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- by loren45 Sep 30, '10Hello all,
I will be relocating to Ottawa from BC in the near future. I am finishing up my courses here as an LPN and then taking the national exam. Of course, I need to be assessed in Ontario to be granted licensure there. I was just wondering what the job market is like in Ottawa? That is, are jobs available and what are the average salaries for care homes and hospitals. And can anyone recommend healthcare facilities that would be good places to work?
- Oct 1, '10 by OttawaRPNThe McGuinty government may have lied and stripped Ontario hospitals of their promised funding, but in reality, this hasn't created much change in the job market. The layoffs were mostly through attrition, positions being amalgamated or eliminating vacant positions.
In you want to stay in the city, The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) would probably be your best bet as they have three sites (General, Civic and Riverside) and are always posting nursing positions. The Queensway Carleton Hospital west of the city is somewhat harder to get into. Forget about the Montfort Hospital unless you're perfectly french. The world renowned Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) has many RPNs in different units if peds is your thing. And the Royal Ottawa Hospital (ROH) is an inpatient psych facility.
If you're considering the hospital route, there are many community/rural hospitals just outside the city - east, west and south, which have much lower turn over rates, but are more personal and "cozy" that the city hospitals. Unlike the rural hospitals where inpatients would be a med/surg unit, you can "specialize" in the city hospitals - ie) orthopedics, neurosugery, maternity, psych, etc. or go the outpatient clinic route (of which there are many at TOH's Riverside site as this is a day surgery/outpatient facility only.) Generally, the hospitals pay from $25/hr and up with decent shift premiums, in lieu of benefits for part-timers and uniform allowances. At TOH, the primary care model of nursing is prevalent so (ideally) you will only be assigned a patient you can fully provide nursing care for and in the surgical program we RPNs work to full scope, including starting IVs, taking blood for culture and hanging IV meds (no IV push.)
As for LTC, they are strapped for RPNs, you could more or less walk into a full time position if this is your thing, and although there aren't enough LTC facilities to accommodate the demand, there are many here to choose from both municipal and private. My experience was within the private sector and it was overall a negative one as corporate greed is not immune to compromising the vulnerable in our society, but if you can deal with chronic understaffing, ultra heavy workloads, lack of time and equipment, and neglectful management, then go for it. Your job here is predominately giving meds, doing dressings, LOTS of paperwork and supervising the PSWs. Pay scale starts from about $21/hr with pitiful shift premiums if any.
Community care is in high demand, but other than ensuring you have a reliable vehicle, I wouldn't recommend this route for the novice nurse as you are pretty much working on your own, so assessment skills and critical thinking have to be spot on. However you have the luxury of choosing your own client load, continuity of care and working independently. There is collaborative support of course, but it would be a phone call away. Pay rate is generally around $22/hr and many do offer signing bonuses as they are also strapped for nurses.
Retirement homes pay the worst - maybe $17/hr - and you will definitely lose your skills in this sector. RPNs don't really do much - as this sector is unregulated, usually UCP's give meds and do just about everything they shouldn't be doing. Some of these homes are swanky and others outright rank.
Have a look at some of these links. I didn't link any retirement homes but there are many. Home Care in this area would include VON, Bayshore, Saint-Elizabeth's, WeCare, etc.
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.
Hospitals in the City:
Welcome to the Ottawa Hospital
CHEO - Careers
Welcome to the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group
Rural hospitals outside the city:
Almonte General Hospital - Home
Welcome to the Arnprior District Memorial Corporation - Partners In Caring
Welcome to the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital
OMNI Health Care | Nursing Homes Long Term Care | Ontario | Canada
Welcome to Specialty Care Specialty Living
City of Ottawa LTC:
City of Ottawa
- Oct 1, '10 by loren45Thank you so much for all the information. It was quite excellent, and very helpful. I will look at the websites you mentioned as well...
- Oct 2, '10 by loren45I forgot to ask how one gets a hospital job as a new graduate. That is, do you start as a casual at the hospital first and then apply later for the jobs requiring one year experience, or do the hospitals consider beginning RPNs for these openings? Any suggestions/comments would be helpful...
- Oct 3, '10 by OttawaRPNOntario grads have the benefit of the Nursing Graduate Initiative through Health Force Ontario which guarantees a full-time nursing position fresh out of school, but unfortunately, as a BC trained nurse, you won't qualify for this.
Your best bet to start working immediately is getting a full/part-time position in LTC to gain experience, and then start sending your application to all the hospitals you wish to work. Don't wait for any postings to come up, and if you don't hear anything back, send it again about every 4-6 months. If you DO see a posting/competition number that interests you, apply for it even if you don't have the required years of experience. I currently see 9 RPN postings at TOH - a few of which are even permanent full-time (on a side note... one is in the Renal Transplant Surgical Outpatient Clinic, yowza, how did I miss that one when it was posted internally?)
The rural hospitals don't always post their positions online but if your resume lands on an HR desk at a good time, you can be called in for an interview. Do keep in mind, that TOH is a bilingual hospital and there may be a french requirement for all nursing positions, however, this is somewhat confusing as I work with MANY nurses - new grads and old school - who don't speak a lick of french, so don't let this be a deterrent.
I got into TOH about a year or so after sending in my application randomly. At an institution this size, don't worry about landing on a unit you may not be interested in, just grab any position you can get, then as an employee you can apply to any internal positions, and those come up frequently. One of the rural hospitals called me about 2 years after I had sent my application in asking if I was interested in a casual position. So the opportunities are there, you just have to be patient and persistent.
- Oct 3, '10 by loren45Your information is as always, superb. Thank you again so much for helping me!
- Oct 15, '10 by loren45I would like to work at the Ottawa Hospital once I arrive from BC. If I eventually get hired on as a casual, do they give hours to RPNs based on seniority or merit? How many hours would I expect initially as a beginning worker? Would I work at just one of its locations or all three as a casual? And if it is seniority based, would I keep my seniority as I move from unit to unit or even from one of the hospital's locations to another location? And finally, is there a union website for RPNs working at the Ottawa Hospital that would give more info. about pay scales, pensions, and etc. Lots of questions I know, but any help would be greatly appreciated. I am finishing up my exams here in BC and need to start thinking about my new career in Ottawa! :spin:
- Oct 16, '10 by OttawaRPNQuote from loren45~ Once an employee of TOH, you carry your seniority hours no matter which unit or site you work at.I would like to work at the Ottawa Hospital once I arrive from BC. If I eventually get hired on as a casual, do they give hours to RPNs based on seniority or merit? How many hours would I expect initially as a beginning worker? Would I work at just one of its locations or all three as a casual? And if it is seniority based, would I keep my seniority as I move from unit to unit or even from one of the hospital's locations to another location? And finally, is there a union website for RPNs working at the Ottawa Hospital that would give more info. about pay scales, pensions, and etc. Lots of questions I know, but any help would be greatly appreciated. I am finishing up my exams here in BC and need to start thinking about my new career in Ottawa! :spin:
~ You can only hold one position (FT or PT) at one time but can work casual elsewhere. As a FT or PT you would have your scheduled hours - any call ins, including for casuals, are based on seniority.
~ The union for RPNs is CUPE Local 4000 - no sure how much info. is on the net but starting pay is around $25/hr.
~ How many hours you get as a casual really depends on many factors - staffing levels, vacation period, sick leaves, etc.
Good luck on exams!
- Oct 16, '10 by loren45Thank you once again for taking the time to answer my many questions. You are a great nurse!
- Mar 13 by katherine100How do nursing homes work when it comes to missing meds, missing a narcotic or blood sugar. Narcs are a big deal here in the US. Is Ontario lax when it comes to these things?