How is this for a dilemma? US move to Canada...

  1. I have a very odd circumstance that I need advice on...
    12 years ago we moved from Calgary to TX and after going from job to job that I didn't like (and being laid off) I decided that I would fulfill my life-long dream to become a nurse.
    Here the community college offers a 2 year degree (Associate Degree in Nursing) which I believe is the same as a Diploma nurse in Canada. The program is very competative, and I worked HARD to get a 4.0 on my pre and co-requisite classes so I could get in in 2 semesters. I actually did so well that I was not only accepted into the Traditional Track nursing, but the new Fastrak nursing program as well (4 consecitive semesters = 16 months). I decided to do the Fastrak because of other circumstances that happened in December:
    After bugging my husband to move back to Canada, it finally happened! HE is now working up there, and I decided that since I put 2 years into this already- that I would stay here to finish it.
    NOW I find out that soon Alberta will be only registering new BN and not 2 year nurses (I graduate here in Dec 2005).
    What the heck am I going to do? I was planning on getting my Post RN-BN degree once I moved back, but I was going to take the NCLEX (RN exam) here and the Canadian RN exam there and work as an RN there until I finished my BN at Athabasca University (or where ever). Now it seems that if this licensing change happens in Alberta (and I would think that there was a pretty good chance that it will), I will fall through the cracks after so many years of hard studying. I will be an RN in the US, but nothing in Canada?? I do not have the option of transferring to a BSN at the University of TX because there are many more pre-requisites that they require- and I have not time now.
    I e-mailed the AARN in Alberta the other day, but I have not heard back.
    I am so upset that there are so many hurdles being thrown in my way through this whole process (there were several other things that happened here that almost made me quit).
    I also can not understand that Grant MacEwan college is still offering the diploma program (if you don't want to transfer to the U of A, you can take a couple of extra semesters and just get a diploma). 2005 is next year and they are still offering the 2 year diploma....
    Any advise anyone can offer is much appreciated... I though that I would maybe check into taking the Canadian Boards in another province and transferring into Alberta as an RN... does anyone know how this works right now?
    Thanks for listening to me vent!
    Gail
    Will I ever be a ?
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    AARN will be able to tell you when the BN is becoming the minimum. If Grant McEwan is still offering the diploma, I would imagine you could still register in Alberta as long as you graduate and register before the BN becomes the minimum.

    IF you need a BN to register and you only have an associate's degree, you may be able to challenge the LPN exam and work as an LPN in Canada while finishing your BSN. I seriously doubt you would be allowed to register in one province and transfer it without the BSN (BC and Ontario have already made it clear they wouldn't allow this). The requirements for registration are the CNATs AND the appropriate education.
  4. by   RN2B2009
    I'm sorry to hear you're so upset ... take heart all may not be as lost as you think.

    I'm starting the BSN program through Grant MacEwan in September 2005 (rural delivery). I'd love to stop after 2.5 yrs and a diploma, but the AARN is mandating that all RN's hold a degree. This still hasn't come into effect yet and may not by 2005. The DON at Grant MacEwan said to plan for it though.

    Even if you come in 2005 with your ADN couldn't you just take the final two years in Alberta? Could you transfer to an Alberta program right now?

    One nurse I spoke to said that she can't see it happening too soon. The baby boomers are retiring and they're predicting a huge shortage of nurses within 5 years.
  5. by   gchelak
    Quote from RN2B2009
    I'm sorry to hear you're so upset ... take heart all may not be as lost as you think.

    I'm starting the BSN program through Grant MacEwan in September 2005 (rural delivery). I'd love to stop after 2.5 yrs and a diploma, but the AARN is mandating that all RN's hold a degree. This still hasn't come into effect yet and may not by 2005. The DON at Grant MacEwan said to plan for it though.

    Even if you come in 2005 with your ADN couldn't you just take the final two years in Alberta? Could you transfer to an Alberta program right now?

    One nurse I spoke to said that she can't see it happening too soon. The baby boomers are retiring and they're predicting a huge shortage of nurses within 5 years.
    You start in Sept 2005? How far in advance do they accept people? That is over a year away! Is getting in really competative like it is here?
    I have looked into transferring to Grant MacEwan instead of staying down here to do the ADN course at the college, but I would lose too many credits and it would take me as long as if I were to just drop all that I have done and start out at the U of C BN degree program - especially if I had to wait to get in like I have already done here.
    I know that the Athabasca University (and I think U of C has a new course as well) has a Post RN -BN program, but you have to hold an RN license to get in. I am hoping that a state license is included in that.
    Keep your fingers crossed that I come in and take the exam under the wire! I hope they delay implementing it until 2006. I hear from other posts here that the US ADN is near equivelent to the BN training in Canada... I know that we have clinicals in all areas and do the "dirty work" too. I know changing to only BN programs makes for better educated nurses and I want to give excellent care to those who need it, but I am guilty of being time-selfish too. I have bypassed nursing all these years because I could not commit 4 years - I KNOW that this is my destiny, and will find a way through it!
    Thanks for the support- good luck with your classes!
    Gail
  6. by   gchelak
    Quote from fergus51
    AARN will be able to tell you when the BN is becoming the minimum. If Grant McEwan is still offering the diploma, I would imagine you could still register in Alberta as long as you graduate and register before the BN becomes the minimum.

    IF you need a BN to register and you only have an associate's degree, you may be able to challenge the LPN exam and work as an LPN in Canada while finishing your BSN. I seriously doubt you would be allowed to register in one province and transfer it without the BSN (BC and Ontario have already made it clear they wouldn't allow this). The requirements for registration are the CNATs AND the appropriate education.
    Thanks for the advise on the LPN - that is a good alternative for now...if this all comes out not to favor me.
  7. by   fergus51
    Let us know what AARN tells you. I hope it's good news!
  8. by   RN2B2009
    Gail,

    I have to wait until Sept. 2005 because that's when they're offering the rural program again in Hinton, AB. I heard it's a 2 year wait list for the on campus program at Grant MacEwan. I won't be waiting around for it to start though ... I have about 7 1st and 2nd yr courses that I can take in the meantime.

    For the post-RN degree through U of A ... do you need to have so many hours working in order to qualify for the program? I know that they have a LPN-RN bridging program and you need to have about 1400 hours to apply to it. It's just something you may want to look into.

    Good luck!
  9. by   gchelak
    Quote from RN2B2009
    Gail,

    I have to wait until Sept. 2005 because that's when they're offering the rural program again in Hinton, AB. I heard it's a 2 year wait list for the on campus program at Grant MacEwan. I won't be waiting around for it to start though ... I have about 7 1st and 2nd yr courses that I can take in the meantime.

    For the post-RN degree through U of A ... do you need to have so many hours working in order to qualify for the program? I know that they have a LPN-RN bridging program and you need to have about 1400 hours to apply to it. It's just something you may want to look into.

    Good luck!
    The U of A (University of Alberta) requires you to have the equivelent of 1 year work experience in order to take the Post RN- BN degree- but I don't know about the U of Athabasca... I will have to check.
    It has been almost a week since I e-mailed the AARN and nothing yet- I will wait a bit longer, then I will try again and try to e-mail a different person. I e-mailed the U of C once about a Post RN degree (to see if they offered it there) and it took almost a year to respond! I almost forgot that I sent the note in the first place...
  10. by   RN2B2009
    Quote from gchelak
    The U of A (University of Alberta) requires you to have the equivelent of 1 year work experience in order to take the Post RN- BN degree- but I don't know about the U of Athabasca... I will have to check.
    It has been almost a week since I e-mailed the AARN and nothing yet- I will wait a bit longer, then I will try again and try to e-mail a different person. I e-mailed the U of C once about a Post RN degree (to see if they offered it there) and it took almost a year to respond! I almost forgot that I sent the note in the first place...
    I know emailing is convenient, but if you're anxious for a response I would make it a phone call instead. It's also easier to ask all of the questions you think of and more that will show up along the way. Good Luck!
  11. by   gchelak
    Quote from RN2B2009
    I know emailing is convenient, but if you're anxious for a response I would make it a phone call instead. It's also easier to ask all of the questions you think of and more that will show up along the way. Good Luck!
    I appreciate that advice- I know I should- but I am SCARED as to what I will be told...:uhoh21:
    I will let you know...
    Thanks,
    Gail
  12. by   gchelak
    Well- I got an answer!


    The Nursing Consultant - Policy and Practice at the Alberta


    Association of Registered Nurses e-mailed me back and she told me that since I am taking the NCLEX before I move back to Canada, I will be an RN entering the country and will not fall into the 4 year new rule that is scheduled for 2005. She said this date is not written in stone yet- but they have been waiting for approval from the Alberta Government.
    Good news to pass on! In the future, I think that Canada will find diploma nurses (Associate degree in the US) taking 2 year RN classes, getting licensed in the US then practicing in Canada to bypass the 4 year degree stipulation they have there now. I think the dental hygenist degree is like this too.
  13. by   fergus51
    It really depends on the province on that one. I was told both BC and Ontario will not recognize new grad nurses from the US without a BSN (they do recognize those who graduated before the requirement was instituted for nurses in the province). Combine that with the extra costs of studying in the US and I don't think it will be an option for too many. I'm glad it has all worked out for you
    Last edit by fergus51 on Jul 19, '04
  14. by   RN2B2009
    Quote from gchelak
    Well- I got an answer!


    The Nursing Consultant - Policy and Practice at the Alberta


    Association of Registered Nurses e-mailed me back and she told me that since I am taking the NCLEX before I move back to Canada, I will be an RN entering the country and will not fall into the 4 year new rule that is scheduled for 2005. She said this date is not written in stone yet- but they have been waiting for approval from the Alberta Government.


    Good news to pass on! In the future, I think that Canada will find diploma nurses (Associate degree in the US) taking 2 year RN classes, getting licensed in the US then practicing in Canada to bypass the 4 year degree stipulation they have there now. I think the dental hygenist degree is like this too.
    I'm glad you got the reply you were looking for! What is the "4 year rule"?

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