17 Mar, 2022
There is a growing need to recruit internationally-trained nurses in Canada due to chronic and increasing labour shortages in Canada’s hospitals and clinics.
COVID-19’s latest Omicron-fuelled wave is putting a massive strain on a healthcare system that was already trying to deal with a paucity of nurses before the pandemic even started.
When you add these things together, you get a recipe for a level of burnout which is well beyond anything that we’ve ever experienced. And it will manifest itself in people leaving in significant numbers,” Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, reportedly told Global News.
Even before the pandemic, Ottawa’s Jobbank employment website was forecasting a shortage of 36,500 nurses for the period from 2019 through to 2028.
The situation is much more dire now. The Indeed.ca job website had more than 19,200 job listings for nurses in Canada in early February.
At the upper end of the wage scale, a nurse in the Canadian territory of Nunavut can earn a median annual wage of $169,045 based on a 37.5-hour work week. The median annual wage for nurses across Canada is $78,000 based on that standard work week.
Foreign nationals with the qualifications to work in Canada as nurses can use their expertise to seek out jobs here and gain their permanent residency through the many economic immigration programs at the federal and provincial levels, including through the Express Entry system, one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) or the Skilled Worker program in Quebec.
Through the Express Entry system, nurses can often qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker program, provided their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) profile scores highly enough.
Nurses can also qualify to come to Canada through the Skilled Worker program in Quebec if they score 50 points or more on the province’s selection grid.
Each province in Canada also operates its own PNP that leads to Canadian permanent residence.
Registered nurses who hold a university degree in nursing, registered psychiatric nurses who hold a bachelor’s or post-grad degree in psychiatric nursing, and licensed practical nurses, or registered practical nurses in Ontario, with post-secondary diplomas in nursing, are all welcome in Canada.
Immigrating to Canada for these nursing professionals can be as simple as one, two, three.
The first step for a nurse eyeing Canada as a destination for immigration is to have his or her academic credentials evaluated to see if they are up to Canadians standards.
The Canadian government recognizes five organizations for the assessment of foreign educational credentials:
Once the educational and background checks have been completed, the next step is for the prospective immigrant to have those nursing credentials recognized in Canada by the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS), a step that costs US$650.
The second step in the process for the foreign national looking to immigrate to Canada as a nurse is to create a profile on the NNAS application page.
After that has been done and the documents have been received by NNAS, the nurse can submit his or her application and pick the nursing group and provincial association to which they wish to apply.