News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

April 1, 2020

Manitoba Government Permitting Former Nurses to Practice During COVID-19 Pandemic

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Taking Steps to Add Former Registered Nurses to Support Colleagues Under These Extraordinary Circumstances: Friesen

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Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen is issuing an order under The Regulated Health Professions Act to enable the registrar of the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba to waive or modify registration requirements for former registered nurses, allowing them to apply for temporary registration during the pandemic on an expedited basis.

“We know the pandemic will place additional strain on the health-care system, and we’re making this regulatory change to ensure former nurses can be called upon to bolster the number of nurses in our hospitals, personal care homes and clinics to provide services to patients,” said Friesen.  “I want to thank the College of Registered Nurses and their registrants for working with us to make sure we can prepare for the challenges we face and ensure the safe care of Manitoba patients.”

Former registrants of the college seeking information on temporary registration requirements should visit  In addition, application and registration fees will be waived for former registrants applying for temporary registration via this process.

“We are thankful for the support of our colleagues in government enabling a more nimble response in Manitoba to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic,” said Katherine Stansfield, CEO and registrar, College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba.  “This is a great opportunity for former registered nurses to continue to make a contribution to the health of Manitobans during this critical time.”

The minister noted the order will remain in place until there is no longer a serious and immediate threat to public health.

“We know many former registered nurses have already contacted us offering support to their colleagues during this very difficult time,” said Friesen.  “By coming together and taking the right steps, we can make a real difference and help the health-care system be prepared for the hard work ahead.”

The minister noted this step builds on other recent investments to support the health system including funding for research opportunities during the pandemic.

The Manitoba government is investing $800,000 and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) is investing more than $465,000 in three research projects including:
•    investigating how logistical systems can adapt to a pandemic at the University of Manitoba;
•    developing a cost-effective, point-of-need diagnostic test for COVID-19 at the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health; and
•    developing a COVID-19 vaccine at the University of Manitoba.

In addition, the province’s first COVID-19 clinical trial for a drug is underway.  The study will test if a rheumatological drug known as hydroxychloroquine can prevent people from contracting COVID-19.  The scientific trial will determine if the drug can safely be used as a treatment for COVID-19.

People who are eligible are:
•    people who have tested positive for COVID-19,
•    people who live with individuals who test positive, and
•    health-care workers who were exposed to patients with confirmed positive infection.

Manitobans who meet these criteria and wish to participate in the clinical trial should visit:

For more information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit  

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