I'm in need of some advice. I have just qualified with a BSc in Mental Health Nursing in Ireland. I am looking into making the move to Canada but having a tough time trying to find out what the process is to work as a nurse over there.
Given the current state of the Irish health system the prospects of getting a job here are zero at the moment and even if the jobs do become available they are trying to cut the salary. Basically i want to travel, and Canada has caught my attention. Can anyone recommend some sites that are recruiting graduates. Ideally i am looking for a position in Calgary.
Thanks in advance!!
Jan 29, '13
Things are a bit tough here in Canada in a lot of provinces especially for new grads so coming as a IEN new grad will be even tougher. Do you have any clinical and theory hours in your transcripts on Paeds, Obstetrics and general Adult? This will help on next step also think about what route are you looking at living and working in Canada?
Jan 29, '13
This website will tell you what you need to know about requirements to become a registered psychiatric nurse in Alberta: Applicants
Finding a job might be the hard part. Although the Alberta Health Services web site ( International Applicant | Careers | Alberta Health Services
) states they're currently recruiting internationally for registered psychiatric nurses, that information may be out of date. There are no positions posted in the Calgary zone at the moment that are purely for psych nurses.
Jan 30, '13
Thanks for the reply! I am a mental health nurse so my experience is limited to mental health. That being said I have trained/worked in the adult mental health services and with the older adult so that requires knowledge of physical illness. Ideally i would be looking to work in the community or in an acute ward.
Also thank you for the links you sent, thats basically what i was looking for. Its very expensive to register, $200 for transcript assessment and $500 for the registration exam. Down side is thats its in May and i think thats the only sitting of it!
Last edit by psychonurse86 on Jan 30, '13
: Reason: additional info
Jan 30, '13
Being a mental health nurse I think you may be able to get a job easier then others. It seems to be one place that is always hiring. When you say acute care, do you mean acute mental health? I do not know of any where that is recruiting. Places will hire new grads if they consolidated with them, or know someone. Our RN grads are having a rough time getting jobs
Feb 9, '13
I work in mental health in Calgary and have run into RPNs from the UK and Ireland working in psychiatric settings over the past couple of years. I don't know the specific details, but basically it takes a while to assessed and then to take the exam. You would have to budget a few months time/money for that. You might be able to work as a "graduate nurse" in Alberta after being assessed and before passing your licensing exam (RNs can do that).
It is just as competitive to get a Calgary nursing job in mental health as in any other field. You need to know That while the AHS website makes it look like they are recruiting, they are actually in cost cutting mode across the province. Working as a casual (per diem) on an acute inpatient unit or in a correctional setting (operated by AHS) are the two places most psych nurses I know have started.
Many people apply online with AHS until they are blue in the face with little to no result. You might have to move here and go to the units to meet managers in order to get a casual job.
Some people are lucky enough to get community mental health jobs early in their career, but the usual scenerio in Calgary is 10 plus years of seniority to get a community mental health job due to stiff competition.
That said, while it's unlikely to be easy, it's certainly possible. Good luck!
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