Who would you want in your operating room, administering your medications and monitoring your vital signs?

DrCynthiaBakerMany of you have undoubtedly read our recent media release with regards to the decision by the Quebec Health Minister to reject the decision of the Quebec Nursing Regulatory body that the province adopt the baccalaureate degree as the entry to practice requirement for registered nurses. Quebec is the last Province or territory to continue to accept diploma educated registered nurses into practice. The issue is further complicated by the fact that the entire Quebec education system is slightly different from the rest of Canada.

Students complete high school after grade 11 and then have the option of attending a two-year program at a CEGEP which is the requirement for admission to university in Quebec or enter a CEGEP diploma program. In nursing, students in Quebec currently choose either to complete a three year CEGEP nursing diploma program OR the two year CEGEP program that prepares students for university admission followed by a three year Baccalaureate degree from a University before being entitled to write the entry to practice exams. Graduates of the diploma program may apply to a university baccalaureate program and complete it in two years time and many do. The concerning part of this system, however, is that regardless of whether they complete the college level diploma or the longer and more intensive baccalaureate program the nurses in Québec are expected to practice at the same level.

The current and increasing complexity of health care delivery, the high level of knowledge and skills nurses need to provide effective and safe nursing care, and the life and death decisions they must make, means that the baccalaureate degree as the entry-to-practice requirement for registered nurses is critical for the health and safety of the population. The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) considers a failure to adopt this requirement, as requested by the provincial regulatory body for nursing, the Quebec Order of Nurses, to be a major concern for health care in Quebec.

Please send CASN your comments and feedback on this topic on our Facebook page through direct message – subject “OIIQ


Send us comments on Twitter to @CASN43 and include #OIIQ 

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
Please feel free to read our full Media release: https://casn.ca/2014/11/media-release-casn-seriously-concerned-quebec-governments-failure-adopt-baccalaureate-degree-new-entry-practice-requirement-registered-nurses/

Also see the Quebec Region CASN letter to the Quebec Minister of Health here: Le Soleil du 26 janvier

If you would like to contact the Minister of Health Dr. Réjean Hébert please write to: ministre@msss.gouv.qc.ca


Cynthia Baker, RN, PhD.
Executive Director, CASN