Visa Crunch

Canada: Ways To Immigrate As A Nurse

Hospitals and clinics, which are already suffering from a nurse crisis, could face even more labour shortages in the future years as overburdened healthcare professionals leave and the need for more internationally trained nurses develops.

COVID-19’s current Omicron-fueled wave is placing a huge burden on a healthcare system that was already dealing with a nursing shortage before the pandemic began.

“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.

Well before the pandemic, Ottawa’s Jobbank job website predicted a shortage of 36,500 nurses from 2019 to 2028. The situation has deteriorated significantly.

In early February, the job website had almost 19,200 job advertisements for nurses in Canada. A nurse in the Canadian territory of Nunavut can make a median annual income of $169,045 based on a 37.5-hour workweek at the top of the wage scale.

Based on that standard workweek, the median annual wage for nurses in Canada is $78,000. Foreign nationals with the qualifications to work as nurses in Canada can use their expertise to find jobs and obtain permanent residency through several economic immigration programs available at the federal and provincial levels, such as the Express Entry system, one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), or the Skilled Worker program in Quebec.

Nurses can commonly qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker program through the Express Entry system if their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) profile is high enough. Nurses can also come to Canada under Quebec’s Skilled Worker program if they achieve 50 points or above on the province’s selection grid. In addition, each province in Canada has its own PNP that leads to Canadian permanent residence.

Registered nurses with a university degree in nursing, registered psychiatric nurses with a bachelor’s or post-graduate degree in psychiatric nursing, and licensed practical nurses with post-secondary diplomas in nursing are all accepted in Canada. It may be as simple as one, two, three for these healthcare experts to immigrate to Canada. The first step for a nurse considering migrating to Canada is to have his or her academic credentials examined to see whether they meet Canadian criteria.

For the evaluation of international educational credentials, the Canadian government recognizes five organizations:

  • World Education Services (WES);
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS);
  • Comparative Education Service (CES);
  • International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS), and;
  • International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)

After the educational and background investigations are completed, the potential immigrant must get their nursing credentials recognized in Canada by the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS), which costs US$650. The second stage for a foreign citizen wishing to immigrate to Canada as a nurse is to build a profile on the NNAS application portal.

This necessitates:

  • Two forms of identification must be notarized, as well as copies of original documents that have been signed, dated, and stamped.
  • A completed nursing education form that can be downloaded from the website, filled out and signed before being sent to the school where the nurse was educated for completion and then sent directly to NNAS along with academic records or transcripts, course curriculum, course descriptions, and syllabi.
  • Submission of the nursing registration form, which is to be forwarded to the nursing licensing body in the nurse’s home country where he or she is currently registered.
  • The nursing practice/employment form, which must be signed and submitted to every employer the nurse has worked with in the last five years for them to complete and return to NNAS; and
  • The IELTS language testing results of the prospective immigration applicant must be given directly to NNAS from an approved language-testing institution or corporation.

After that is completed and the paperwork is received by NNAS, the nurse can submit his or her application and select the nursing group and provincial organisation to which they desire to apply.

These include:

  • British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals and Midwives;
  • College of Registered Nurses of Alberta;
  • College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta;
  • College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta;
  • Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association;
  • Saskatchewan Association of Licensed Practical Nurses;
  • Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan;
  • College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba;
  • College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Manitoba;
  • College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba;
  • College of Nurses of Ontario;
  • Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec;
  • Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers auxiliaires du Québec;
  • Nurses Association of New Brunswick;
  • Association of New Brunswick Licensed Practical Nurses;
  • Nova Scotia College of Nursing;
  • College of Registered Nurses of Prince Edward Island;
  • College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Prince Edward Island;
  • College of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • Registered Nurses Association of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut;
  • Government of Northwest Territories, Registrar, Professional Licensing, Health and Social Services;
  • Registered Nurses Association of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut;
  • Government of Nunavut, Department of Health;
  • Yukon Registered Nurses Association, and;
  • Government of Yukon, Yukon Department of Community Services.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only.

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