OK, I've searched and haven't seen any threads on this exact subject, so here goes:
I'm a US citizen, married to a Canadian citizen. Our plan was: I would get an accelerated BSN in the USA, work off the debt in a debt forgiveness program for a few years, and during the last year hire an immigration lawyer and apply to go to Canada. He would wait until I was done in the US, and we'd go to Canada together. Great plan, right?
Well, that was before his heart problems started. Right now he has atrial fibrillation, sinus arhythmia, and possible PVC's. These are complicated by the fact that for six years he's had an unidentified autoimmune disease which has made a walk around the block painful for him and reduced his energy. While he was working, he had insurance, and while it was only the autoimmune symptoms (which were holding kind of steady) he could deal with it. But he just got laid off (was working for a nonprofit - huge recent budget cuts), and with a possibly life-threatening heart condition that's not OK. Every time he needs to go to the doctor, even with the insurance still covering him, he agonizes over it, since it'll be at least a $400 bill. Plus, as a Canadian, it just doesn't feel right to him.
I've told him that he needs to feel comfortable going to the doctor's, and if his moving back to Canada is what it takes, then he should do it. I'd love to follow him, but I'm not a nurse yet. I just got to the point where I finished all my science prerequisites and was applying to accelerated BSN programs.
What breaks my heart is the possibility of not seeing him for a really, really long time, and I'm too broke to pay for an attorney right now to help advise me. I want to figure out the quickest way for me to get into Canada and begin working as a nurse. With my husband's health problems, I don't want him to have to be the main breadwinner. (Bad for him, bad for me.)
I'm looking at accelerated programs in the US and Canada. I have a Bachelor of the Arts already, and a year in a conflict resolution graduate program, and then two years of science prerequisites. I have a very high GPA (3.96 overall, and 4.0 in the sciences) and a bunch of volunteer experience (not health-related, but strong on the leadership skills) so I have a pretty good chance of getting in to any school.
I may have an opportunity to attend a 15 month accelerated degree program in the US, but have heard rumors that some provinces don't accept degree programs that take less than two years. Is this true??? I'm going to apply to BC, because the Yukon goes by what BC says, but we were planning on ending up in the Yukon.
I may be able to ask that school, if it accepts me, to transfer me to its two-year program.
I've also been looking at accelerated programs in Canada, but don't know if it would be possible to get permanent residency while taking my courses, and I hear that if I don't have permanent residency, I wouldn't be able to sit for my Canadian exam.
I would love help with this - I love my husband VERY much after four years together. He's the spice of my life, and I'm prepared to be away from him for a little bit for his sake but would love to make that time apart as short as possible.
Thank you for reading, and if you answer, for answering.
Feb 17, '09
I forgot to add that since he'll soon be losing his health insurance, medical bills won't just be $400, but several thousands per visit, and a trip to the emergency room (we've had to make 3 in the last three months) could cost even more, especially if he gets worse or if has to be cardioverted again.
We couldn't pay for one trip like that, let alone several, so viva Canada!
Feb 17, '09
He should be able to sponsor you for your PR seeing as he is Canadian. You can sit CRNE if not a PR and many foreign nurses do so, it is only offered 3 times a year in Canada and not like the NCLEX at all. It is up to the college on whether they will accept your accelerated course and they really should be the ones that you contact and ask. Hope this is a starting point for you and I am sorry to hear about your husband
Feb 17, '09
So your not a nurse yet, just applying to schools?
Just do it up here.
If you are going to be in debt, you might as well be in debt where you live.
If I recall right, you don't automatically get health care upon returning home. There is usually a 90 day residency requirement in the province. Emergency care won't be denied but you will be paying for doctors visits until residence requirements are met.
Feb 17, '09
Thank you, SilverDragon102. I'm glad to hear foreign nurses can sit for the CRNE's. I figured they'd be different from the US version, but don't know how much, so I'll probably see if there are any good CRNE study aids out there.
And thank you, Fiona59. You're right - debt is the same anywhere! I'm glad I heard about the 90 day wait - still better than the USA's 180 day wait if you find a job that gives insurance.
Feb 17, '09
The accelerated programs like this do not meet immigration requirements, nor for licensure there in any of the provinces that I am aware of.
Sure, your husband would be your petitioner, but you still need to meet the requirements for licensure there. If you are planning to move up there, and have not gone to school as of yet, much better just to do it up there to begin with and then you have no worries about it.
You getting permanent residency thru your husband has nothing to do with anything else. And there is no truth that one must have permanent residency in order to be able to sit for the CRNE. The majority of foreign-trained nurses fly over and test under the tourist visa.
Best of luck to you and your husband.
Feb 17, '09
Thank you so much, Suzanne. That's exactly the information I was looking for, and makes my life a lot simpler.
I was trying to pursue schools in Canada and the US at the same time, which was driving me nuts, and now I can concentrate on one direction.
Feb 18, '09
Most definitely just go for the Canadian programs if that is where you will be living. And you will be able to get permanent residency thru your husband.
Best of luck to the two of you.