Are there still jobs for nurses in Canada?

  1. Hey I'm new to this and not starting school until Sept '04 and hope to get a BSN. What I am wondering is if Canada is still in need of nurses because you sure don't hear about it anymore. Where you guys work, are they looking?

    Also, it scares me to come to the Canadian discussion forums and see so many posts regarding leaving Canada for the US. I don't have a problem with that, in fact if I was younger and there was a better option there I would go in a flash, but at this point in my life I have no intention of giving up my house and moving anywhere really, except maybe BC one day. It just makes me wonder if the opportunities in Canada are very good and if they exist at all.

    Thank you very much!
    •  
  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    Depends on where you are and what type of work you are looking for. You'll be able to get casual on med-surg pretty much anywhere. If you want full time right away or want to go straight into a specialty area as a new grad, it's more limited. I know Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton all have good opportunities for new grads and experienced nurses. There are things you can do to make yourself more marketable than your peers. Seek a practicum in the specialty you want to work in, take extra courses in that specialty, etc.
  4. by   trees
    Quote from fergus51
    Depends on where you are and what type of work you are looking for. You'll be able to get casual on med-surg pretty much anywhere. If you want full time right away or want to go straight into a specialty area as a new grad, it's more limited. I know Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton all have good opportunities for new grads and experienced nurses. There are things you can do to make yourself more marketable than your peers. Seek a practicum in the specialty you want to work in, take extra courses in that specialty, etc.

    I'm in southern Manitoba, just left the Toronto area.
    I am very interested in the things I can do to make myself more marketable, but I am still in the early stages of figuring this out and won't even start school until Sept.

    Is there anywhere I might be able to see a list of all the different specialties? I certainly haven't decided that yet.

    Also, in your opinion,(or any other member's opinion & experience) does having a BA, (psych) help at all or do most nurses have other degrees? Seems that there are a lot of people who enter nursing at a later age, (like me).
    Thank you! I love this site!
  5. by   lalaxton
    Here in small town Ontario, right now there are 6 job postings for RN's. 4 part-time and 2 full-time, and believe me the part-time RN's will get full time hours if they want them!
  6. by   fergus51
    Quote from trees
    I'm in southern Manitoba, just left the Toronto area.
    I am very interested in the things I can do to make myself more marketable, but I am still in the early stages of figuring this out and won't even start school until Sept.

    Is there anywhere I might be able to see a list of all the different specialties? I certainly haven't decided that yet.

    Also, in your opinion,(or any other member's opinion & experience) does having a BA, (psych) help at all or do most nurses have other degrees? Seems that there are a lot of people who enter nursing at a later age, (like me).
    Thank you! I love this site!
    I think the list of nursing discussion topics for this bb covers practically every specialty there is! The threads there are also an interesting place to get perspectives on what working in those areas is like.

    I certainly don't think you need to decide any time soon. A lot of people (myself included) went into nursing school with one specialty in mind and then found out that was completely wrong for us and we fit in a specialty we had never considered. You'll be exposed to different specialty areas in school. I don't know about Manitoba, but BC (www.bcit.ca) and Alberta (www.mtroyal.ab.ca I think) both offer specialty courses by distance in certain specialties (forensics, which you may like if you were a psych major, OB, peds, emerg, critical care, etc). You can take these courses when you are a 3rd or 4th year student I believe (my niece took some through BCIT).

    Having a BA certainly doesn't hurt. Whether it helps or not will depend on how much it relates to the job you are applying for and there are a lot of nurses with other degrees. In the end, the employer will put the most emphasis on your nursing degree.
  7. by   monie2004
    I live in toronto and cannot find a full time position unless I want to work in LTC! It is quite a hard search for it but as part time on L&D I do get full hours most of the time.
  8. by   fergus51
    Monie, I know of at least three hospitals in Toronto/GTA hiring full time. Pm me if you want the details.
  9. by   Mito
    Hello alll,

    Having been out for a year now I would have to agree with Fergus that med/surg is always a good choice for a new grad since there seems to be casual and pt positions available. It is a nice place to "park" and get a chance to see what is available and what extra courses would be required. I am happy working in cardiology and general medicine but I can certainly see how this would not be the ideal situation for everyone.

    Mito
  10. by   bashy
    Quote from monie2004
    I live in toronto and cannot find a full time position unless I want to work in LTC! It is quite a hard search for it but as part time on L&D I do get full hours most of the time.
    I have to agree with you Monie2004. I just passed my exam in June and I have had a number of offers from LTC but no acute care hospitals. I do see lots of postings at most GTA hospitals but they are not looking for new grads, unless you did your pre-grad rotation at that hospital. Unfortunately they were not hiring where I did my pregrad because they had just hired a batch of the last group that did their pre-grad there. My bad luck. So my next option is to leave the country. I am simply waiting on my ATT for the Nclex and my visascreen papers are being processed. I am really disappointed becasue all through the nursing program all the teachers kept saying you will be able to pick and refuse jobs. I have friends who wrote the Jan/04 exam who still cannot find jobs most work for agencies.
    Wish I had better news but that is my experience.

    bashy.
  11. by   saskrn
    I'm starting a full-time permanent ICU position in September, so the jobs are out there! Good luck!
  12. by   mikaela
    Hi, All:

    I've been browsing interesting topics posted in the forum months before I finally decided to sign up for the RPN program. Luckily, I was admitted and will be starting my 1st semester in January, 2005. I've read a lot of posts discussing about the worthiness of the nursing profession and the other side as well. Like many of you here, nursing will be my 2nd program of study. I've been wanting to become one, years ago, but was not very willing to give up my previous career -- although I was no longer happy with it. It's good that I finally made up my mind to start all over again and try a totally different field. Since I received my letter of admission, I've been researching about the profession and the job market here in Canada just to convince myself that I arrived at informed decision.

    Until I came across this thread. The same question I ask myself and people I know. I'm relatively new here in Canada and do not know anybody who is RN or RPN. So I thought, joining the discussion would connect me to seasoned, neophytes, and even student nurses, who are willing to share their thoughts about the profession.

    As to the prospect of getting a job after graduation, the posts are quite scary. It's not only through this discussion, did I learn about nurses having difficulty landing in a full time job in Ontario, but other sources too. A front page story in a news magazine also proved this point. What confuses me is, why do schools (of course for profit purposes) and the media SEEM TO CAPITALIZE on the so-called nursing shortage. If the real situation says otherwise, I feel only pity for people getting in to the program, including myself ,and later learn that there's no job for them. Going through the nursing program is costly -- not just in terms of money, but also time and effort.

    So, could anybody tell me what's the real situation 3-5 years from now? I know that the market for RNs differs from RPNs. But, generally, what is the real score? Is there somebody here affiliated with any nurses' association? What is the job forecast? How SINCERE is the government with its efforts to strenghten the healthcare system?

    The aging population is a fact, but the need for more nurses -- is it a MYTH or a FACT ?

    Will appreciate your inputs.

    Thanks,
  13. by   fergus51
    Mikaela, welcome to the board I don't personally know any RNs who are unable to find work. It isn't always in the specialty they want and it is often part time or casual until a full time position comes up, but all the nurses I know have jobs if they want to work and are flexible. Your chances of finding work go down if you are unwilling or unable to work in another area. I don't know the situation for RPNs, but I am sure you will be able to find a job. It is more limited than for RNs, but with the aging population I can't imagine you being unable to find a ltc position, even if you couldn't find a hospital job.
  14. by   Fiona59
    Registered Psychiatric Nurse or Registered Practical Nurse?


    Psych. Nurses work acute care and in LTC in Alberta.

close