where to !!!! USA OR Canada

  1. Hi there.

    We are in our 40s, and I worked as an OR RN 14 yrs mostly in cardiac and neuro also other surgeries, in UK as anesthesia RN for few yrs .

    I wish to hear from nursers who worked, on both sides of the border (usa/canada) to give your opinion regd the working conditions, benifits , living, schooling for kids and other aspects for a family.


    Any suggestions and comments are welcomed.
    Thanks a lot for taking the time to advice.

    bye for now.PD
    Last edit by paddi on Jun 29, '04
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   LMPhilbric
    Hi, Paddy,

    I worked for 2 years in Alberta and almost 13 years in the US. When I left Canada, it was pretty nice, but I think it's gone downhill since then. I look regularly to see what kind of jobs are open in Canada and it's mostly "other part-time" ie no benefits. You also have to rotate shifts and stuff like that. From talking to my friends who still work up there, the nurse-patient ratio is much higher than down here in Florida. I think the health care system in Canada is a total mess. My mom went into the ER at 8:30 one night with what looked like a CVA and they wouldn't do a CT scan because "we've already done our 17 for the day and we can't do anymore." I nearly lost it. I mean, this is not someone who's had abd pain for 6 months and decided to come into the ER. It turned out that she had a subdural hematoma and they had to fly her out to Calgary the next afternoon for immediate surgery. That would never have happened at my hospital. I miss Canada and I wouldn't mind going back home, but until they fix some things, forget it!!! Florida is beautiful, we get good wages and benefits, the area is lovely, the nurse-patient ratios are good and we have a lot of autonomy. We work straight shifts ( I work permanent 12 hours nights by choice). I can't imagine having to rotate shifts with my 7 year old. It would be a disaster. I hope I didn't offend anyone, but this is my honest assessment of the healthcare situation.
  4. by   oneLoneNurse
    I graduated from AHE and GMCC during the 80s'. Then moved stateside in the late 80s'. The Canadian system seems a mess. I have been very surprised at their attitude in general to healthcare employees. Mike Harris Premeir of Ontario stated something like nurses should go back for retraining at hamburger joints in the middle 90s'. If anyone can find the direct quote for me please send it to me.

    I work an 8-5 in Philadelphia with free educational benefits for me and any dependents. Opportunities, here are much greater than in Canada. I bought myself a nice house 2 years ago for $100,000.00 US. No chance I could have bought the house in Canada.

    Though this visa screen causes a complication for me, I have nothing but great things to say about the US system, my quality of life in the US and the way the health systems treat you.
  5. by   paddi
    Hi there guys!!!

    Thanks for your resp, I am working as an RN in Missouri, since last year. Recently we had few options.

    Your resps and info helps us to settle down, and move on more positive manner towards our goals. We are still new here to the culture and system, and we are slowly getting adapted to it.

    I am also preparing for RNFA course at present; yet to buy a house, once we finish our contract here and decide which part of USA would be good, (may be Seattle), up north orso!!!!!!!!!! any suggestions, We prefer moderate to cold weather...

    Thanks a million for taking the time to respnd, pls keep in touch and update,wish you all the best.

    bye for now... paddi
    Last edit by paddi on Jul 4, '04
  6. by   canoehead
    Paddi, add one more vote for the USA to your list. I lived in Nova Scotia for 6 years then moved to Maine. Although I sometimes desperately miss home I could never work in Canada's health care system again, and fear that the US may end up with the same problems we have if they continue to "reform" their system.

    If you add the ability to receive private messages I would be happy to tell you about Maine and the hospitals I've tried, or email me.
  7. by   fergus51
    I've worked in both (and recently). I actually prefer a lot of things in the Canadian system. Here's my advice: if you are looking for a better salary and better hours and training opportunities the US has more opportunities. BUT, I also think the US has some absolute hell holes to work in (worse than anything I have seen in Canada). Check the place out THOROUGHLY and speak to nurses who currently work there if possible. Ask about staffing ratios, mandatory OT, SECURITY (is the hospital in a neighbourhood where all the homes have bars on the windows?), etc. You are probably already aware that some companies really prey on foreign nurses and screw them around mercilessly (I had my payckeques and hours completely messed with when I first moved to Washington state and was not given what I was promised even though I was a citizen!). This type of thing doesn't really happen in Canada thanks to the heavily unionized environment. The things I like better about the Canadian system is that care is not dependent on money, contracts are honored, ratios are decent, and the conditions are good in the larger hospitals (which is where I choose to work). Right now I am single and just came back to the US to work. I can say for certain though, I would never raise a family here. If I get married and pregnant, I'll be on the first flight back to Canada.

    If you do look at Canada, I would recommend a larger center like Calgary, Vancouver or Toronto which all have full time openings and good educational opportunities. I have worked in Toronto and Vancouver and have several friends in Calagary if you want more info.
    Last edit by fergus51 on Jun 30, '04
  8. by   oneLoneNurse
    I've never actually been screwed by any hospital, here in the states, but can imagine it happening.

    I'm a single guy BUT if I was married I would really consider Anchorage ( shortage of women).
  9. by   paddi
    Quote from canoehead
    Paddi, add one more vote for the USA to your list. I lived in Nova Scotia for 6 years then moved to Maine. Although I sometimes desperately miss home I could never work in Canada's health care system again, and fear that the US may end up with the same problems we have if they continue to "reform" their system.

    If you add the ability to receive private messages I would be happy to tell you about Maine and the hospitals I've tried, or email me.
    Hi there.

    I tried to locate, Maine but there areseveral maines in US, which one are u talking about.

    Thanks for that!!!bye fro now PD
  10. by   fergus51
    Maine is the state, not a city.
  11. by   madeleine
    Paddi. Which Maine? Duuuuh!!!!! For goodness sake - did you graduate High School?
  12. by   fergus51
    Really Madelaine, I don't think it's unreasonable for non-Americans to not know all 50 states. Just ask an American where Saskatchewan is. It doesn't make them stupid.
  13. by   madeleine
    Fergus (BTW my name is spelled MadelEine). I am a non-American and I know that Maine is a State. Look back, you will see that Paddi has been working in Missouri since last year. As he/she is allegedly a BSN one would assume a certain level of knowledge and/or the ability to research information.

    BTW - In the UK we do not have anaesthetic nurses!!! Go figure.
  14. by   paddi
    Hi there..

    I am sorry for the lack of knowledge about Maine., we are still not familiar with our surroundings. What is wrong if one asks where is Maine. Many Americans on the street; other day did not know who was the vice president of USA, when asked on one of the late shows . May be I am one of those dumb ones as far as geography is concerned.


    I suppose,this has nothing to do, with anyone passing High school or not, espl to compete as an non-American with so many exams to pass and crossing several continents and cultures. Its extremely competitive to come out or single out, to enter USA with CGFNS/ NCLEX/Tofel/TWE/TSE etc and the paper work. It took us approx 4 yrs to get th visa screen clearance throu'. If you know 'where Maine is or not; does not make anyone smarter'. In One of one of those Nickleldome networks "The Quiz Team' did not know 'what was the capital of Canada' !!!!. BUT still they did win the Game!!!!!!! .

    We do not have so may opportunities that other Non-Americans take it for granted. Anything reasonably good.... does not come ... FREE....at times no basic ameniteis....

    Let me say every day is our learning day and you learn 'one thing-at-a-time', when we landed in UK from Asia, my son did not know how to open a 'ketchup sachet' at Mc Donald's, nor we knew about electronic Air-Ticketing; or to operate a vending machine- so does that make him/us illiterates, I suppose it is where you come from and what back-ground. We all need to accept and help each other rather point fingers at each others.

    bye for now, sorry about asking about Maine!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Take me for granted, that I am out of this thread or what-so-ever. We will leave everything to our Lord & Jesus to take care of us, we do not hv the experience to judge things, may the Lord's 'Will' be done.....

    Praise the Lord for all His blessings.
    Thanks guys,bye for now.
    PD

    PS: Mr Brain Admn; I Want you to take me out of this thread and discontinue me as a member, Could you pls remove me from this discussions all together, I would be so grateful, thank you very much for taking the time to sorting out this matter. Paddi.
    Last edit by paddi on Jul 6, '04

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