travel nursing canada

  1. Hey guys, i have recently been recruited by a company out of BC called Solutions Staffing inc. I was not aware of travel nursing in canada until a friend referred me to this company. Has anyone dealt with them or heard of them at all? I can't find much about them other then their website. Thanks for any of you who can help
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    There has been mention of them here before, you will need to do a search to find out the information that was posted on them.
  4. by   nursemoons14
    I can't find anything on them anywhere
  5. by   spiritmagejkt
    Dont know them its not a walk in the park to transferr a US license for the most part. At least not for me and I have a degree from a State University with a good reputation.
  6. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Canada doesn't have travel nursing exactly; it's very different from what travel nurses in the US are doing. Solutions Staffing Inc. is a BC-specific company and all travel would be within BC, most likely isolated rural BC. This sort of arrangement is fairly new, although there have been other agencies like Olsten-Kimberley Quality Care, We-CARE and such that have filled a similar local role.

    The licensing process is very time-consuming and cumbersome in Canada and they don't like you to hold licenses in more than one province at any one time, which makes short-term travel assignments outside of the province you're currently licensed in impossible. Each province wants all the information from the juridictions where you've been licensed before and they require proof of substantively equivalent competency from your previous jurisdictions, a lot of information on your education and other documentation. AND... licenses in Canada cost a LOT of money. In Alberta we're paying almost $400 a year.

    Don't forget that all acute care hospitals and many rehabilitiation, skilled-nursing and long-term care facilities in Canada are unionized. Most hospitals in this area don't even post short-term positions, choosing instead to utilize their casual staff or agency nurses. It's administratively easier to do that. That seems to be what Solutions Staffing is providing. I'd be asking them for references... ask them to put you in touch with some of the nurses they've employed and then talk to those nurses. Get the real deal on how the company operates. I worked for Olsten-Kimberley (out of desperation) and would not want to see my worst enemy working for them...
  7. by   nursemoons14
    Thanks for the advice. I am in Ontario presently so I pretty much just have to fill out a buttload of paperwork and pay a buttload of money. I have asked for a list of hospitals they deal with so I can research them and asking for references is a good idea thanks. What made y our experience so aweful?
  8. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Oh my, where do I start? I only applied to the agency in the first place because I graduated into the big lay-offs of the mid 90's and couldn't even get an interview anywhere else. I was hired as a brand-new grad; I have a son with complex medical needs so I have a good deal of basic experience that I obtained before I went to school and they felt they could take a chance on me. I was hired for pediatric (not technologically dependent) home care, or so I thought. They would not give me set hours or any guarantee of work; I was essentially a casual. The first placement I had was looking after a girl with congenital defects from maternal warfarin treatment. The mom was a bit of a nutbar, to say the least, and she treated the staff who came into her home every day like we all were brainless idiots. I lasted a month with them before I'd reached the end of my tolerance.

    Then they started calling me for staffing relief. The first 12 hour night shift I did at a local hospital, they expected me to be in charge of a surgical unit; I had no clue until I arrived there even though the staffing office at the hospital told the agency that was what they needed. When I refused to do it the nursing supervisor was rather cranky to me and ended up reassigning another nurse to do charge. I stayed and took the other nurse's assignment. No one showed me around the floor or offered to let me join them for breaks. It was pretty awful. I was sent back there again a couple of months later, to the same floor, and got the same treatment. I didn't even know where the staff washrooms were.

    Another time they sent me to a long-term care facility for an 8 hour night. Only they didn't tell me I was going to be the only RN in the building. That was a frightening outing for someone who was relatively fresh out of school and had no charge experience.

    One of my pediatric assignments was a single day shift with a teenager who had juvenile Huntington's. The family had abandoned their two children when they started showing symptoms, and the agency was their guardian. I was informed on arrival that I was to scrub all the floors in the apartment, clean out the fridge and clean the bathroom in addition to nursing care for the older sib. The younger one was picked up shortly after I got there to go to school. So when my pay check was cut the next week, I discovered that I had been paid LPN rates for that day because they usually placed LPNs in that home, but didn't have one available that day.

    Another time I had a 10 year old patient with holoprosencephaly I'd worked with quite a lot. Although it was July and hot as a firecracker, he was wearing sweats, a housecoat, socks and mittens... and still was cold to the touch and lethargic. When I checked his vitals, his temp didn't register on the thermometer, his pulse was 47 and his systolic BP was 53. I was terrified he was going to arrest on me, so I called the office as I'd been instructed to do. They said his pediatrician was aware; they were not going to call him and that if I called him myself they'd fire me. So I waited for his mom to come home, told her my concerns, and told her I was not leaving until she called the pediatrician and told him everything I'd told her. Turns out he was profoundly hypothyroid and verging on myxedema coma.

    But the straw that broke the camel's back was when I was hired to work in the nursery at the hospital. I gave them my availability (virtually zilch) and told them I would still work only in the one home where everything had always gone well. They would call me sometimes 3 times in the same day after being told I was sleeping because I was working nights at the hospital. And they would do it day after day. I finally quit. I would not recommend that kind of arrangement to anyone!
  9. by   nursemoons14
    Well I would hope things have changed since the mid 90s. And I'm an emergency nurse as well and only agree to do emergency nursing. None of this placement on a medicine floor or anything. I will make sure thats in writing. Well your experiences sound herendous I'm not gonna lie. I'll make sure I really research them, i just wish i could find some reviews or something on the net. Can't find much
  10. by   natalyia
    Hello nursemoons14!

    I worked for Solutions Staffing last year, as well, I've worked in Ontario and 'travel nursed' in the US. What is your specific question? Are you still intrested in travel nursing? Solutions Staffing is not the only company in Canada, I'm not sure if you are aware. There is a company in the works to start servicing Calgary. Are you a Canadian RN?
  11. by   nursemoons14
    Actually I'm starting my first assignment in Abbotsford, BC in 2 weeks time. 8 week contract, it sounds almost too good to be true, I know the hospital is small but thats what I wanted, busy, and be able to do more clinically compared to a magnet hospital that I'm at now. Where did you go for Solutions and how did you find it?
  12. by   natalyia
    I went to Delta, which is about 1/2 hr. away from Vancouver, for 5 weeks and it was interesting to say the least! Solutions is a good company and is quite on par with the 2 travel companies I worked with in the US. The hospital was very disorganized however. I ended up working in the ER most of my assignment even though my contract was for med/surg.! Lucky for them, I had ER experience from several years before but that was not the point! I really should not have been pulled to an area, not a part of my contract, and on top of that, Solutions did not pay me the extra amount that ER nurses get for the shifts that I worked there! I was pulled to the ER often too, at least 2x/week. So my advice to you is to be very open minded on your assignment, because things like this do happen, even with the best of travel companies!
  13. by   nursemoons14
    Lucky for me I'm an Emerg nurse, im going to abbotsford ER. And It sounds like they areally have a hard time staffing their ER. probably since its only n 8 bed unit with 1 trauma bay. If I can do magnet hospital ER, hopefully it shouldn't be an issue, my fear is getting pulled into med/surg. I hate that floor crap ahah
  14. by   natalyia
    Just be prepared for all kinds of things! As I said, be open minded and don't expect the experience to be smooth sailing. They contracted you there because they are in need, which can unfortunately mean, a chaotic unit! If you are adaptable, and have great clinical skills, you will do fine!

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