Bridging Education in the Nursing Profession: Where have we come from and where do we hope to go?
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Each year over 50% of all immigrants to Canada choose Ontario as their home (Goldberg, 2001). Although the federal government retains the responsibility for recruitment and selection of immigrants, the provincial government oversees education, and the regulation of professions. While some statistics report low economic integration for Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPs) overall, as of 2012 half of all Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) in Canada were employed in Ontario. In the spirit of Au’s comment that curriculum studies requires us to critically question and engage with different conceptions of what counts as curriculum, this paper will examine one contemporary representation of scientific curriculum: the bridging program. This paper aims to address the following questions: 1) What is included in the planned curriculum of bridging programs in Ontario today? 2) How does this planning affect the experienced curriculum of the very students these programs aim to serve? In order to address these questions this paper will provide a brief overview of the literature relevant to the topic of bridging education. It will provide context for one bridging education case site and conclude with a discussion of further curricular questioning in need of research and analysis.