SAINT JOHN (GNB) – A pilot project to recruit internationally educated nurses has matched 80 nurses with New Brunswick employers since its launch in fall 2020.

“We are taking action to address the shortage of nurses working in our province,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “Our new provincial health plan reflects the importance of ensuring we have enough human resources to provide care to New Brunswickers, now and in the future. This recruitment program will continue to play a key role in recruiting and retaining the nurses we need to help stabilize and rebuild our health system.”

The pilot was created as a partnership involving the provincial departments of Health and Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour and the federal department of Employment and Social Development Canada. It is designed to support internationally educated nurses as they apply for immigration and help ensure they meet registration requirements to live and work in New Brunswick.

Of the 80 nurses that have been recruited, 55 have been hired by Horizon Health Network, 12 have been hired by Vitalité Health Network and 13 have received job offers from nursing homes across the province.

“It is encouraging to see so many new nurses hired through the recruitment pilot,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. “We are now investing to further expand and support the development of a new program, creating a fully staffed unit to manage anticipated increases in our efforts to recruit internationally educated nurses in the years ahead.”

As a result of these increased investments, another 150 internationally educated nurses have been identified through recruitment initiatives and will be connected with employers for hiring opportunities over the coming 12 months.

Internationally educated nurses must meet requirements of the Nurses Association of New Brunswick to work as registered nurses in the province.

The process for an internationally educated nurse to become licensed to work as a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse in New Brunswick can take between 12 and 18 months. Before becoming licensed, they can work in support positions for regional health authorities or nursing homes, in roles such as personal support workers.

“Nurses play a key role in providing high-quality care to long-term care residents in New Brunswick,” said Social Development Minister Bruce Fitch. “With the recent increases in the hours of care in nursing homes, we appreciate more than ever the efforts deployed to attract more nurses in our province so they can contribute to the well-being of our seniors.”

The government has developed a navigation service for internationally educated nurses that provides customized, client-centred service at no cost to the candidate. The service assists candidates with barriers they may encounter while becoming licensed and offers guidance on the National Nursing Assessment Service, provincial entry-to-practice competency assessments, bridging programs available in New Brunswick, and provincial regulatory bodies.

Employers interested in learning more about hiring internationally educated nurses, or about supporting existing employees, can contact the navigation service at