Nursing in Canada vs. the US

  1. I've been following this forum for quite some time now, and what strikes me the most is how different nursing seems to be in the the States than it is here in Canada.

    The biggest things I've heard talked about a lot that I've never heard of in Canada are:

    1. drug tests for nurses and nursing students. I have NEVER heard of a nurse or nursing student being asked to complete a mandatory drug test. It wasn't a part of my education, and I haven't heard of it in my workplace or any of my friends work places.

    2. Customer satisfaction surveys. I have never heard of a hospital in Canada having customer satisfaction surveys, or really ever referring to clients as customers. I would imagine that this is a result of the private vs. public sector. In my experience, nurses in Canada are still over worked, but there is no fear of clients reflecting poorly on their 'experience'

    3. In Canada, everyone is guaranteed 'free' medical care, which for the most part seems that everyone is guaranteed equal access to mediocre health care. In the States, it seems that there is a big divide between the wealthy and the middle class.

    4. Job market. While I understand that there are different job markets for nurses within countries, there seems to be a stark difference between new grads ability to get jobs in Canada vs. the States. Literally everyone that I graduated with a year ago is employed full time, most in their area of preference.

    What are some of the biggest differences that you guys have noticed?
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    Joined: Jun '16; Posts: 18; Likes: 39

    5 Comments

  3. by   Pepper The Cat
    Nursing is much more hands on in Canada. RNs toilet pts, wash pts, dress pts etc all the time. And don't think twice about it.
  4. by   dishes
    Quote from ElectricCabbage



    2. Customer satisfaction surveys. I have never heard of a hospital in Canada having customer satisfaction surveys, or really ever referring to clients as customers. I would imagine that this is a result of the private vs. public sector. In my experience, nurses in Canada are still over worked, but there is no fear of clients reflecting poorly on their 'experience'



    4. Job market. While I understand that there are different job markets for nurses within countries, there seems to be a stark difference between new grads ability to get jobs in Canada vs. the States. Literally everyone that I graduated with a year ago is employed full time, most in their area of preference.

    What are some of the biggest differences that you guys have noticed?
    Patient satisfaction surveys have been used in many Canadian hospitals for many years.

    Canadian nursing job shortage and surplus cycles vary by province depending on the province's budget/deficits and the political party that is in power.
  5. by   loriangel14
    My hospital has surveys for patients to fill out but you never really hear about results. It's not really stressed up here. I have also heard of hospitals in the US "advertising " to get bussiness. Obviously we don't do that. One thing that amazes me is when I read about nurses in the US getting fired for just one med error or one patient complaint. That baffles me. Especially when the med error was just a simple mistake .
  6. by   Fiona59
    Universal Healthcare isn't free. Our taxes cover it. It's for the greater good of society that people are cared for.

    Our patients do complain, or their families will complain. Nobody gets fired, the nurse in question might receive some counselling on interpersonal communications but union reps are there to protect the member.

    The only nurses I've known who have been random tested for drugs had it as a condition of employment due to being caught, shall we say, sampling the narcotics. One I know of was sent to rehab, rehired onto a unit with no narcotic access and subject to random screening by her provincial College.

    Jobs? Well as has been said, funding comes and goes. My province is an oil producer and revenues are down. Positions aren't being filled. New grads are hired but usually into temporary lines or as casuals. It's tough but it is what it is. It took nearly four years for me to find a permanent part time line with pension and benefits. I had family commitments that I couldn't change. Others found permanent lines within 14 months. One of the two universities in my city is set to graduate 300 RNs in December. There is another university in town, no idea of how many they will produce in December. The college that provides practical nursing grads, usually produces 50-70 every six months. No local system can absorb that many new grads. Many are reluctant to go to small towns, the north and Arctic aren't really suitable for new grads unless they come from those communities and have an idea of the cultural problems.
  7. by   joanna73
    Sometimes patients or families write directly to the Minister of Health. An investigation occurs, but rarely is anyone disciplined.

    Now that oil has tanked, there will be fewer positions filled in AB and across the country. The government is losing revenue and paying out EI in record numbers. All those men who used to fly in and out of Ft Mac are back in their home Provinces with few prospects.

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