The UCP is attempting to address the growing need for healthcare professionals within the province, announcing $11 million in nurse bridging programs for internationally educated nurses.The investment will create an additional 1,221 spaces at post-secondary institutions, enabling internationally educated nurses to complete the necessary programs for certification in Alberta. Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Advanced Education, said the initiative will create 848 new registered nurse pathway seats and 373 new licenced practical nurse seats over the next three years. These additional seats are specifically designed to assist nurses trained in other countries in becoming licenced to practice nursing in Alberta. This builds upon a previous announcement in February, which introduced more than 600 new seats for registered nurse and licenced practical nurse bridging programs.Lethbridge will get almost one-quarter of the new seats. The city's two leading post-secondary institutions will help provide opportunities for nurses, particularly those outside of Alberta's major centers, to pursue their education and enter the healthcare workforce.The College of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CRNA) welcomed the news, emphasizing its potential impact on strengthening the healthcare ecosystem in Alberta.In addition to the $11 million in nurse training programs, Alberta's government is also allocating $3 million for planning and design work at the University of Lethbridge's University Hall. This investment will modernize lab spaces to better cater to the growing needs of the university.The $11 million investment over the next three years is divided among various institutions and programs, which includes the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College, as well as partnerships with Bow Valley College, Northwestern Polytechnic, Portage College, Keyano College, MacEwan University, and NorQuest College.The UCP is committing $7.8 million annually under Budget 2023 to provide non-repayable financial assistance for internationally educated nurses. This financial aid will help offset the costs of nursing bridging programs, including tuition, and incentivize nurses to work in rural Alberta after graduation.