Nursing in northern communities

  1. I am looking for a nursing position in a northern community--i would like an experience which provides a certain degree of training/orientation
    I am open to any advice/interested in hearing others experience
    I work in intensive care at the moment but would like to pursue a career in community health nursing
  2. Visit betaq profile page

    About betaq

    Joined: Sep '07; Posts: 10


  3. by   lalaxton
    Hi Betaq,
    I have worked in several northern communities. Health Canada does offer an orientation program if you go to one of their nursing stations. Most other regions offer extensive orientations as well. Have no fear no will 'throw you to the wolves' on your own.
    If you do go up with an agency however be aware that some of them offer no orientation whatsoever and you are expected to hit the ground running if you work through an agency doing relief work in a northern nursing station.
    So my best advice is decide on what part of the north you want to go to and contact that area directly. They are so short of Community Health RN's just about everywhere they will be happy to help you.
    Feel free to PM me for more info.:spin:
  4. by   betaq
    hey lalaxton
    thanks again for your advice--ive finally decided to apply to health canada--i spoke to the hr rep and she told me they offer one month orientation and i can go part time with them--a month at a time--a good option for me as i have a partner and cannot leave my life for one year in toronto--so i think ive found a good option--i did speak to the agency and found that it would probably not prepare me for the north--they did offer orientation (an informal 3-4 sessions with an NP) but it seemed alittle too informal to me--i felt nervous about it and thought i should go with my gut--i took your advice into consideration so thanks so much!
  5. by   lalaxton
    Good luck!
    Let us know how it goes.
  6. by   betaq
    Quote from lalaxton
    Good luck!
    Let us know how it goes.
    Hi Lalaxton
    I finally completed the hiring process for FNIHB and am scheduled to head up to sioux lookout in January. I will be completing the orientation in the first month and am very excited. Besides buying some good winter gear what other things do you recommend I do before heading up? What resources would you recommend--I have been reading about native culture and issues in the communities and speaking with friends who have gone up.
  7. by   lalaxton
    Depending on what nursing experience you have I would bone up on those areas you lack. For example, if you have adult ICU experience I'd review my peds assessment and common peds conditions. If you have med/surg experience I'd look over things like ACLS protocols and emergency/trauma etc. Health Canada does have guidelines for you to follow but these don't always have all the information you need.
    Also realize that food is expensive up there and there is not alot of choice. Bring food that you don't think you'll be able to find, such as ethnic or specialty items that you love. I like nice dark roast coffee and I know I won't find it there so bring it with me. If you'll be in Sioux Lookout for awhile for orientation you'll probably have the chance to hit the grocery store there before heading up to a northern community.
    Glad to hear you are finally going up! Maybe we'll run into each other one day!
  8. by   O'Cuinn,RN
    I have just applied through the FNIHB to do northern Ontario nursing. I love these threads, but they are all outdated! Just wondering if anyone was still online that could give me more information about it...
  9. by   RPN_2012
    How northern are we talking? Northern like North Bay, Ontario or northern like north of the 60th parallel, Yukon, NWT, and Nunavut?

    I'm thinking of going north of the 60th parallel, after I graduate... for a few ears.
  10. by   Ontario.nurse85

    I am thinking of applying to Health Canada to work in northern Manitoba. I was wondering how your experience was? I have two years experience on a paeds surgical floor at a large hospital in Toronto.
  11. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    What you'll be doing in northern Manitoba will be nothing like working on a paeds surgical floor. Up there you'll be doing a lot of triaging, care for diabetics of all ages (the aboriginal population in Manitoba has the second highest incidence of Type II diabetes in the world, will all its attendant complications), other consequences of poor nutrition, alcohol and substance abuse, prenatal exams, well-baby visits, suturing, treating frostbite, dog maulings and assaults, and depending on where you are, you could be dealing with frequent suicide attempts. In many communities you'll be the only health care provider. The cost of living is extraordinarily high because most goods need to be trucked for hundreds of km or else flown in. It can be a very rewarding experience for the right person.
  12. by   gillme
    I am very interested in nursing in the remote communities, as I have heard there is a tremendous amount of experience gained and it is very interesting environment to work in. However, I will be graduating as an RPN next year and I was wondering if they take RPN's up north as well. Does anyone know if an RPN can find work up there?

    Many thanks
  13. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Now, are you talking Registered Practical Nurse or Registered Psychiatric Nurse? It's possible that the communities with full-scale hospitals in them might employ practical nurses, but the outposts and remote health centres will not due to the scope of the job. You might check with FNIHB (Federal Non-Insured Health Benefits, the program that administers to aboriginal communities) and see what they say.
  14. by   Fiona59
    Yellowknife employs LPNs. Met a couple when they came down to the CLPNA convention.