From Canada, FNP in US

  1. Hello Everyone,

    I am from Canada, and recently graduated with my BSN and I am currently working in an ER dept. I have always wanted to pursue FNP and I am considering completing it in the US as I can begin the program sooner than whats required in Canada and begin the new role. My thoughts were to work in the ER for a year, move to the US and work for 8 months until the Fall of 2008 and then begin graduate school full time. I have researched many schools and have began pursuing the advisors and such for additional information but I was also wondering if anyone had any thoughts on the transition back to Canada after completing my FNP. I would like to work in the US for a year or so once I graduate but eventually would come back to Canada and I have some questions on the difficulty of doing this given the different medications, lab value units, healthcare system, etc.

    Another reason for me wanting to complete my FNP in the US is I would like to travel, and from what I have researched I feel the US NP programs are definetely more established and would perhaps give better preparation for the advanced role, but thats just my thoughts.

    Anys information, ideas, or opinions would be greatly appreciated!
    Melissa
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   juan de la cruz
    I have quite a bit of exposure to Canadian nurses as practicing NP in Detroit, Michigan. Many Canadian nurses work in hospitals in Metro Detroit under a TN1 Visa. During NP school, I also had a classmate who is Canadian. However, the information I know about Canadian nursing is limited to the Province of Ontario. I don't know what province you live in Canada.

    Most Canadian students who opted to study in the US do so because not all Ontario NP programs grant a Master's degree. Many of the 10 NP programs in Ontario are post-baccalaureate diploma programs. However, one also need to remember that at this time, the College of Nurses of Ontario only grants certification to primary care NP's. The US equivalent of this certification is the FNP as we know it here. So, Canadian nurses who finish ACNP, WHNP, ANP, PNP, GNP, and PMHNP in the US have no option to be certified in Ontario, thus, can not work there as an NP.

    My Canadian classmate who graduated with me in the ACNP program I attended in Michigan is currently practicing in neuro-surgery here in the US. She is unable to obtain certification as an ACNP in Canada because the certification does not exist there. It is also interesting that the University of Toronto offers an MSN ACNP track. However, I am not sure what employment opportunities are available for the graduates of this program in Canada since they can not get certified there.

    That being said, I think you are headed the right direction by choosing FNP because that is the only NP track that can be cross certified in both the US and Ontario.
  4. by   mkurek
    Thanks pinoyNP! Any other thoughts out there?
  5. by   lalaxton
    Just to follow up on the previous posters information. The NP program in Ontario is going to a MSN. The class that starts in Sept 2008 will finish with their Masters. ACNP's in Ontario are well on their way to being recognized with an Extended Class license just as their Primary Care counterparts are now. The role developed much later than the Primary Care NP role and the regulation has taken some time to catch up. I am presently working as an ACNP in Ontario, there are over 300 of us now. There are now more than 800 Primary Care NP's here as well. Things are constantly changing so anyone wanting up to date information should go to the College of Nurses of Ontarion website or contact them directly.
  6. by   juan de la cruz
    Sounds like you guys are headed the right direction over there in Ontario. I actually think you can make it work better over there since you can learn from the "mistakes" made here in the US and try not to do the same. Do you think NP utilization will escalate in Canada especially with government-funded healthcare program?

    By the way, what kind of practice are you involved in as an ACNP?
  7. by   lalaxton
    Actually there have been NP's in Ontario since the 70's when there was a 'preceived' shortage of family docs then the government in their wisdom decided that there actually was no shortage and discontinued NP education in the early 80's. Things started up again in the early 90's with the Primary Care NP program and progressed with the ACNP role in the mid 90's. We have had our struggles with such things as funding of positions (NP's cannot bill directly and all positions are government funded) and a limited formulary. Other provinces have learned from our mistakes and have much better legislation and regulation in place and yet still others are worse off than we are. There is a movement to standardize education and scope of practice across the country but that will probably take several more years. If you are interested in being an NP in Canada contact your provincial College of Nurses to see what the scope of practice is in that particular province.

    Healthcare in Canada is regulated by the provinces so each province see's NP's differently. Most provinces are finally seeing the benefits of NP's to their populations and I have no doubt that we will continue to see our numbers grow.

    I am presently working as an ACNP in Cardiology at a community hospital and after 5 years am still enjoying my job!

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