Ontario Nursing Workforce Alliance (ONWA)

ONWA is a partnership of health care organizations focusing on the sharing of resources. It is an exciting program that was initiated in 2010 in partnerships with the Nursing Secretariat of the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. London Health Sciences Centre, in London Ontario, is the current program administrator.

This initiative partners “Hub Organizations”, large academic acute care centres with “Satellite Organizations”, rural remote acute care centres that are experiencing challenges when hiring nursing staff . This partnership allows for the sharing of nurses between the two organizations.

Both experienced Registered Nurses and new graduates are utilized for this program. The Nursing Graduate Guarantee program can be leveraged to hire and prepare new nurses in a unique education and orientation program. Equipped with appropriate qualifications, the ONWA nurse will provide short and long term placements in rural and remote communities experiencing staffing shortages.

This initiative allows cooperative and collaborative sharing of expertise in nursing practice and patient-centered care between nurses and the partner sites in ONWA. ONWA nurses have the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge, skills and experience working in diverse health care environments. Support and knowledge sharing between a large academic health care facility and smaller community based organizations is the foundation of ONWA.

ONWA nurses are employees of the Hub Organization and will be provided with a leave of absence (LOA) in order to work at the Satellite Organization for an agreed term(length varies 3-12 months). Travel expenses and accommodation costs will be paid to the ONWA nurse by the Satellite Organization as negotiated.

Workforce planning and Forecasting

ONWA also supports effective nursing health human resources (HHR) forecasting by providing participating organizations with the HHR Talent Forecasting Report. This report is a workforce planning and forecasting tool designed to predict supply needs across organizations.

Benefits for partners


  • Enhances potential for achieving optimal health outcomes


  • Potential to reduce workload and promote healthy work environments
  • Growth and development opportunities (increased scope, different cultures, environments, new people, new friendships, and new experiences/adventures)

Satellite Organization

  • Access to well-educated nurses who can provide their health care organizations with short and long term staffing alternatives as needed
  • Access to utilizing and applying a consistent workforce planning forecasting tool which will allow them to predict nursing resource needs across their organization

Hub Organization

  • Develop partnership with other organizations
  • Flexible and ongoing nursing workforce supply