American vs. Canadian Nursing?

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    If you go to nursing school in the States, can you be employed in Canada and vice versa (leaving out immigration issues)? And how are American and Canadian nurses different, education wise?

    I am American, living in Ontario with my husband and I am debating whether I should stay here and file immigration papers and go to University here for nursing, or go back to Connecticut near my parents and go to nursing school there. Any advice?
  2. 12 Comments so far...

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    Hi Tiffany,
    I don't have any knowledge about this, but I did want to Welcome you to nursing and wish you well.

    Happy Nursing~Angie
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    Hi Tiffany. I'm a canadian nurse, so I can comment on canadian grads moving to the US... I don't know how it is the other way round though. Hope this helps.... Good luck in making your decision - it doesn't sound like an easy choice!

    I don't know about how different the education is - something tells me that varies from program to program within canada and the US as well as across borders. Recruiters tell me Canadian grads are better prepared and educated - but are they just using recruitment tactics by saying that.....

    Canadian educated going to work in america -
    Different bloody rules for each state!
    Conneticut, North Carolina and New Mexico allow Graduates of Canadian programs to get licensed without writing NCLEX (ie they have reciprocity with canada) as long as the person has passed the CNAT - the canadian licensing exam. Don't know of any others in that category...

    All other states require Canadian educated nurses to write the NCLEX.... so you have to apply to the board of nursing in the state you wanted to go to, pay the fee, provide a transcript of proof that you did in fact graduate from an approved nursing program, etc....

    SOME states require the NCLEX AND the CGFNS (Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools) certificate before they will grant a license to Canadian graduates. Grrr.... (The CGFNS is a big long expensive pain in the butt to get - just to prove that your education matches their standards) Someone please tell me why some states make it so hard to get a license when they have such a shortage!!!!!!!

    In this last case, there is sometimes a back door.... certain states have reciprocity agreements with each other. Texas and South Dakota being a good example, as they are both in the licensure compact. Texas does require the CGFNS for canadian grads, but SD does not. So if you apply for and get a license in SD, you can then apply for licensure by endorsement in Texas, and get away with not having to get the CGFNS certificate. Don't know of any other back door examples - any suggestions, anyone?

    Clear as mud? I thought so. This is what I have been wading through over the last few months as I plan to move to the US from Canada myself....

    Take care, and good luck!
    Last edit by pebbles on Jul 12, '02
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    Geeze Pebbles I am completely impressed with your knowledge! Didn't leave much for me to say. Tiffany, I too work in Ontario, I schooled here as well. My last year of schooing (which wasn't that long ago) I was approached by so many U.S hospitals it would make your head spin. I asked why they were so gung-ho on Cdn nurses...now I am not here to insult anyone, nor their education, the the message I received was that Cdn nurses were better trained. I have never worked in the U.S so I cannot verify this, nor can I say it wasn't a ploy to get us down south.

    U.S nurses write the exam for the province for which they want to be employed. Just like the NCLEX in some states.

    I wish you luck with your decision. It's not an easy one, when a family will be seaparted. I am sure you'r husband will support you, but miss you as well.

    JO-ANNE
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    Can you stand to be away from your sweetie all that time...going to Connecticut to attend nursing school will separate you two, will it not? How does your hubby feel about this possibility?

    But then again, if the two of you KNOW you will eventually be coming back to the states on a permanent basis it may be a good choice for you to get set up for your US based career...

    Kinda depends on your future residence plans...that is how I would try to decide what's best for me in this situation. For me personally, I would not like being apart from my DH...but some couples can make this work....

    Best wishes whatever you decide....there's always lots of ways to reach your goals...let us know what you decide!
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    Actually, I heard most new grads go through Minnesota's state board of nursing. They don't require CGFNS or any fingerprint checks or anything like that, but they do require the NCLEX. And once you are liscenced in Minnesota you can apply for liscences in any other state you want (mind you, you never actually have to set foot in Minnesota to do this). That's how I went to the US. A lot of new grads today are writing the CNAT and the NCLEX right after graduation whether they have immediate plans of going to the US or not, because once you've studied for the CNAT, the NCLEX usually is fine. And as far as I know if you write the NCLEX and work as a nurse in Canada, you can go to the US years later and not have to rewrite it.
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    Wow this is unusual, it's usually the other way around -- Canadian nurses going to the States. Hope you stay a while!

    I am a graduate of the University of Manitoba faculty of nursing. I have no idea whether this is true, but I have heard comments made in the past that claim that Canadian post secondary education is superior to American education. Although it does seem that historically, if the person has the brains and the money -- they seem to want to train in the States rather then in Canada. A case in point being Columbia University school of nursing. It is also rumored that the reason why American employers are so keen on hiring Canadian new grads is that they know that they have received excellent training as nurses (totally ignores the fact that there is a nursing shortage).

    Again, these are just a few people's opinions -- whether they are based on reality, I don't know.
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    Howdy Yall
    From deep in the heart of Texas

    Canadian or American school makes no difference in my mind. It sounds like you have more to think about things and priorities in your private life. Yes I am old, and somewhat oldfashioned, But a good wife should stay close to her husband. Now I know some of these women are going to yell at me for that. But do what is right for you and family...Besides I heard conneticut is a boring place.
  10. 0
    Natalie,
    Having gone to school (RN in Canada, BSN and MSN in the US) and worked in both countries, here's my take on your situation.
    There are good and there are better nursing school's in both countries. Look carefully at programs in both places before you commit. Personally I found that universities in the US somewhat easier than in Canada but that may be just where I went to school. The content of most programs in both countries is similar and I found no difference in the 'practice' of nursing anywhere that I went and I have worked in Quebec, Ontario, Connecticut, North Carolina, South Carolina and Louisiana. As far as licensing goes, every state and province may have different requirements so it is best to check with the Board of Nursing in that state (College of Nurses of Ontario in Ontario).
    Good luck and welcome!
  11. 0
    Has anyone gone from the US to work in Canada? I'm seriously considering Toronto.


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