Contemplating Relocating to Canada.


Hi everyone,

Just joined this site and looking for some help and advice. I'm a 30yo male nurse and currently working in Ireland. I'm contemplating relocating to Canada (Toronto appeals to me for some reason) and i'm wondering what kind of quality of life i'd have when or if i moved over. I've ordered my prep book for the CNRE. What is the salary range like (i qualified in 2007), what is the cost of living like (i'd prefer to rent a one bed apt), i'd be moving over alone (no partner or dependants). I enjoy a good social life but have been known to get a little fond of working overtime also. I'm hearing that Toronto is very expensive from some people but others say that a nurse can live quite comfortably on their salary. Are there many jobs for internationally trained nurses? Are there good career progression opportunities? Currently none here in Ireland. I'm sure i'm leaving out loads of stuff here despite having asked what seems like a million questions already. Would love to hear from Irish nurses that have moved over in a similar situation to myself however any responses would be greatly appreciated.

I have completed a 4 year Honours Degree programme. I have no speciality training, although have a years experience in cardio thorasic nursing and 2 years in elderly care nursing.

Thanks folks. :)

Pediatric Critical Care Columnist / Guide

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

16 Articles; 7,358 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology. Has 25 years experience.

Ooh, where to start? There are several threads that will answer some or all of your questions (except maybe the coming-from-Ireland part). Browse through the threads on this forum, and then maybe check of the Canadian forum. You can search the different forums from the home page for each. At the top of the list of threads just under the yellow divider there's a "search this section" link that will give you a key word search. The Canadian forum also has a cross-country comparison of wages and benefits compiled by the Canadian Federation of Nursing Unions that is stuck to the top of the forum home page Cross Country Comparison that can give you salary and other pertinent information to help with choices. There are also other stickies that have links to the Colleges of Nursing in each province.

loriangel14 has replied to the similar thread you've posted in the general Nursing Discussion forum; she lives in the Toronto area and has good information on what's happening there for nurses. Toronto is one of the Meccas for newcomers to Canada and can be very expensive especially for families; since you're dependent-free, you might be able to live comfortably. The bigger issue would be finding work. There aren't a lot of jobs being filled in Ontario at the moment and new grads have been having a really difficult time finding work. You would likely be lumped in with them to a degree since you would be new to Canada.

As loriangel14 said in her reply, your nursing education will be assessed against local education programmes by the College of Nursing in whichever province you decide to apply to. Canadian nursing education is general and includes both didactic and clinical training in each of the five main nursing specialties of medicine, surgery, mental health, pediatrics and maternal-child. This is where many nurses from the UK have difficulty, as their education is not as broad.

You would have advantages over some other international applicants in that your fluency in English would be superior. Comfort with technological aspects of care would be higher for you than for nurses from many other countries. Irish culture is not dissimilar to Canadian culture (lots of us have Irish roots, as do I) and your integration into the working world will be easier. One of my friends emigrated from Ireland several years ago and settled in very easily. She is very well-respected here and is happy she made the move.

If you decide to make the leap, be prepared for some hassles and some significant expenses. Read as much as you can here about what you'll need to do (this forum, the International one, has the information about applying as an internationally-educated nurse) and get all your ducks in a row before you start, and the process should move smoothly for you. Too many people have leaped before they looked and ended up with many difficulties that could have been avoided had they done the legwork. Best wishes in your pursuit.

dishes, BSN, RN

3,950 Posts

Information on cost of living in Toronto is on the city website

Obtaining work may be difficult because hospitals budgets for 2010 are tight and there are job cuts and mulitple applicants for job openings. Unfortunately, there are a number of unemployed and underemployed IENs living in Toronto right now. It is a tough city to live in if you are unemployed, but if you are employed fulltime as a RN, you will find it a good city to live in. If you have never been to Toronto, try visiting first and check out some of the hospitals before you make your decision.