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Interested in completing a Return of Service in Hospitals or Primary Care?

How Employers Can BEGIN

The Bridging Educational Grant in Nursing (BEGIN) program is a partnership between WeRPN and the Ontario Ministries of Health and Long-Term Care. BEGIN is designed to improve nurse recruitment and retention, providing nurses with meaningful career opportunities in the Long-Term Care (LTC) and Home and Community Care (HCC) sectors.

What is BEGIN?

BEGIN provides tuition reimbursement grants to eligible students enrolled in accredited PSW-RPN, RPN-RN, and PSW-RN programs, eliminating the financial barriers for them to expand their nursing careers and invest in their futures. Students may enroll in an eligible nursing program on a full-time or part-time basis, providing them with the flexibility to continue their employment.

BEGIN supports Ontario’s LTC and HCC Sectors

BEGIN is designed to help PSWs and RPNs expand their careers and connect them with employment opportunities in Long-Term Care and Home and Community Care. Students who have received BEGIN tuition reimbursement grants commit to working in Ontario’s LTC or HCC sectors after their program is complete. Upon graduation, BEGIN participants will fulfill a contractual employment commitment (Return of Service), working one year for every year they’ve received funding. New graduates are provided with resources and education to support the transition to practice.

How BEGIN Benefits Your Workplace

  • Foster career growth and educational development
  • Expand your team’s knowledge and skills
  • Tap into a dedicated pool of candidates committed to working in your sector
  • Support recruitment and retention efforts

How Can I Hire Through BEGIN?

Create a FREE account to start posting your job openings to the BEGIN job board. Your job openings will be shared directly with candidates who have committed to finding employment in Long-Term Care or Home and Community Care upon graduation. The BEGIN job portal is only open to employers, not staffing agencies.

Where Can I Get More Information About BEGIN?

Download this toolkit to get more information on how BEGIN is improving nurse recruitment and retention in Ontario’s LTC and HCC sectors, and learn more about how you can get involved. Click here to download a document to share with your team.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the benefit of being a BEGIN employer?

Employers will have access to a pool of eager graduates who have committed to working in either the Long-Term Care or Home and Community Care sectors. Through their participation in the program, these prospective employees also have access to WeRPN resources to support them on their journey in nursing including a New Graduate workshop and mentorship program.

Additionally, BEGIN helps foster career growth and educational development, expand your team’s knowledge and skills, and supports overall recruitment and retention efforts.

My employees are interested in completing a bridging program. Are they able to take part in BEGIN and continue working?

Absolutely. BEGIN participants may enroll in an eligible nursing program on a full-time or part-time basis, providing them with the flexibility to continue their employment. BEGIN participants must be on track to graduate from their program by the program end date of March 31, 2026.

A BEGIN applicant asked me to complete a reference. What is required of me?

The employer reference is a quick and easy online reference sent via email to a former or current employer, of a BEGIN applicant. The reference will take approximately 5 minutes to complete.

What is the post-graduation employment commitment (Return of Service)? What are the conditions?

Upon graduation, students commit to one year of employment in the LTC or HCC sector in Ontario for every year they receive funding (up to three years). For example, if a student received two years of funding, they would commit to two years of employment. For years in which they receive funding for a portion of that year, they will be required to complete a full year of employment post-graduation (Return of Service).

How long after graduation will a BEGIN participant have before they need to start their BEGIN employment commitment?

1 Year after program completion.

How will we know when their post-graduation employment commitment is over?

The BEGIN team and employee will communicate the start and completion date for the Return of Service.

What happens if a BEGIN participant doesn’t complete their post-graduation employment commitment?

If they are unable to complete their Return of Service in an Ontario Long-Term Care or Home and Community Care employer, the individual will be required to repay the tuition grant plus any interest accrued to WeRPN.

I manage a facility that’s not LTC/HCC. Can a BEGIN participant work in another sector as part of their post-graduation employment commitment?

No. The BEGIN program is specifically aimed at supporting recruitment and retention in LTC and HCC. As part of this program, students must commit to working in these sectors to obtain their tuition reimbursement.

Get In Touch

Interested in connecting and learning more about BEGIN, or having someone speak with your team?