Filipino Nurses to Canada...."caregivers" or nurses??

Published

Nursing the Canada Caregiver

nurse.jpg By JOYNE LAVIDES

www.philreporter.com

Writer's Note: Names have been changed in order to maintain the confidentiality and security of the four caregivers interviewed in this article.

The significant influx of Filipino nurses migrating to Canada as live-in caregivers echoes an alarming phenomenon. Philippine statistics recorded that in the first six months of 2007, more than 1300 nurses applied under Canada's Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) instead of applying as nurses to obtain a landed immigrant status. The impact is unprecedented. Nurses are deskilled and caregivers are encouraged.

Times have changed. Thirty years ago, Filipino nurses came to Canada and worked directly as nurses. Their education, training and experience were fully recognized as they capably filled shortages in Canadian hospitals.

Today, Canada Immigration grants zero occupational points to foreign-trained nurses applying as independent immigrants. LCP is the only option available.

Teresita Jose was a registered nurse in the Philippines working at a hospital in Iloilo city when she was implored by relatives in Canada to take care of her ailing uncle. The processing of Teresita's LCP application was faster than the regular immigration process, easing Teresita's entry into the Canadian care giving industry.

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http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryID=113957

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

Glorified maids and nothing more than that. These agencies can call it what ever they want, but there is no such thing as an auxilllary nurse in any country, it is a nursing asst. And it actually does not give you credit as work experience as an RN.

If the exam is not passed in three attempts, then the visa is voided and the nurse must leave the country. Called three strikes and you are out, just like in baseball here.

With the more and more articles being published like this, why in the world would someone wish to lower their standards to work as a maid? All of you have a four year BSN degree, to allow yourself to be treated like this is just shameful in my opinion and you are not doing yourself any favors at all.

redranger

363 Posts

I was under the impression if you can get into Canada from another country and get your passport there.

Then you can freely cross between US and Canada, and you can also work in the USA.

Isn't NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) part of this work in either Canada or USA with Passport

lenjoy03, RN

617 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience.

I understand what you mean suzanne, but sometimes, Filipinos are like that.

Sometimes other nationalities will never understand what I have to say. Since there are less opportunities here in the Philippines, they go abroad even if they'll treated as unskilled worker just to help their families and no matter how low other people think of them. Its something innate in Filipino people. Despite this trate, I know deep inside that a Filipino will never let himself/herself be in that position (unskilled worker) forever. They'll use this as a stepping stone and use these experiences to persevere more for their families.

Fiona59

8,343 Posts

Has 18 years experience.
I was under the impression if you can get into Canada from another country and get your passport there.

Then you can freely cross between US and Canada, and you can also work in the USA.

Isn't NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) part of this work in either Canada or USA with Passport

There are so many things wrong with this post.

You need to be a landed immigrant in Canada for at least three years before you can apply for citizenship

To work in the US you need to have your skills assessed and get a green card.

NAFTA was supposed to work like this but has been used by Washington to get what it wants.

Two words--Softwood Lumber.

NAFTA sucks and shafted Canadians.

Hoss

181 Posts

The short term gains by "employers" for cheap wages caregivers with 4 year BSN degrees will ultimately affect ALL nurses in Canada unless the Canadian Nursing Associations demand fair and equal treatment for qualified Nurses. By treating ANY qualified Nurse as a mere maid, the effects are to cheapen the value of ALL nurses in the long term. This should be a very chilling message to RN's in Canada, that the government is working hand in hand with Agencies, Hospitals and Providers to bolster their medical staff with the cheap labor of very qualified and educated foreign Nurses. If you can get a 4 year educated Nurse for the price of a "Candy Striper".......guess who's NEXT ON THE DOWNGRADE LIST?? Auxilliary Nurses indeed!!!!

Common sense tells you that requiring competency tests for RN's makes good sense...but to hold a qualified nurse out for 2 years as a cheap commodity while pretending to let that nurse "train" to Canadian Level RN is very misleading at best, and certainly shameful in practice. Does the word "EXPOLOITATION" ring a bell anyone?

Canadian Nurses should fight this corrupt exploitation practice of their brother and sister nurses....Regulate your new hires properly, train them properly and get them into your professional status quickly and fairly. To hire them for 2 or more years at poverty level wages is an insult to Nursing Education worldwide, but especially so in Canada.

Hoss

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

Getting to Canada does not give you an instant passport from there. You have to make it to landed immigrant first and coming to Canada on some of these non-RN roles, do not count towards the three years of being there as the landed immigrant. You are not going to get a passport after working as a maid there for three years, that is not how Canada does things.

One does not get a passport instantly when they get landed immigrant status. They do not get one when the arrive in the US either.

Same way that if one is in the US with the H-1B visa, it is not the same as being there with the green card.

No country instantly grants a passport for their country, just not going to happen. And getting a passport eventually in Canada, still does not change the application for the green card in the US, it only permits one to work in the US under the TN Visa, but nothing more and that needs to be renewed each and every year. The US goes by country of birth for the green card, and not where one is currently living or a citizen of now in determining anything. Only what is on the passport.

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

I understand what you mean suzanne, but sometimes, Filipinos are like that.

Sometimes other nationalities will never understand what I have to say. Since there are less opportunities here in the Philippines, they go abroad even if they'll treated as unskilled worker just to help their families and no matter how low other people think of them. Its something innate in Filipino people. Despite this trate, I know deep inside that a Filipino will never let himself/herself be in that position (unskilled worker) forever. They'll use this as a stepping stone and use these experiences to persevere more for their families.

Sorry but have to differ with you on this. I know RNs from your country that were never able to pass the RN exam in the US when they came here and many of them are still working as CNAs. They never attempted later on to get the RN and go into that role.

There are less opportunities in many other countries in SE Asia besides your own, but their government does not mass produce nurses knowing that there are no jobs for them. With jobs in these roles, they do not get credit for working as a nurse, and then it actually becomes harder for them to get an RN job later on. And again, your wonderful government officials keep signing contracts or whatever they wish to call them to send you to other countries as maids. That is where things need to change.

There are still quite a few places in the world where one can practice as an RN, and get the distinction of working as one and not as someone's maid.

The amount of money that one gets as a maid does not leave anything left to send home to the family and what if they do not pass the CRNE exam? Their visa gets cancelled and they get sent home. Nothing more than that and then that makes it harder on them as well.

This is 100% unacceptable behavior in my view, and it is something akin to being sold as a slave, and nothing more than that. All of you have four year BSN degrees, to even think that one would lower themselves to this is utterly insane.

There is just no excuse for it. And expect to see the Canadian nursing unions put a stop to much of this, the same way it was stopped in the US.

I am not accepting of it as it is barbaric for many of the nurses from your country that have come over to these programs as well as humiliating. And that is not how a nurse should be treated, no matter where they are working. It is just unacceptable to me as well as most others that are here.

g_l

56 Posts

This is 100% unacceptable behavior in my view, and it is something akin to being sold as a slave, and nothing more than that. All of you have four year BSN degrees, to even think that one would lower themselves to this is utterly insane.

finally, someone has said this that i cannot blatantly state publicly. thanks, ms. suzanne.

i am a filipino, i graduated here, i have worked( and currently finding work again) here; and i agree 100% with ms. suzanne. the gov't is allowing mass production of nurses. it's true that most of us filipinos learn to 'kumapit sa patalim'(hang on by the blade) just to survive. but remember, in this world we are not the only nurses around. those who own hospitals use the economic mindset of maximizing profits and minimizing losses. now what happens when there is a mass influx of nurses? competition will be keen and thus they can cut salaries, like when rice is in surplus. the question is, when the nurses are NOT of high quality due to rushed training, the employers can lower the salaries and benefits more. after all, those nurses can be considered "just as glorified maids".

and all those things nurses before us have fought for will be to waste. and you think filipino nurses are the only ones affected? american, british, canadian, australian; many nurses of other nationalities are also affected because they are NURSES as well.

this is the problem that filipinos have: i am happy, my family is happy, my friends are happy; others? what others? look at politicians, the elite and even just look at the various baranggays(a term poorly translated as 'village'; sorry it's the best i can do) they don't give a @^ what happens the the next baranggay unless it's a fire and it's going to spead to their houses.:banghead:

Serene_ieg

39 Posts

I am a resident of the Philippines. The problem of oversupply of nurses here in the Philippines just came recently due to the retrogression in the US. I know of many families who will forego food just to send their children to school; even sell their farm lands to sell children to college. Everybody knows that education can bring one to higher heights, attaining ones dream.

A few years ago, being a nurse was a gatepass to better life. Unfortunatey, retrogression came. In my own opinion it is much much better to be a caregiver abroad than starve to death here in the Philippines. You cannot eat your diploma nor your pride. Besides, a caregivers' salary in foreign land is far more higher than salaries of many managers here in the Philippines.

elkpark

14,633 Posts

I am a resident of the Philippines. The problem of oversupply of nurses here in the Philippines just came recently due to the retrogression in the US. I know of many families who will forego food just to send their children to school; even sell their farm lands to sell children to college. Everybody knows that education can bring one to higher heights, attaining ones dream.

A few years ago, being a nurse was a gatepass to better life. Unfortunatey, retrogression came. In my own opinion it is much much better to be a caregiver abroad than starve to death here in the Philippines. You cannot eat your diploma nor your pride. Besides, a caregivers' salary in foreign land is far more higher than salaries of many managers here in the Philippines.

It's not the US government's fault that there are problems in the Philippines. Your country was training hundreds of thousands more nurses than it can use or support long before the recent retrogression, and, I'm sorry, the US doesn't owe PI nurses a work visa and a good living because conditions are bad in your own country (which, I'm sorry to say, is an attitude that turns up in many (not all! :)) posts here by people from the Philippines). It is not the responsibility of the other countries of the world to "rescue" you from the problems in your own country and your own government. People who are desperate are always vulnerable to being exploited and abused. What are Filipinos doing to fix the problems in your country besides looking for a way, any way, to leave? As long as that is the "answer," I can guarantee you nothing will improve there.

And the US is not the only country that has started setting stricter limits/restrictions on foreign nurses coming in -- the EU has, also, I understand. And, since the rest of the world is aware of the recent serious problems in nursing education in the Philippines, and the proliferation of "puppy mill" nursing schools that are pumping out huge numbers of very poorly trained graduates, you can expect other countries to become increasingly suspicious of nurses trained there and reluctant to hire them. PI nurses can no longer just assume that you can go anywhere in the world you choose and get a good job.

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

And five years ago, there were not 950,000 enrolled in nursing schools there. There is no place for all of them, even with creative math. And there are no jobs in your country, and the US in not increasing the number of green cards issued so the more that go into the field, the fewer changes to get out. And Canada does not have an open window or door policy either, and the EU is under a hiring freeze.

If someone truly wanted to be an RN, they would have done it years ago, not now as a second courser.

And if one knows what their chances are of gettting a visa to get out of your country, and they continue on with their training, then it is their responsibility alone, and not that of anyone else.

And having that many students in school where the training now is substandard with most programs at best, and you have the perfect scene for a disaster. Having 18 students per patient and the fact that most procedures go to medical students and residents; graduating from a nursing program and never having inserted an IV, NG tube, or foley catheter is actually shameful. But your government seems to think that it is just fine.

So this is something that needs to be dealt with internally first in your country, not in any other. And the fact that all other countries require the NLE as well as experience, and that makes is even more of an issue. Those training programs where you pay for them are not counted as actual work experience, they are only what they say they are; training.

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