Alberta LPN - page 5

by Pug Lover 22,709 Views | 52 Comments

Hi Everybody! I am not new to AllNurses, although this is my first post. I will be attending Norquest College this Sept for the full time practical nursing program. I am set to graduate on the spring of 2009. I was wondering if... Read More


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    My agency, Mercan in the Philippines applied for me for a registration to CLPNA thru Norquest but until now I haven't got any confirmation with Norquest. I'm aware that other applicants also have this kind of problem and told we should wait. Why is there a delay and when should we expect it to come? Other applicants only took them a month to get their confirmation but we on the other hand, almost 6 months have passed and we are still unclear when should we get it. thanks for the help!
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    Your delay might have something to do with the fact that the temporary permission for Filipino RNs to work as LPNs in Alberta was a pilot project, an attempt to salvage a plan that went off the rails. When the Alberta health regions began recruiting nurses from the Philippines they hadn't done their homework and didn't realize that the standard of nursing education there had deteriorated significantly at many schools. They weren't prepared for the number of people they hired as RNs who weren't being assessed at the level of competence RNs need for registration in Alberta. So they had all these people who were already here and no way they could put them to work as things were. So they decided to temporarily allow them to license as LPNs. I doubt this was ever considered to be a long-term thing, because there is no shortage of LPNs in Canada and LMOs and their associated work permits are not available for LPNs. Also the average Albertan has NO IDEA that this is happening, that their provincial government has spent millions of their tax dollars on a plan that failed so spectacularly. Although there have been press releases announcing the recruitment drive and the arrival of those hired as a result, there has been nothing in the news to inform the people who are ultimately paying for all this that they're paying for LPNs when they thought they were getting RNs. In folk language, that is called buying a pig in a poke. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pig_in_a_poke) The newly anointed Alberta Health Services department is wise to wait until the results of this experiment are known before letting any more people follow this process. Their political longevity is on the line.
    Fiona59 and Ginger's Mom like this.
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    I've worked with some of the Mercan nurses who are being permitted to practice as LPNs. We were told we were going to be working with skilled, experienced nurses. This has been a bit of an overstatement. The skill set appears to be very different in the Philllipines from Alberta. Several of the "new" nurses have required very long orientations on their units in addition to the time spent at Norquest.

    Pedi-Gree, I don't know where you are working in Canada but in Edmonton and the Capital Health region there is a shortage of both grade of nurses. Every graduate of Norquest has a job to go to and there are still vacancies after each crop of new grads.

    The new grads from Norquest are not getting as lengthy an orientation to their units as the overseas nurses and it is becoming a sore point amongst staff how differently "new" nurses are being treated. Yes, the local grads have had all their clinical time in the hospitals that hire them but the Mercan nurses were supposed to be experienced and require an adapatation course and the usual orientation to the unit. New grads get roughly five orientation shifts, while the overseas nurses are getting two or more months. Why should a local new grad get less time and consideration than an experienced, veteran nurse from another country? RNs arriving from the States don't get as lengthy an orientation either.
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    so norquest is waiting if the pilot nurses are good until they grant eligibility to us? until when?
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    Quote from Fiona59
    Pedi-Gree, I don't know where you are working in Canada but in Edmonton and the Capital Health region there is a shortage of both grade of nurses. Every graduate of Norquest has a job to go to and there are still vacancies after each crop of new grads.
    I looked at the online postings at Capital Health and see that there are vacancies in both grades. However, of the actual postings there were 32 for LPNs and 212 for RNs (not including any that might have more than one position per posting number). Of the LPN postings there were only 10 for full time positions and 6 of the others were for positions less than 0.5 FTE. For RNs, there were 104 full time positions and 17 less than 0.5 FTE. That's quite a difference. Considering that foreign workers are required to have a full time position and work full time hours in order to obtain and maintain a work permit, I'd be very surprised if the Local Market Opinion would be favouring LPNs when only 9% of the current full time vacancies are for them.
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    Norquest can't supply you with eligibility. That has to come from CARNA, and I don't think it's going to be forthcoming. From what I hear of the pilot "LPNs" it's not going very well at all.
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    just a question..
    would it be possible that we, the applicants hired by capital health via mercan would directly submit our credentials to clpna for assessment? although we also submitted the same requirements to mercan?
    what are the outcomes for such action?
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    Pedi-Gree: have you been in Alberta recently? The nursing homes are begging for staff. It is not uncommon to drive by them with signs out front requesting LPNs step in for a coffee and a tour. With the patient ratios there, no sane LPN wants to step foot in the door. Doctors offices and clinic are also huge employers out here. There are also problems with the hours worked by many of the new nurses. There has been some very creative fixes made for them. They require full time hours to retain their work papers and as you rightly pointed out many of the LPN positions are .5FTEs (which really should have been full time all along because the previous holders worked that much they were full time). Managers are putting them in these slots and then giving them every available shift on the unit to make up the hours. This is a direct violation of the AUPE contract which states extra shifts are to be allocated on a the basis of seniority. This is forcing long time unit nurses to "float" to other units if they want to pick up the extra hours some people want. Me, I'm happy with my part time position. Others have waited to have their position changed as promised and are furious that the changes are being made to the lines occupied by the newcomers.

    Many of the "lines" being filled by the overseas "LPN" are empty lines that were "held" for the overseas RNs who failed to materialize. As several managers have been heard to say, they don't care what licence the nurse has as long as they know their job, they have the hours. It is not uncommon to have RNs fill LPN slots that are vacant and LPNs fill empty RN lines on many units. The scope is that close. On a unit where there is no TPN and only the rare blood transfusion it is very common. Many care of the elderly units could run like nursing homes with 1 RN and the rest of the staff LPN and NA but because it is in active treatment, it's not staffed that way. The unions don't like it but it is a fact of life. Fill the line with a body with a license or close beds because there really is no staff that is the choice facing many managers within Capital Health.

    Considering that the new staff are only here on two year work permits and several have made it very clear they are only marking time until they can move south to the US, Capital Health is alienating alot of their long time staff with this "creative solution" to the nursing shortage. They should kept their promises to their existing staff to fix the lines that needed fixing. I know of one unit that has lost three LPNs because their lines weren't fixed, promises weren't kept, and the newcomers on their unit were not the safest to work alongside.
    Capital Health's loss and the private sectors gain.
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    Quote from whirlwind
    just a question..
    would it be possible that we, the applicants hired by capital health via mercan would directly submit our credentials to clpna for assessment? although we also submitted the same requirements to mercan?
    what are the outcomes for such action?
    I'm surprised fiona59 didn't respond to your question since she's an LPN and is in Alberta. (Read some of her posts.)

    I guess you could try that but I don't think it will get you anywhere because you don't have practical nursing education, you have RN education, and as it's been said before, this was a special arrangement with the health regions, CARNA, CLPNA and the government so that they could distract the public away from their failure to produce the promised results of hiring 500 registered nurses. The RNs who are working as LPNs were in Canada already before the problems with their education and competencies had been identified and the parties had to go into damage control mode. It's not likely to be continued for subsequent intakes of new IENs.
    whirlwind likes this.
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    I didn't respond because it's not relevant to LPNs working in Alberta, which is what this thread was meant to cover. Per the red banner, questions concerning licensing and migration go in the international forum.

    CLPNA is a world unto themselves. They do what they feel like and then let the membership know. Right now they are too busy processing the yearly renewals and pocketing our yearly fees to answer the phone quickly.

    Oh and the grapevine has it that the new hourly rates won't come into effect until the last pay period in October. Which means roughly seven months of back pay to be taxed.
    whirlwind likes this.


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