Recent RN or CPN in Montreal, Quebec

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    Hi, Everyone!
    Some questions for those who recently became an RN or a CPN in Montreal, Quebec.
    1) OIIQ now states on their website that regardless of one's studies and work experience, all applicants outside of Quebec must complete at least 30 days of clinical integration training. From your personal experience, is it true? Also, did you feel that with your level of nursing education (Bachelor of Science or "Etudes universitaires de premier cycle completees, Sciences infirmieres" in my case) and your work experience (3 years in Russia, 1 year in USA in my case) you were required to complete more than the bare 30-day minimum training? I, of course, bombarded OIIQ with these questions over the phone, but they're playing deaf and dumb, as usual, and just keep reciting their "formulaires", which I can freely read on their website, without the luxury of the lengthy international phone call!
    Basically, what I'd like to know is how long would it take me from the time my application is approved by the OIIQ to the time I complete integration training and become a CPN? I've done some preliminary job interviews, and this is the first question they ask. Again, I have a Bachelor degree in Nursing and 4 years work experience.
    2) Do I even need to mention my work experience to the OIIQ? From the recounts I've read, it seems that OIIQ doesn't really look at your work experience and you still have to pass that 30-day integration. But the question is, if I don't submit my work experience for OIIQ's evaluation, is there a risk that even with a Bachelor degree in Nursing I will be required to complete more than those 30 days in a clinical setting? Is there a chance OIIQ will drop some theory training req’s on me as well?
    Oh, and the reason I don’t want to mention my work experience to OIIQ is because it’s gonna be very expensive for me. While there’s no problem with the American hospital I work at, my former Russian employers are gonna have a field day milking me for money for every piece of documentation they’ll be required to fill out, translate and send by international mail. I’ve already gone through this when I received my US license – paid a hefty sum to each Russian employer just so the OIIQ’s applications won’t end up in the trash can. They call it “processing expenses”, I call it “racketeering”. So, does your work experience make any difference in the amount of integration training OIIQ requires you to do?
    3) At what point during the application/integration/registration process will you need to have a Canadian work permit? Is it before you can begin you integration training? Or is it after you complete training and can become a CPN? If I understood correctly, one is not paid during the integration training, right? So, is it still considered work for which you need to obtain a work permit? Or can I, as a US citizen, just move to Montreal for the 30-day training period and worry about getting a work permit only after I’m eligible to become a CPN?
    4) Was it easy to find work as a CPN? Or, if that were the case, as a trainee? Please, share your experiences and suggestions.
    Big thanks to everyone!
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  3. 123 Comments so far...

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    You also have to pass a French language exam if you wish to come here. I studied here in Montrea, Quebec in an English school but did not do my Secondary School here,therefore, I have to go through the exam too. You will only get a temporary permit/license until you pass the language exam. If you are not fluent in French forget coming here and waste your time. I am waiting to pass my language exam and will be out of here,..can't wait!!
    lostintranslation likes this.
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    Umm, yeah... Thanks for a detailed answer to the only question I specifically DIDN'T ASK! The (mysteriously) dreaded French exam has only been mentioned about a 1000 times on this forum...
    Anyway, I'd like to renew my plea to the Montreal, Quebec nurses who recently and successfully went through the OIIQ application process - please, please share your experiences! My very specific questions are listed in the first post, and I would greatly appreciate any related info, since the phone calls to the OIIQ give me nothing but the things anyone could get from their website.
    I'm very grateful to Samantha for reassuring me that at least a year ago, in 2009, CPNs had no problem finding employment in Montreal (question#4). Please share!
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    1)All foreign grad nurses in Quebec are required to do refresher courses for six months to prepare them for the OIIQ Exams which is a two-part and 2 day exam,i.e. OSCE/Simulated Exams on Day1 & Theory/Written Exam on D2. You have a choice to do the refreshers courses in English or French in CEGEPs, called "colleges" here....You're "Ètudes universitaire de premier cycle complétées" is equivalent to a CEGEP Diploma and, thus, makes your Bachelors Degree & all your work experiences down-graded to College Diploma. You will have the title of an RN but not as a Nurse Clinician. It takes one to two years to process your documents with the OIIQ, public employees in Quebec are more laid-back ;-D LOL! Anf if you still need to register for the refreshers course,sadly, there is a waiting list in almost all CEGEPs that offer it,moreover, there is only one in English and the rest are in French. If you plan to take the refresher course in English, it will be mandatory to take & pass the Office québecois de la langue français exams in four parts,i.e. interview,composition writing, oral & written interview. And FINALLY, the OIIQ office never answer your phone calls because almost all of the staff are French speakers, and it does not sound impressive if you are only speaking in English, even their web site is becoming more and more French only and all the workshops are rarely in English!! YAY! That was long! I will try to answer questions 2,3,4..next time, if you don't mind,..je m'excuse. Et Bonne chance!
    lincebaby and shurchik like this.
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    canfliprn,
    Wow! Thanks so much for your reply! I apologize for my sarcasm earlier! It's just that I'm so frustrated from my dealings with the Quebec system - it's impossible to get straight answers from any official source and it's pretty much that you won't know you've done something wrong until it bites you in the butt. As for this forum... maybe, it's just my luck, but I get a lot of responses from people who wish they could help, but can't due to their situation being different from mine. But I'm still extremely grateful for everyone's input and good wishes!

    Quote from canfliprn
    1)All foreign grad nurses in Quebec are required to do refresher courses for six months to prepare them for the OIIQ Exams which is a two-part and 2 day exam,i.e. OSCE/Simulated Exams on Day1 & Theory/Written Exam on D2. You have a choice to do the refreshers courses in English or French in CEGEPs, called "colleges" here....You're "Ètudes universitaire de premier cycle complétées" is equivalent to a CEGEP Diploma and, thus, makes your Bachelors Degree & all your work experiences down-graded to College Diploma. You will have the title of an RN but not as a Nurse Clinician.
    This information is completely new to me. None of the OIIQ reps mentioned it, nor is it written anywhere on their website. And, if it's true, it's rather devastating. Is it something you or somebody you know had to go through recently? Does this 6-months refresher course come before or after one becomes a CPN? Does one need to have a legal status in Quebec (permanent residency, work permit, etc.) in order to be admitted to this CEGEPs? See, a similar requirement stopped me from becoming an RPN in Quebec about a year ago. OIIAQ approved my application, rather quickly, by the way, but stated that regardless of my BSN degree and work experience, I'll need to complete 400 academic hours before I'll be allowed to sit for the exam. And completing those 400 hours required a permanent residency in Quebec (they wouldn't allow a work permit, or a student visa - permanent residency only). But this permanent residency requirement was clearly stated on the OIIAQ's website. Also, it was the first question their office of admissions asked me. OIIQ, on the other hand, never said anything of this nature. Thanks for the heads up! Gives me a good reason for another phone call on Monday )

    Quote from canfliprn
    It takes one to two years to process your documents with the OIIQ, public employees in Quebec are more laid-back ;-D LOL!
    Do you mean the entire process, from submitting your application to receiving a permanent RN license? Because this the second time I'm applying to OIIQ. First time my application was denied due to insufficient documentation, but OIIQ was kind enough to admit that they misinformed me and to refund all my fees. But that first time, the whole thing right up to the denial took about 5 months. I had to check up on them every 2 weeks or so, confirming that they received this and that they mailed that, but it was pretty fast nevertheless.

    Quote from canfliprn
    pass the Office québecois de la langue français exams in four parts,i.e. interview,composition writing, oral & written interview.
    Can you share some more info about this French exam? Is it similar to the Test d’évaluation du français adapté pour le Québec (TEFaQ) or a Test de connaissance du français pour le Québec (TCFQ), or Test de connaissance de français (TCF) or the Test d’évaluation du français (TEF)? See, I've already passed the TEFaQ here in Boston - would Office québecois de la langue français accept this test? Or do they have their own? And, if yes, which study guide would you suggest for preparation?

    Quote from canfliprn
    And FINALLY, the OIIQ office never answer your phone calls because almost all of the staff are French speakers, and it does not sound impressive if you are only speaking in English, even their web site is becoming more and more French only and all the workshops are rarely in English!!
    Actually, I have no complaints about this part. I always get through to the OIIQ on the phone, and sending a fax usually worked well as a last resort. E-mails have a chance of being ignored, especially it you don't have a file number from OIIQ yet. Even though I speak some French, I don't yet feel comfortable using it for really important conversations. And this is exactly what I, apologetically, say to the OIIQ reps every time I call. In return, they are always very polite and sincere in trying to help. Their website also has many more documents in English now that there was a year ago. So kudos to OIIQ for that!
    The only real and very serious problem with OIIQ is that they can't or won't share any of the finer details about the application process, only general info. And those finer details are the ones that really count! So everything I know up to this point is either from personal experience or from kind people like you - never from the official source.

    Quote from canfliprn
    YAY! That was long! I will try to answer questions 2,3,4..next time, if you don't mind,..je m'excuse. Et Bonne chance!
    Well, this one was even longer But I'm just so thrilled that you responded with some viable info! Question #2 - you've probably already answered this one. I didn't get the feeling that OIIQ cared about my work experience the first time I applied, and with what you said about "work experiences being down-graded" you pretty much confirmed it. So I'll probably omit my work experience from my application and save myself some time and money. Thank you!
    Anything you can say about Questions 3 and 4 is greatly appreciated! As well as any other info you may contribute!
    Again, thanks so much!
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    3)The refreshers course are for recent immigrants. Non-immigrants/citizens do not take the refreshers course because the CEGEPs are government funded/public schools. I never heard or met anyone who is a not a permanent resident/citizen. However, in the 60's due to the overwhelming shortage of nurses,internationally trained nurses were given temporary working permits, called CPNP (Candidate to Practice in the Nursing Profession) if they have job offers in Quebec and on conditions that they pass the Connaissance de la langue francais exam (sorry to keep emphasizing this because I find that the language exam is really the condition, and the rest are secondary because if you cannot pass it even if you take the refreshers course and pass the OIIQ exam,..it's NADA for you & goodbye!) But find out if the French Exam you pass is valid here,because that will make it much easier for you to find a job offer. Clarify with them if you just need a job offer to get here and start OR you still need to take the refreshers course,...if you have to, then I don't have any idea how you can take the course here, unless they have change the rules.

    4) Finally, it is very easy to find a job here in Montreal as an RN if you studied here in Quebec. Because even canadian nurses from other provinces are not given temporary permits until they pass the language exam,..because not all Canadians speak French. I met a nurse from Alberta in my French course last summer and she was placed on government welfare for 1 year to avail the free courses,..she could not practice as a nurse in Quebec eventhough she had a Bachelors, varied experience in different fields of nursing, and her permit is recognize all over Canada except here because she could not pass the language exam even after 1 year of taking the course. She was very frustrated because she is a single mom too, and she cannot find employment and was losing time to get more experience,..she had job offers but cannot even start!! I felt sorry for her, and the last time I spoke to her she said that her only choice is to move to the rest of Canada to keep her competence. This is not only specific to Nursing,it's the same with other professional orders in Quebec because all higher professional domains requires bilingualism.

    On the bright side, if you really want to work here I have a piece of advice that might work for you. It would probably be easier and practical for you to apply to the hospitals and ask them if they are hiring nurses in situations like yours. And if they do, I am sure that they will help facilitate the processing of your documents. This is how they do it in the US, and sometimes it doesn't hurt to get the services of employment agencies instead of you losing time and money by dealing with the OIIQ through long-distance communications....what do you think? I hope this is helpful! I really would love to stay in Quebec but it just not very practical & realistic for me in the long-term! I really sense a lot of frustration on your part dealing with the OIIQ, I had a dose of them too when I was a student here & to this date when I call some French hospitals they hang up the phone the moment they hear I am speaking in English....I'm guessing the person on the phone panics because she only speaks French because when I redialed and the same lady answered, I spoke in French and she did not hang-up the phone! Sweet, lol!!! And I noticed that if the people on the other line are bilingual they easily switch to whichever language they sense you are more at ease and are very friendly! Bienvenue à québec!!!....Bonne chance encore!!!
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    canfliprn, I don't know that I'd agree that professional orders in Quebec require bilingualism. What they insist on is fluency in French. They really couldn't care less if a person is fluent in English, German, Tagalog or pig Latin, as long as they're fluent in French. As a mostly unilingual Anglophone who lived in Quebec for a number of years as an adult, I can tell you I was usually either ignored or verbally abused on many occasions, even when I attempted to use my admittedly stilted French.
    Fiona59 likes this.
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    What is wrong with the phrase "pig latin"? It refers to the made up version of Latin that school children use to try and sound like they are intelligent and speaking a foreign language that they think others don't understand. I seem to recall it requires moving the first consonant to the end of the word and adding extra vowels. ixnae was alway a popular word.


    Hah, google is my friend:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pig_Latin

    I think there is a lack of knowledge of North American culture displayed in your post.
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    This thread is closed for a staff review
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    I am going to reopen this thread now, with a reminder that personal attacks will not be tolerated so please post respectfully and on topic
    Silverdragon102 likes this.


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