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straight4 straight4 (New Member)

Australian moving to BC

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Hi, I am an Australian RN hoping to immigrate to BC. I have a regular Bachelor of Nursing degree, but worked only in psychiatry since graduation. I believe that NNAS will deem all Australian RNs as lacking in some areas. I'd like to know what to expect, in terms of the time/money for any supplementary courses, till I get my license. Could I please have some input on the following:

1) Nursing Competency Assessment Service (NCAS) -- do I absolutely have to take this exam? Any Australians who were waived? I read on this forum that an Australian could choose to skip the exam and take the supplementary courses instead. I would prefer not to take the exam, so as to save the time/money of studying and taking the exam in Canada. I asked both CRNBC and NCAS about this; they said there is no such option. Hence, I am confused.

My general nursing knowledge, I suppose, would be refreshed as I study for NCLEX, but I don't think it is sufficient at all for the non-theory component of NCAS. Hence, I feel very discouraged.

2) For the supplementary courses, I read here that some are online.

a) For the non-online courses, how long are they, and how much do they cost?

b) For the deficiencies in my nursing studies, e.g., Peds/Obs, do they also offer supplementary courses at this point?

3) Does one get a provisional license while taking the courses, or does one have to do odd jobs (other than RN)?

4) Would it be to my advantage to apply for RPN instead, when I know that I do not want to do general nursing anyway -- Does limiting myself to RPN affect my pay or job opportunities? On Health Match BC, I saw extremely few psych positions.

5) What's the job market really like in BC?

I read here that it is extremely bad in Toronto, but is that mostly for new grads?

Is there a reason BC seems to be experiencing a shortage, when BC seems to be the most popular destination?

Thank you in advance for your time.

Edited by straight4

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Hi, I am an Australian RN hoping to immigrate to BC. I have a regular Bachelor of Nursing degree, but worked only in psychiatry since graduation. I believe that NNAS will deem all Australian RNs as lacking in some areas. I'd like to know what to expect, in terms of the time/money for any supplementary courses, till I get my license. Could I please have some input on the following:

1) Nursing Competency Assessment Service (NCAS) -- do I absolutely have to take this exam? Any Australians who were waived? I read on this forum that an Australian could choose to skip the exam and take the supplementary courses instead. I would prefer not to take the exam, so as to save the time/money of studying and taking the exam in Canada. I asked both CRNBC and NCAS about this; they said there is no such option. Hence, I am confused.

My general nursing knowledge, I suppose, would be refreshed as I study for NCLEX, but I don't think it is sufficient at all for the non-theory component of NCAS. Hence, I feel very discouraged.

2) For the supplementary courses, I read here that some are online.

a) For the non-online courses, how long are they, and how much do they cost?

b) For the deficiencies in my nursing studies, e.g., Peds/Obs, do they also offer supplementary courses at this point?

3) Does one get a provisional license while taking the courses, or does one have to do odd jobs (other than RN)?

4) Would it be to my advantage to apply for RPN instead, when I know that I do not want to do general nursing anyway -- Does limiting myself to RPN affect my pay or job opportunities? On Health Match BC, I saw extremely few psych positions.

5) What's the job market really like in BC?

I read here that it is extremely bad in Toronto, but is that mostly for new grads?

Is there a reason BC seems to be experiencing a shortage, when BC seems to be the most popular destination?

Thank you in advance for your time.

1. Probably yes...? Option to take supplementary courses instead of the exam applies only in Ontario I believe. Ontario does things differently than most other provinces for RN license transferring process once NNAS assessment is over.

2. My friend took the whole 1 year course for about 20 grand Canadian dollars.

Basic refresher course is mostly focused on Medical/Surgical. Not in Peds or OB. Only theory courses may be taken online.

If your score for NCAS is not good enough you may have to take Nurse-Ready or Bootcamp courses through Kwantlen prior to taking your refresher course, which cost extra.

3. No. Provisional license is only if you pass the refresher course or if you do not have to take the refresher course at all and are waiting to take your NCLEX

4. To be honest, unless you take a refresher course, a lot of employers here prefer Canadian-grads, especially for non-RN nursing. This does not apply though if you do have specialty area experience. I am not sure about RPNs

5. Getting a casual position for RNs is fairly easy in BC. A lot of Ontario and Alberta new grads now come to BC to get jobs. If you take a refresher course in BC, you can easily get a job here in the acute care unit. Many acute care units work short in small hospitals. My old unit for instance, work short more than I can count every month.

All I can think is that unless you work in specific hospitals, working condition in BC is not as good as other provinces such as Ontario or Alberta; less pay compared to other provinces may be another factor.

I would personally get immigration figured out before trying to become a nurse in Canada. It's very difficult to take a refresher course in BC unless you have a permanent residency. Also getting a license in Canada doesn't help you getting a visa or anything status related. Most health authority websites in BC will ask if you have a working visa and if you need to be sponsored- they don't easily sponsor people for immigration unless you have a working visa > 1 year and are qualified to work in a specialty area.

Other provinces (SK, Newfoundland, Ontario) do allow non- PR holders to take refresher courses but immigration will be a different matter.

Edited by companisbiki

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