A strong workforce is vitally important to our health care system. Ontario's health care workforce is made up of doctors, nurses and other qualified professionals.

Ontario’s current and future health care providers can find important information pertaining to their medical professions below.


A physician is a health professional who practices medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring health through the study, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments.

Medical education

Ontario is working to ensure the right number and mix of doctors are in the right places across the province. This involves working with Ontario's medical schools, physicians, communities and other partners to improve access to health care. Medical education in Ontario includes undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing professional development.

Undergraduate medical education

Undergraduate medical education is a 3 or 4 year program of classroom learning and clinical training (clerkship). Graduates receive a Medical Doctor, or MD degree.

The following universities offer undergraduate medical education in Ontario:

Toronto Metropolitan University School of Medicine has been allotted 94 undergraduate seats through the medical school expansion announced in March 2022 and will offer medical education starting in 2025.

Ontario is increasing the number of medical school seats by 260 - from 952 to 1,212 - by 2027.

Postgraduate medical education

Postgraduate residency programs provide clinical training in an area of specialization (for example, family medicine, surgery or psychiatry). Residents work and are paid during their training. Those who successfully complete their residency become eligible to take the national certification exams which are necessary to enter practice.

Residency training can range from 2 years for a family medicine program to up to 8 years for specialty plus sub-specialty training.

The following universities offer postgraduate medical education in Ontario:

Toronto Metropolitan University School of Medicine received 95 postgraduate medical training positions through the medical school expansion announced in March 2022 and will offer medical residency training starting in 2025.

Overall, through recent medical school expansions, Ontario is adding 449 postgraduate medical training positions starting in 2023 which will grow from 1,188 to 1,637 positions by 2028.   

Continuing professional development

In Ontario, there is a wide range of continuing medical education and professional development programs. These are offered through universities, hospitals, associations, and provincial and national colleges. Some of these include:

Physician Return of Service (ROS) programs

Programs are part of Ontario’s strategy to help:

  • ensure a stable physician supply
  • improve retention
  • enhance physician distribution to provide better care for Ontarians

The ROS programs help to improve access to physician services across Ontario, particularly in areas with limited physician supply. In ROS programs, physicians commit to practise in an eligible Ontario community for up to 5 years in exchange for training or interest relief support (eligible communities and length of ROS vary by program).

Physicians participating in the ROS programs are required to sign an ROS agreement with the Ministry of Health (ministry) before partaking in training or interest relief. The ROS programs also require participants to submit a Practice Location Agreement (PLA). This is an agreement between the participating physician, the ministry and the practice community. The PLA specifies the location, terms and duration of the ROS practice.

If the participating physician does not meet the ROS requirements, he or she will be considered in breach of contract. Physicians in breach of their ROS agreement will be required to pay back costs associated with the physician’s participation in the program. The ministry is unable to waive physicians of their financial obligations incurred under the ROS agreement.

The ministry recommends that physicians take into consideration the required ROS commitments before accepting an offer to participate in a ROS program. The ministry also recommends that physicians consider whether their training will permit them to find appropriate job opportunities in eligible practice locations. The ROS is a full time commitment.

Physicians with multiple ROS agreements must adhere to the conditions of the more restrictive ROS agreement.

Physicians who have pending ROS commitments in other provinces are required to fulfill their Ontario ROS commitments first.

ROS programs descriptions

ROS is a requirement for those who participate in the following programs.

International Medical Graduates (IMG) ROS Program
Physician Repatriation Program
Physician Re-Entry Program
Resident Loan Interest Relief Program

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) ROS Program

IMGs are a valuable part of Ontario’s health care system and play an important role in providing care to Ontarians. The province offers entry level post-graduate training positions annually for IMGs.

All IMGs in a Ministry funded resident training position must execute a 5-year Return of Service (ROS) Agreement.

An IMG's eligibility for practice in Ontario and the processes they must follow depends on education and practice experience.

IMGs living in Ontario are encouraged to contact the Ontario Health’s Access Centre. The Access Centre provides intensive case management service to health care professionals, including IMGs, in order to provide support through the licensure and registration process. Advisors help IMGs find the most effective path into practice in the province and explain the steps they need to take.

Obtaining postgraduate training

The entry level training positions offered to IMGs annually are a combination of family medicine residencies (2 years) and specialty residencies (4 or more years). IMGs apply directly for residency positions through the Canadian Resident Matching Services (CaRMS).

IMGs who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents and meet the CaRMS application criteria can apply.

The ministry is not involved in placing or selecting candidates for these positions. The medical schools are responsible for selecting successful candidates for the program.

IMGs who are successful in securing a post-graduate training position must attend a mandatory Pre-Residency Program (PRP) conducted by Touchstone Institute. The PRP is a 2 to 3-week orientation program held in Toronto. Family Medicine residents also complete an additional week of PRP, called PRP-FM.

Touchstone Institute also provides additional resources and assessment supports for IMGs, including The Canadian Medicine Primer (CMP) for visa trainees and administers the Internationally Graduated Optometrist Evaluating Examination (IGOEE) and National Assessment Collaboration (NAC). For more information, please visit the Touchstone Institute.

IMGs can also apply directly to the medical schools for subspecialty position programs offered outside of the CaRMS. IMGs can also enter into an Ontario funded training position through a transfer from another province.

All ministry-funded IMG training programs in Ontario, including subspecialty positions and out of province transfers, have ROS requirements.

For more information, read the IMG ROS Guidelines.

Return of Service program start

Service must begin within 1 year after postgraduate training has been completed. If the participant is seeking additional training or a fellowship, a deferral must be sought from the Ministry of Health (ministry).

For service to commence, the participant must submit to the ministry a signed Practice Location Agreement (PLA), which is an agreement between the participating physician, ministry and the practice community, which specifies the location, and describes the terms and duration of the ROS. The Practice Location Agreement must be approved by the ministry and also signed by an “Agreed Representative(s)”.

If a participant does not begin returning service within 1 year of completing training and the ministry has not approved a deferral, they will be considered in breach of their contract.

Services eligible to count towards ROS

Only OHIP-insured services that are provided on a full-time basis will count towards ROS. At the discretion of the ministry and with prior approval, telemedicine services funded by the Ministry and provided in an eligible community will count towards the ROS. Telemedicine services will be considered for ROS only if these services are publicly funded and the participant can demonstrate that they are delivered to an eligible community.

Academic appointments can be also considered as part of the ROS commitment, at the discretion of the ministry  Physicians’ full time requirement of 30 hours per week is reduced to 20 hours per week of clinical care in an eligible community.

A physician’s academic appointment can count towards their ROS obligation even if it is with a university located in an ineligible area, such as the University of Toronto or Ottawa. For example, the physician may undertake an academic appointment with the University of Toronto, while delivering 20 hours per week of clinical services at a hospital located in Richmond Hill.

Requests for the approval of academic appointments must be accompanied by:

  • a letter of appointment by the university clearly stating the term or type of academic appointment for the physician
  • a PLA signed by an “Agreed Representative” of both the university and the hospital where the 20 hours per week of clinical service will be returned

Please contact the Program Officer by email for additional information or if you have any questions.

ROS restrictions

If a ROS physician is still in residency, they may apply for a fellowship to be completed after his or her training. Fellowships are considered additional training and thus do not count towards the ROS obligation. Physicians must seek a deferral of their ROS obligation prior to commencing their fellowship training. Once a physician has completed the fellowship, they must fulfill their ROS obligation in the specialty or sub-specialty in which he or she received training.

At the discretion of the ministry exceptions may be made only in exceptional circumstances. However, requests for exceptions will be reviewed on a case by-case basis and only with the required documentation and prior approval of the ministry.

The ministry recognizes that circumstances may arise which can make it challenging for participants to fulfill the terms of their ROS Agreement. These circumstances include:

  • a lack of employment opportunities in a specialty within an eligible community
  • injury, illness or disability
  • maternity or parental leave

In these instances, the following 2 options are available:

  • seek a deferral of ROS
  • repay costs incurred by the ministry

If participants cannot meet their ROS obligation, it is their responsibility to inform the ministry by contacting the Program Officer by email at ppuprogramofficer@ontario.ca.

There are substantial resources and support for physicians seeking employment, including the Ontario Health’s Practice Ontario service.

Practice Ontario is a free career-planning service for postgraduate medical residents that connects trainees with a personal career advisor, known as a Regional Advisor. The Regional Advisor is a health human resources expert with a wide professional network in Ontario’s health-care sector.

If special accommodations are required for those with disabilities in order to return to service, they will be made in compliance with applicable legislation when verified with the requisite documentation.

A participant who takes maternity or parental leave can request a deferral of his or her ROS. Once the participant returns to full-time practice, the ROS period recommences. Maternity or parental leave does not count toward ROS.

If an individual has partially completed their ROS, upon request, the ministry will consider reducing the repayment amount in proportion to the length of service completed.

A participant who requires a medical leave due to injury, illness or disability can request a deferral of the ROS for up to 1 year. The deferral period does not count toward the ROS.

Residents with ROS obligations may pursue sub-specialty training in Ontario or elsewhere in Canada. For those matched to a position in Ontario, the existing ROS Agreement will carry forward to the sub-specialty training program and the participant will commence ROS following the completion of the sub-specialty program. Those matched to a position outside of Ontario must commit to return to Ontario to return service in accordance with their agreement upon completion of the sub specialty training. They must submit an undertaking from the other province that any return of service in that province related to the sub-specialty training will be deferred until after the participant has completed their ROS in Ontario.

Breach of Return of Service penalties

If a participant breaches the ROS Agreement it terminates, subject to the ministry’s discretion, and the participant must repay an amount generally consisting of:

  • the total amount of training costs
  • administrative costs
  • interest accrued on the total repayment amount

Individuals in breach of the ROS Agreement must pay the amount owing in full. This includes participants who do not complete or have failed their residency training, including those who do not pass their Assessment Verification Period. These individuals are required to repay costs incurred by the ministry related to their postgraduate training. However, the ministry is committed to balancing the fiscal responsibility to Ontarians and will seek a resolution that does not cause undue hardship. The ministry may at its discretion provide individuals with payment alternatives, such as a repayment schedule or an installment plan according to the debtor’s financial capacity.

For more information about fulfilling the ROS Obligation please see the Repatriation ROS Guidelines or contact the Program Officer.

This program is open to graduates of Canadian, U.S. or international medical schools.

Physician Repatriation Program

Physicians who have completed or partially completed residency training outside Canada and require up to 2 years of further training to meet Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) standards may qualify to pursue residency training positions at an Ontario university. Candidate selection is at the discretion of the medical schools and each medical school must have the capacity and funding in place to cover the duration of candidates training program.

Repatriation candidates are required to fulfill return of service (ROS) obligations in an eligible community (anywhere in Ontario except Ottawa, Toronto, Pickering, Markham, Vaughan, Brampton and Mississauga) for up to 5 years. Candidates cannot begin residency training unless they have signed and returned the Return of Service (ROS) agreement to the ministry.

Eligibility criteria

If you are a specialist physician who has partially or fully completed your postgraduate medical training outside Canada and possess a letter of assessment from the RCPSC specifying the length of training required to be eligible to write the certification examinations, you may be eligible for this program.

To be eligible, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • have a degree from an accredited medical school listed in the World Health Organization (WHO) medical school directory list
  • have received an offer of postgraduate training appointment from a faculty of medicine in Ontario
  • received a letter of assessment from the RCPSC specifying the length of training required to be eligible to write the certification examinations (candidates must receive an assessment of their training by RCPSC before their application to the program can be considered)

RCPSC Letter of Assessment

If you have completed or partially completed your postgraduate training in the U.S., you should contact the RCPSC at 1-800-668-3740 to request an assessment of your academic credentials.

If you completed or partially completed your postgraduate training outside Canada or the U.S., you should contact the RCPSC for more information about the specialties and the jurisdictions that they currently have the capabilities to assess.

If the RCPSC cannot assess the program in which you have completed your postgraduate medical training you should contact Ontario Health’s Access Centre. The Access Centre is the centralized point of access for all Internationally Educated Health Professionals in Ontario seeking information and advice about the licensing process and career options.

Applicants meeting these criteria may apply to 1 of the following streams:

Stream 1

Applicants who have fully completed postgraduate training in a program outside Canada and have received the following:

  • a RCPSC assessment letter of the candidate’s postgraduate medical training outside Canada
  • an offer for a postgraduate training position from an Ontario university
  • confirmation of funding from the university to cover the duration of the training

Stream 1 ROS requirement – Year for year in an eligible community

Stream 2

Applicants who have partially completed their specialty or subspecialty training in a program outside Canada and have received the following:

  • a RCPSC assessment letter of the candidate’s postgraduate medical training outside Canada
  • an offer for a postgraduate training position from an Ontario university
  • confirmation of funding from the university to cover the duration of the training

Stream 2 ROS requirement – 5 years in an eligible community.

Residency training in Ontario is a full-time commitment. There is no application form for this program. Please follow the application procedure. The ministry recommends that International Medical Graduates considering this program also connect with the Ontario Health’s Access Centre. Advisors there can help those looking to enter the medical profession in Ontario find the best path into practice based on education and skill level.

Training start date

The training start date can be arranged between the candidate and the program.

Funding through the Repatriation Program

Funding to support a Repatriation candidate must come from within the medical school’s existing ministry funding allocation. Once a medical school accepts a candidate, the medical school must ensure that it has capacity and funding to cover the duration of residency.

Application process

If you meet all the program eligibility requirements, please follow these steps:

  1. Contact a postgraduate medical education office (PGME) at 1 or more of the 6 Ontario medical schools that offer postgraduate specialty training at the beginning of your final year of postgraduate medical training. You will be directed to the appropriate program director who will assist you in applying for a postgraduate training appointment.
  2. The program director will request specific documents from you in order to evaluate your candidacy such as curriculum vitae, transcripts, previous evaluations, and letters of reference. Required documents vary from program to program. However, submission of the letter from the RCPSC confirming your required length and type of training (training evaluation letter) is mandatory.
  3. Once you have received an offer for a postgraduate training position from a university, the PGME will forward your package to the ministry. Upon receipt of your documents from the university, the ministry will contact you about the ROS commitment.

Medical school contact information

National Certification Requirements

Ontario Postgraduate Medical Training

For more information, see Repatriation ROS Guidelines

Physician Re-Entry Program

Physicians practicing in Canada seeking to re-enter residency training can apply for the Re-Entry program.

The program offers flexibility for experienced physicians to re-train in a new area of interest. The program also addresses the need for a diversity of physician services in Ontario.

The re-entry program has a two-year full-time return of service (ROS) requirement after training. This can be completed anywhere in Ontario.

For more information about fulfilling the ROS obligation:

Program eligibility requirements

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
  • hold a current certificate of registration for independent practice from a medical regulatory authority of any province or territory in Canada (Note: If you are holding a restricted certificate of registration, you are not eligible to apply)
  • have been in full-time practice in Canada for a minimum of 12 consecutive months at the time of application
  • for physicians who are practicing in another province, you must be eligible for a certificate of registration for independent practice from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

Each Ontario medical school will determine if funding is available to support a re-entry position through to completion and will make an offer to their chosen candidate(s), if any.

If you are interested in applying for the Re-entry program, please download, complete, and return the forms:

For more information, see Re-entry ROS Guidelines.

Practice Ready Ontario

Practice Ready Ontario is an assessment program that recognizes the competence of internationally trained physicians who have completed postgraduate training and have experience of independent practice in family medicine or as a general practitioner outside Canada. The program considers qualifications and experience, in a clinical setting, to determine the readiness of applicants for independent practice.  The program includes a 12-week clinical field assessment in a designated Ontario community.  Successful candidates complete a three-year return of service as a family physician in the province.

More information is available here: https://touchstoneinstitute.ca/assessment/practice-ready-ontario/

Resident Loan Interest Relief Program (RLIRP)

The Resident Loan Interest Relief Program (RLIRP) provides eligible medical school residents with financial assistance during a critical time of their professional development. Under this program, Ontario medical residents are not required to pay principal or interest on government students loans granted from any Canadian jurisdiction. In return, participating residents agree to provide physician services in Ontario for 5 years following completion of their medical residency.

Find out more about the program, eligibility and how to apply.

Physician assistants

Physician Assistants (PAs) assist in the delivery of medical services within patient care teams in various settings. Under direction of the supervising physician, these services may include conducting patient interviews, taking medical histories, performing physical examinations, performing certain controlled acts under delegation and counselling patients on preventive health care. \

Physician Assistant Career Start Program

Time-limited financial support is available to facilitate the transition of Ontario Physician Assistant (PA) graduates into the health care system to help address patient care needs. The program aims to encourage the sustainability of the PA profession by connecting new PA graduates with employers who are committed to the financial support and longer-term sustainability of the PA role in their organization. Employment settings are various and include, but are not limited to, emergency departments, primary care and internal medicine.


The following time-limited support funding may be provided for eligible employers who successfully recruit a 2024 Ontario PA graduate:

  • One-year funding of up to $46,000.
  • Two-year funding of up to $46,000 per year for PA positions that are in communities with a Rurality Index for Ontario (RIO) score of 40+, or a Northern Urban Referral Centre (NURC) (Timmins, North Bay, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie).
  • An incentive grant of $10,000 to a PA who is employed in a community with a RIO score of 40+, or a NURC, provided for PAs who complete 1 year of service with employers who qualify for 2 years of funding.

Employers are expected to match the grant funding to cover the costs of employing a full-time PA. The above grant structure is designed to encourage the employment of PA graduates in geographies that may experience greater recruitment and retention challenges.


The application window for employers to apply for the 2024 Physician Assistant Career Start Program is now open.

Please be advised that the eligible Physician Assistant (PA) graduates from Ontario’s 2 PA education programs at McMaster University and the University of Toronto Consortium will be able to participate in the 2024 Physician Assistant Career Start Program.

2024 Physician Assistant Career Start Program documentation:

Late forms will not be considered.

For more Information please visit Physician Assistant Resources. Questions about the PA Career Start Program may be directed to pacareerstart@ontario.ca.

Accessing this support

Financial supports must be used to provide full-time employment to a 2024 Ontario PA graduate to provide direct patient care. Supports are to be used to help cover the costs associated with full-time employment including salary and benefits.

Prospective PA employers must apply and be approved for support. Although any employer interested in adding a PA to their clinical team is encouraged to recruit and employ a PA, only employers who meet specific criteria may be approved to receive financial supports through this initiative. Applicants who are successful in recruiting a 2024 Ontario PA graduate will enter into a funding agreement with the ministry, and will receive the designated supports to help employ that PA.

Opportunities for 2024 Ontario PA graduates will be supported in priority settings including Emergency Medicine, Primary Care, and General Internal Medicine. Consideration will also be given to employers in other clinical settings. In all cases, support will be targeted to settings where most of the care provided is publicly funded and care is team based. Organizations that provide non-publicly funded services may not be approved.

All prospective employers must provide a plan for integrating the PA into the organization and demonstrate how they will sustain the PA position after PA Career Start funding ends. Organizations that have not demonstrated this commitment in the past may not be approved for funding. Family Health Teams (FHTs) are ineligible to receive PA Career Start funding. FHTs interested in hiring a PA should go through their annual FHT budget submission and approval process as they do for other interdisciplinary Health Providers.


Employers will commit to full-time employment for a newly graduated Ontario PA. The suggested salary level for a newly graduated PA is $76,000. Benefits should be in line with the organizations existing employment practices. Financial supports are to be used to help cover the costs associated with full-time employment of the PA for the duration of the contract. Employers are expected to exercise appropriate employment practices with the PA, as they would with any employee, in accordance with employment standards in Ontario.

Employers must commit to funding an additional 6-week, full time position for the PA if the PA is not bridged into full-time employment at the end of the funding period.

Employers must ensure that each PA always has adequate physician supervision. Supervision should comply with the expectations of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

Also, as a condition of funding, PA employers will be expected to enter into a transfer payment agreement which will include funding schedules and reporting requirements including monthly confirmation of employment, progress on PA integration and role sustainability, quarterly expenditures, and final and post funding evaluation. Details regarding reporting requirements will be specified in the funding agreement provided to each employer who successfully recruits a 2024 Ontario PA graduate.

Prospective PA employers will be selected based on the strength of their application and their commitment to the long-term integration and financial support of the PA role. Employers may submit applications for more than one 2024 Ontario PA graduate only if they are able to make a compelling case for more than one position and are committed to sustaining and supporting all positions when PA Career Start funding ends. Employers wishing to hire more than one Ontario PA graduate must submit separate applications for each position.

In some circumstances when the PA leaves before the contract end date, the employer may request the position be backfilled. The length of the backfill cannot exceed the balance remaining on the original contract and must be completed within the same period as the original contract. Backfills must come from the same graduating group as in the original contract.

Employment decisions are at the sole discretion of the employer and the employee. The ministry strongly encourages PAs to accept only 1 offer so that employers can fill a vacant position before the ministry’s deadline.

Employers who apply and are not selected for financial support are encouraged to proceed with employing a PA if they can afford to do so and sustain these costs. Employers who are not approved for employment support through this initiative will still be able to access recruitment assistance through the ministry.


Ontario has been implementing the Nursing Strategy, which is focused on enhanced education, recruitment and retention and stability in the nursing workforce now and in the future.

By targeting the unique needs of nurses at various stages in their careers, these key initiatives will help to build a sustainable nursing workforce and produce more professionally satisfying and healthy work environments for all health care providers. Supporting timely, safe and equitable access to quality health care ultimately means healthier Ontarians.

Tuition Support Program for Nurses

The Tuition Support Program for Nurses (TSPN) provides tuition reimbursement for nursing education to recent nursing graduates from rural and remote communities. Participating nurses sign a one-year return of service agreement to work in a designated underserviced community or facility for every year of tuition reimbursed. The Rurality Index of Ontario (RIO) is used to determine a community's eligibility for the TSPN. This program is administered by the ministry's Primary Health Care Branch.

Learn more about the Tuition Support Program for Nurses.

Nursing Graduate Guarantee program

The Nursing Graduate Guarantee (NGG) program is designed to support Registered Nurses and Registered Practical Nurses who are within 12 months of registering with the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) by providing them with a full-time employment opportunity.

The NGG program uses the NGG online portal to link new nurses and employers. Funding is provided to employers to support new nurses to transition into practice opportunities that lead to full-time employment or the equivalent of full-time hours (minimum of 6 months or 26 weeks).

The ministry will provide 20 weeks of funding for each new nurse approved to participate in the NGG program. This will include 12 weeks of funding for the nurse’s transition into practice period and 8 weeks of funding to reinvest in existing frontline nurses and their professional development.

The NGG program supports new nurses as they transition to either full-time employment or the equivalent of full-time hours. The program helps them develop the skills required to deliver safe, high quality, patient-centred care in practice. Participating NGG employers are expected to transition new nurses into full-time employment or the equivalent of full-time hours within 1 year of starting the NGG program.

New nurses will be paid sector-appropriate wages based on the rates negotiated between the employer and the bargaining unit (if applicable). Wages for Canadian new graduate nurses will be based on the starting salary at the employers organization, whereas Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) can be paid according to their experience level, as applicable. Funding requests will include benefits (up to 24%).

For all approved budget requests, 100% of the applicable funds will be provided to the eligible employer by direct deposit following ministry receipt of the executed funding agreement. The eligible employer will receive 1 amount, for each approved new nurse, within the funding year to account for the transition into practice period and reinvestment fund.

The NGG program helps employers in rural and remote areas by providing access to a large pool of Canadian new graduate nurses and IENs through the NGG online portal. The portal provides potential employers with an ability to connect with a broader range of new nurses to promote their organization. A nurse can transition into practice in a different site within the same organization if there is a formal relationship between the sites (such as a legal relationship) and all other program criteria are met. If there is uncertainty, organizations should check with the ministry prior to beginning the NGG program.

New nurses can start the NGG program between April 1 and December 31 of the applicable fiscal year. The NGG online portal will be closed between November 15 and March 31 to ensure that new nurses have the opportunity to complete the 12-week transition period before March 31. This will also enable employers to spend NGG program funds within the fiscal year in compliance with the Transfer Payment Directive.

Nurse eligibility

Interested Canadian-educated nurses need to ensure they are eligible to participate in the Nursing Graduate Guarantee (NGG) program.

Participation in the NGG program is open to nurses within 12 months of registering with the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) who:

  • graduated with a baccalaureate degree in nursing or a diploma from a practical nursing program in Canada
  • have not been employed as a nurse in Ontario in the 6 months prior to participating in the NGG program
  • match with an employer on the NGG online portal within 12 months of registering with the CNO
  • are legally eligible to work full-time hours or the equivalent of full-time hours in Ontario
  • commit to accepting full-time employment or the equivalent of full-time hours with their NGG employer after completing the NGG program transition into practice period

Internationally educated nurses who:

  • completed their nursing education outside of Canada
  • have not been employed as a nurse in Ontario in the six months prior to participating in the NGG program
  • match with an employer on the NGG online portal within 12 months of registering with the CNO
  • are legally eligible to work full-time hours or the equivalent of full-time hours in Ontario
  • commit to accepting full-time employment or the equivalent of full-time hours with their NGG employer after completing the NGG program transition into practice period.

How to participate

Eligible nurses must use the NGG online portal and follow the registration and matching process outlined below:

  1. Visit the NGG online portal and register as a Nursing User.
  2. Apply for positions with organizations and match with an Employer on the NGG online portal.
  3. Complete the transition into practice period.

Employer eligibility

The Nursing Graduate Guarantee (NGG) program is open to health care employers in all sectors, including:

  • hospitals
  • long-term care
  • home care
  • mental health
  • public health
  • primary care

To be eligible to participate in the NGG program, an employer must:

  • be a health care organization that employs nurses and is funded by the government of Ontario for the provision of nursing services
  • have the infrastructure to support successful implementation of the NGG program (for example, physical infrastructure, nursing education, or professional development and management supports)
  • commit to transitioning new nurses into full-time employment or the equivalent of full-time hours for a minimum of 6 months (26 weeks) within one year (12 months) of the new nurse’s start date of the transition into practice period (12 weeks)

How to participate

Eligible employers must use the NGG online portal and follow the registration and matching process outlined below:

  1. Project the availability of full-time employment or the equivalent of full-time hours for new nurses based on the employer’s analysis of staffing and operational needs.
  2. Visit the NGG online portal and register as an Employer.
  3. Post NGG program positions and interview new nurses considered for an NGG position (following the employer’s regular interview process).
  4. Use the NGG online portal to provide selected new nurse(s) with an offer of employment in the program. The offer of employment must abide by any applicable collective agreement requirements.
  5. Submit a budget request to the ministry through the NGG online portal, confirming:
    • the details of the offer
    • the union has been consulted (if applicable)
    • the organization’s plan for how the reinvested funds will be utilized a
    • the organization’s capacity and plan to transition the new nurse into a full-time position or provide the equivalent of full-time hours for a minimum of 6 months (26 weeks) within one year (12 months) of the new nurse’s start date of the transition into practice period (12 weeks)
  6. Enter into a funding agreement with the ministry (following approval from minister or delegate).
  7. Provide the new nurse with a transition into practice period (12 weeks) in a full-time position that is above staffing complement in a clinical setting.
  8. Offer the new nurse a full-time position or the equivalent of full-time hours for a minimum of 6 months (26 weeks) within one year (12 months) of the new nurse’s start date of the transition into practice period (12 weeks), or these funds will be subject to recovery by the ministry.
  9. Spend the reinvestment funds by March 31 of the funding year for which they were allocated, or these funds will be subject to recovery by the ministry. Submit final reports online, including financial, program and reinvestment reports and an Annual Reconciliation Report Certificate (ARRC).

The NGG online portal will allow matching from April 29, 2024 to November 15, 2024. It will not allow matching or budget request submissions between November 16, 2024 and March 31, 2025.

Reinvestment funds

Reinvestment funds will be provided to all participating employers. The employer must spend the reinvestment funds provided by the ministry to support existing frontline nurses and their professional development by March 31 of the funding year.

Employers must use the reinvestment funds provided under the NGG program in one of the following eligible categories:

  • Mentorship programs: Funding may be used for nurse-to-nurse mentorship education programs. Funding may also be used to build/strengthen the mentorship capacity of organizations through the training of mid-career nurses to become effective mentors to new graduates.
  • 80/20 for staff nurses: Funding may be used to back-fill staff nurses, allowing them to spend 20% of their time on professional development opportunities (such as nursing councils, patient teaching, research, education). The remaining 80% of their time would be spent in clinical practice.
  • Internships for experienced nurses in specialty areas: Funding may be used to allow more experienced nurses to spend time in an internship in a specialty area, above staffing complement, to assist them in gaining the knowledge and skills required to fill existing and potential vacancies.
  • Initiatives to support IENs: Funding may be used to help existing frontline IENs working within the organization.
  • Innovative solutions: Funding may be used to support the creation and implementation of innovative solutions, including technology-based solutions, to improve care delivery to support improved patient experience, transition and care outcomes.


Questions about the NGG should be directed to nggmohltc@ontario.ca

Grow Your Own Nurse Practitioner Initiative

The Grow Your Own Nurse Practitioner (GYONP) initiative allows a health care organization that currently has a government funded vacant Nurse Practitioner (NP) position the flexibility to repurpose this funding to sponsor a Registered Nurse (RN) to complete their post-graduate Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner education.

Participating RNs must sign a return of service agreement with the sponsoring organization.

Other health providers

Health providers who are not nurses or physicians

Ontario supports health providers throughout their careers. Learn more about regulated health professionals who are not nurses or physicians in the Regulated Programs section.

This section provides information on some initiatives underway that will enhance education, recruitment and retention, and stability of other providers in the health workforce both now and in the future.

Internationally educated

Internationally educated health professionals seeking information, advice and support on their path to professional practice in Ontario are encouraged to contact Ontario Health’s Access Centre. The Access Centre provides a range of free services to support newcomers through the registration process for regulated health professions in Ontario. Services include:

  • information about regulated health professions and registration processes
  • ongoing counselling to support the most effective path to professional practice
  • referrals to education, assessment and community resources
  • alternative career options that complement skills and experience

Personal Support Workers

Personal Support Workers (PSWs) provide personal support services to a wide range of clients, and are employed in the community sector, private homes and in institutional settings (for example, long-term care homes, private retirement homes and hospitals) across the province.

The Michener Institute

The Michener Institute of Education at UHN is a diploma, advanced diploma and certificate granting post-secondary educational institute exclusively dedicated to education of applied health science professionals. The Ministry of Health administers operations funding of The Michener Institute, which plays an important role in meeting current and future allied health human resources needs in Ontario, educating about 800 full-time students each year in diploma or certificate programs.