow nurses to continue their training.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Julie Tremblay

Currently, a college education (DEC) of 2925 hours and a university education of 4635 to 4815 hours make it possible to obtain the same license to practice when passing the same professional examination.

According to’OIIQ, college training does not prepare students, in particular, to intervene in complex clinical situations […] and it is unsustainable to accept that nurses newly graduated from technical study programs carry out professional activities with a high risk of harm.

L’OIIQ goes so far as to cite studies that report a reduction in the hospital mortality rate when the proportion of nurses trained at the baccalaureate level increases.

Quebec has an active nursing workforce of approximately 75,000 people.

The proportion with a bachelor’s degree in nursing is 50%, compared to 69% in Ontario.

A grandfather clause

The memory of theOIIQ also proposes various mitigation measures as well as a grandfather clause.

By adopting a grandfather clause […]all nurses already licensed to practice will remain nurses. [Elles conserveront leur permis] and they will not be required to complete a baccalaureateindicates the document.

L’OIIQ also provides a list of mitigation measures, including programs to financially support further studies, to optimize distance education in all universities, and to offer paid internships and residency programs in clinical settings.

A transition period over several years is also proposed. Ontario, where the new entry standard was phased in from 2001 to 2005, is cited as an example.

Quebec remains the only province that still uses two distinct levels of training.

L’OIIQ maintains, with supporting figures, that the obligation of new students to complete a university education has had a positive effect on the attractiveness of the profession in the three Canadian provinces analyzed as well as in French-speaking Switzerland.

For its part, a coalition made up of the Fédération des cégeps and teachers’ unions opposes theOIIQ.

The Coalition for the Maintenance of DEC qualifying in nursing care launched a campaign on social networks earlier this week to promote college diploma, as well as the quality of the training offered at CEGEP by the teaching staff of this program.

The Office des professions should make its recommendations to the government over the next year.

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