Canada is a country that accepts over one hundred and ninety thousand immigrants annually and over the years, there has been a prediction that Canada will experience a shortage of nurses in the healthcare sector. In order to address this shortage, the country has put out strategies to employ more nurses on board, which includes employing foreign nurses through immigration in order to maintain the quality and standard of its health care sector.
The process of getting registered and start practicing as a nurse is not usually an easy process as there are strict laws and procedures to ensure that no foreign nurse employed becomes a threat to the health care sector.
However, some steps and guidelines would help you in the process of becoming a registered and practicing nurse in Canada.
- Categories and classes of nurses in Canada
- Courses to take
- Registration requirement to become a registered and practicing nurse
- Research each provincial requirement and association
- Assess your credentials and apply to a province
- Apply for a work permit
- Apply to become a Canadian registered and practicing nurse
- Immigration option for nurses.
CATEGORIES AND CLASSES OF NURSES IN CANADA
Every country has its pattern of operation, this is not so different from Canada.
There are two categories of nurses in Canada:
- Registered nurses
- Registered practical nurses.
Registered nurses are those nurses that have completed a nursing degree from any of the recognized universities usually for four years and have successfully passed the license exams. The legal practice of a registered nurse (RN) is determined by the state’s nurse practice act.
A registered practical nurse on the other hand is a nurse who went through a diploma program which is usually two years. RPN are usually supervised and directed by registered nurses.
A registered nurse receives more salary than a registered practical nurse and there are some health cases that a registered practical nurse is not allowed to handle, especially cases with unstable patients.
It is important to know the category you fall under.
The registration of nurses is divided into six classes: general, extended, special assignment, non-practicing, emergency, and assignment.
IMMIGRATION OPTIONS FOR NURSES
There are four options for nurses to migrate to Canada:
- Express entry
- Provincial nominee program
- Quebec immigration
Amongst the four options choose the one that would place you at a better chance of getting accepted.
before applying to become a registered and practicing nurse in Canada, you are expected to take courses that would make you recognized and eligible to become a registered and practicing nurse. With this course, you will be privileged to gain experience in a Canadian hospital. You would also learn how to participate and work in line with the Canadian professional and ethical framework.
There are requirements and steps to take when applying to become a registered and practicing nurse as a foreigner.
the following are the registration requirements:
- Proof of completion of nursing degree program or diploma.
- permit to work in Canada
- Proof of language efficiency
- Completion of the registered nurse exam which is called the national council licensure examination (NCLEX) for registered nurses or the registered and practical nurse exam (RPN)
RESEARCH EACH PROVINCIAL REQUIREMENT AND ASSOCIATION
Each province selects its foreign workers based on the needs and demands of its workforce at that point in time. The program that allows each province to be able to nominate and select immigrants is called the provincial nomination program (PNP). Nova scotia nominee program (NSNP)and Quebec skilled workers program (QSW) is an example of the provincial nominee program. One of the criteria to be eligible is that you must have at least one year or more, full-time working experience.
You should also know that you can apply through the express entry as this is one immigration program designed for skilled workers and professionals.
ASSESS YOUR CREDENTIALS AND APPLY TO A PROVINCE
Assessing your credentials is an important thing to do as it will help you know if you meet the requirements of the job.
The following are the process of assessing your credentials:
- Find your occupational profile
- Compare your qualifications: compare your qualification with the laid down requirement needed for the job you are applying for. If your qualification does not meet up to the requirement, then you will have to decide on the next course of action to take.
- Contact a regulatory body: contact the regulatory body of your profession and get information on how to get a license or certificate to enable you to practice your profession. In some cases, you can have your credential assessed before you leave your home country and tell you what to do and the steps to take before you arrive in Canada.
- Compile your documents: gather all the documents that will help you in the search for a job in Canada. Documents that would prove your educational background, work experience, and professional training.
- Upgrade your skills and certificates: do not remain the same way you came, despite having all the required credentials, you still need to improve by getting more certifications and skills and keep give a better and faster chance at getting a job.
APPLY FOR A WORK PERMIT
A work permit is a document you need before you start working in any organization or sector. Any immigrant seen working without possessing his/her work permit stands a high chance of being deported back to his/her home country. Work permits could be temporary usually for six months or more, or permanent work permit given to applicants who wish to stay in Canada to live or study while working.
APPLY TO BECOME CANADIAN REGISTERED AND PRACTICING NURSE
After following the due process including taking the exam and assessing your credentials, you will need to start your search for a job if you do not already have a job offer. This is the stage where you join the nurses’ association of the province you are living or hoping to work in. all the ten provinces have their nurses’ association and you are strongly advised to identify and be a part of them.