Bow Valley College and Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council awarded $9.4 million research grant to support foreign-trained nurses

Calgary, Jan. 15, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bow Valley College and partner Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC) have received a $9.4 million grant from the Government of Canada to help Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) gain employment in Canada. 

Employment and Social Development Canada’s investment in the Foreign Credential Recognition Program will remove barriers internationally trained nurses face getting high-quality relevant jobs in healthcare.

“We are overjoyed to receive this historical and significant investment that will help talented nurses start their new lives in Canada,” says Nora Maclachlan, Special Advisor, Health at Bow Valley College. “In recognizing skills they have and developing those they need, these nurses will be job ready faster, fulfilling a significant need in our health care system.”

For CRIEC this funding is the largest single-year contribution in the organization's history, nearly doubling the organization's operations budget. This substantial investment will also see an almost 50% staff increase, allowing CRIEC to further expand its impact and support for internationally educated nurses.

"This new program is a testament to our commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion in the healthcare sector.” says Nketti Johnston-Taylor, Ph.D., Executive Director, CRIEC. “This funding milestone allows us to enhance and grow our services, making a significant contribution to addressing the shortage of nurses in Alberta. We are incredibly excited to bring our expertise and experience working with internationally trained professionals to this project with Bow Valley College."

CRIEC will develop and customize a program for internationally educated nurses that will offer holistic support pre-arrival and upon arrival, provide help navigating licensing and credentialing, mentorship from industry professionals, and job readiness workshops, training, and networking.

Bow Valley College’s Competency-Based Canadian Nurse Bridging program will use Pivot-Ed micro-credentials to expedite foreign competency assessment and validation. The participants will have their skills such as intercultural communication, high impact nursing skills, and critical judgement assessed first using simulation and virtual reality and provide credit where competencies can be demonstrated. They will move on to target skill development in areas where gaps exist.

The program is set to begin within 6-9 months. Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and Health Care Aides (HCAs) who are interested in supporting the program by becoming mentors are encouraged to reach out to for more information.

After starting the program in Alberta, Bow Valley College and CRIEC intend to collaborate across Canada and expand into British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.  

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 About Bow Valley College  

Calgary and region’s largest college — with 15,000 full- and part-time students, Bow Valley College helps open doors and minds to in-demand jobs in Calgary, Alberta, and Canada. Our graduates contribute to the digital economy, careers in business, TV & film production, and serve on the frontlines of healthcare and social services. Bow Valley College invests in three applied research pillars: educational technology, social innovation, and health. 


About Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC) 

CRIEC is a robust not-for-profit organization that seeks to effectively and efficiently connect newcomer professionals with strategies designed to lead to successful employment outcomes. We design, develop and implement numerous initiatives and strategies, such as mentoring programs, employment counseling sessions and competency (cultural and skill) workshops for both newcomer professionals and stakeholders, which has resulted in 80% of our clients finding gainful employment in their chosen fields within 3-6 months of completing our programs.   


Media Requests: 

Brianne Fiebelkorn 

Mentorship & Employer Communications Specialist 

Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council 

825-882-1661 Mobile


Foreign Credential Recognition Program