Prospective international nursing student in Canada

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    Hello everone,

    I'm brand new here & would greatly appreciate any input. I apologize if this is a repeat topic, I have searched a lot before posting and there are a number of topics about nurses looking for work in the US or international nurses coming to CA, but that's about it.

    I am a US citizen who would love a career change & to go live in Canada for a while. I'm fortunate to be able to pay foreign tuition and, after much online search, I've applied for the 2nd degree entry bachelor of nursing program @ Humber College. I found out that I was accepted by the end of February and I've been very excited about it, filling out immigration forms, selling furniture, etc so I can be there this coming Fall.

    To my great surprise, it seems like I would not be able to get my nursing license after completion of the program because, even though I AM NOT a foreign nurse (I would become a nurse there in ON, Canada on a student visa) the nursing board in Ontario requires one to be a canadian citizen, permanent resident or refugee. How would I be able to practice, then? Can a get my license back in the US, even though all my nursing education was done in Canada and I would have no working experience? I'm not even sure if this is correct, maybe I misunderstood what I read because why even go to the trouble of moving to another country, paying foreign tuition, etc if I would be unable to pratctice later. Does anyone knows how this actually works? Nothing at all was mentioned @ Humber College while I was applying as an international student there. Please help! I dont want to find out about something like this halfway through getting my degree.
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  4. 1
    I would expect that if you wanted to work in Canada after graduation you would be required to have the neccesary work permit before you could practice, the same as if you were coming from the US to work in Canada. I don't think that if you are in Canada on a student visa it would allow you to work.I would think that if you applied for a license in the US they would evaluate your education and if it met their requirements they would allow you to write the NCLEX. You would have to go through the same process as any other foreign educated nurse.
    Fiona59 likes this.
  5. 2
    Quote from vimge4
    Hello everone,

    I'm brand new here & would greatly appreciate any input. I apologize if this is a repeat topic, I have searched a lot before posting and there are a number of topics about nurses looking for work in the US or international nurses coming to CA, but that's about it.

    I am a US citizen who would love a career change & to go live in Canada for a while. I'm fortunate to be able to pay foreign tuition and, after much online search, I've applied for the 2nd degree entry bachelor of nursing program @ Humber College. I found out that I was accepted by the end of February and I've been very excited about it, filling out immigration forms, selling furniture, etc so I can be there this coming Fall.

    To my great surprise, it seems like I would not be able to get my nursing license after completion of the program because, even though I AM NOT a foreign nurse (I would become a nurse there in ON, Canada on a student visa) the nursing board in Ontario requires one to be a canadian citizen, permanent resident or refugee. How would I be able to practice, then? Can a get my license back in the US, even though all my nursing education was done in Canada and I would have no working experience? I'm not even sure if this is correct, maybe I misunderstood what I read because why even go to the trouble of moving to another country, paying foreign tuition, etc if I would be unable to pratctice later. Does anyone knows how this actually works? Nothing at all was mentioned @ Humber College while I was applying as an international student there. Please help! I dont want to find out about something like this halfway through getting my degree.
    So let me get this straight. Just because you qualify for a student visa and can afford to pay double tuition fees, you expect to be allowed to remain in Canada and work without applying for a permanent residency permit? Why would the COLLEGE of nursing permit someone with no ties to the province to have practice permit?

    You sound like a lot of the posters in this forum, who have moved to YOUR country as students and expect to stay because they were educated in the US and don't want to go home. You can't have your cake and eat it. You want to live and work in the Great White North, you have to go through the channels just like anyone else.
    jenn8500 and joanna73 like this.
  6. 0
    @ Loriangel14

    Thank you for your repply.

    I dont expect to be treated any diferently and I completely understand all the reasons why I would have to make my degree valid there if I had a nursing degree from the US or any other country, but the thing is I would be graduating from a Canadian Educational insitution, one that is recognized by the canadian board of education and good enough for everyone else. I dont have any concerns about immigration issues, I know what I would need to do with them, even to apply for a temp work permit after graduation, my concern is that if I cant get my license in Ontario (province where I would be) how would I be able to get a license anywhere else? My understanding is that the NCLEX alone would not mean anything and I'm not sure if, just like in Canada, for me to validate my license in the US after, I would need to have gotten one in the first place. It seems strange that you can apply to even immigrate to canada permanantly and practice eventually with a nursing degree from someplace else, but not with one that you got right there!
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    Again sorry if I offended anyone. The only reason why I even brought it up being able to pay for tuition is because that seemed to be the first thing people usually mentioned when someone talks about coming from the US in other posts.

    Look, I dont think I should have any advantage over anyone simply because Im from the US, if anyone has a tough immigration procces and make very hard rules for peolpe to come here that would be US (literally).

    All I want is to be able to work after getting my hard earned degree. If I could be allowed to work in Canada great, if not I would come back home right away and take with me the good years that I hopeffuly had there... I just want to know how can I get my license, exactly because I cant count on changing my status from visiting student to permanent resident just because of where I'm from.
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    Hi just to add, it really comes down whether you meet all the requirements set by the CNO (since you said you are coming here in Ontario) such as educational requirements, status in canada, safe years of practice, language fluency etc.before you can practice in Canada. You can however practice anywhere else since you are a BSN degree holder, but again it depends on the state/country's assessment of your education.
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    I would think that if you graduated and passed the CRNE you would be granted a nursing license, just the permission to work would be the sticky point. I would clarify with the CNO on this. I don't think that if you passed the exam they would deny you a license but the job may have to wait until you get clearance to work. I have heard that people in Canada on a student visa can apply for a work permit through something called Canadian Experience Class. Go to cic.gc.ca for more info on that.It indicates that certain people here on student visas can transition from temporary to permanent residence. Best of luck and i hope you enjoy Canada.
    pickles27 likes this.
  10. 0
    yeah I'm aware of the canadian experience class, thank you for that. I also went into the CNO website and it says right there that in order to obtain the license I would need to prove citizenship or permanent residency, it is definitely one of their 7 criterias. It says that if you get a temporary work permit you MAY be able to get a license, your application would have to be submitted to the registration comitee for review.

    Maybe I'm mixing up the licenses. That would be a second career to me who's coming from a non medical field and I am really clueless about all these boards and such. I read on another older thread here someone saying how if you get you bachelor of nursing in canada as a foreign student and later cant change status to permanent resident with immigration, you would never be issued a license on ontario, consequentely not being able to get a license back in the states later either. It seems absurd, but I really couldnt find any more info and I freaked out a little. I will be contacting the California nursing board to ask about that & hopefully can talk with someone over @ humber college to make sure that is NOT the case.
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    I'm not sure but I think I read that some states don't require you to have a local license before applying for licensure in that state. Good luck.
  12. 1
    After you finish your nursing study in Canada, take the licensure exam... and if you pass it, apply for a job and look for an employer who will be willing to sponsor you so you can legally work in Canada. Once you have the valid job offer approved by the immigration officer of Canada, CNO can now issue you your license to practice.

    As the other poster have said, you also have the option of applying under the Canadian experience class which will later on allow you to apply for a permanent resident status should you want that in the future.

    Now, if by any chance you are unable to work in Canada and would like to move back to the US, you would still be considered as an RN given that you took and pass the CRNE. You can always ask the CNO for a letter stating that you are indeed a board passer should you need this document. And even if you do not take the CRNE, you are still a BSN graduate so there should not be a problem when it comes to your registration with a US board of nursing. Having said that, they can sometimes ask why an applicant is not licensed from the country where they got their nursing education, in a case like this, an applicant would normally just write the US board of nursing an explanation letter, in your case, you can just tell them about the limitation of your status in Canada as a foreigner.
    vimge4 likes this.


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