Quebec asked to postpone university degree requirement for nurses

April 8, 2013

The Quebec nurses' federation warns that requiring new nurses to have a university degree as of 2014 could aggravate understaffing in the already overburdened health-care system. The federation's president has asked that the Quebec government hold off on its plan to require all new nurses to have a bachelor's degree for a few more years, because the conditions needed to make the new system work still are not in place. But the Quebec Order of Nurses says the 5-year phasing-in period, from 2014 to 2019, gives the health-care system plenty of time to adjust to the new requirements. Only in 2019 will a university degree become compulsory for all new nurses, the order's president says. The order says Quebec lags more than a decade behind other provinces in requiring a degree for nurses. But the nursing federation's president says there is already a shortage of spaces in nursing programs at Quebec universities. She wonders how universities will cope with the increased cohort of nursing students once a degree becomes compulsory in the profession. Montreal Gazette