CALGARY -- Mount Royal University's School of Nursing and Midwifery is expanding its Bridge to Canadian Nursing program in response to a growing number of applicants.

The program will now accept 120 students into the program, up from 80 in previous years.

According to MRU, the program has received an influx of applicants —375 in 2019 compared to 150 in 2017 — over the past few years.

The program, created in 2006,  is designed to prepare internationally trained nurses for the roles and expectations of registered nurses in Alberta. Once students complete their training, they write the national exam that allows them to transition toward becoming a registered nurse in Canada.

"Through this program, I am able to bridge my home country nursing experience to becoming a valuable contributor on the front lines here in Canada," said Louie Marie Lupot, a recent graduate of the program, in a statement released Wednesday. "MRU’s Bridge to Canadian Nursing is the most holistic and comprehensive approach that translates into workplace knowledge and will get me up and running in no time."

Robyn Stewart, assistant professor at MRU and coordinator of Bridge to Canadian Nursing said the program is invaluable in preparing internationally trained nurses to save lives in Canada.

"Nurses are always needed and professional nurses who immigrate to Canada but are not able to obtain a licence are an untapped source of knowledge and skill," said Stewart.

The program offers a mix of theory classes and a supervised 192 hour hospital experience, in adherence to the requirements for nursing students set out by the Health Canada.