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International Nurses Help Close Health Care Gap in Canada's Rural Areas


International Nurses Help Close Health Care Gap in Canada's Rural Areas

updated 7/30/2012 9:00:00 AM ET

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA*-- Experienced international nurses looking to find work in Canada may have better luck in remote areas. Registered nurse staffing specialists say finding qualified nurses to work in the country's small towns is an increasing challenge as baby boomers, who currently dominate the nurse workforce, near retirement.

"The most open opportunities for immigrant and international nurses are in the most rural parts of Canada," said Melane Mullings, senior recruitment specialist with pRN Staffing Solutions, a Canadian-based RN recruitment firm. "Internationally-educated nurses who take a course and pass their Canadian Registered Nurse Exam are likely to land a job in their field if they are willing to relocate to remote areas."

Despite the national nurse shortage, recent regulatory changes have made it more difficult for experienced internationally-educated nurses to get their certifications in Canada. According to a Canadian Nurses Association study, Canada is short nearly 78,000 certified nurses. The study also predicts, by 2016, Canada will be short more than 116,000 RNs if they don't find a way to fill the demand.


Edited by Silverdragon102
edited and link added to comply with Terms of Service

I am just wondering if it is still easy to get jobs in rural areas!!??

Hi Amel

The information in the link is highly biased and unreliable, the interview sources are people who profit from IENs. Even the prediction from CNA about the pending 2016 shortage is no longer accurate, the number of seats in public Canadian nursing schools has increased to meet future demands. I have observed trends in nursing employment for the past 25 years and lately, I noticed that not only has the frequency and size of nursing job fairs decreased, but also the few employers who are at job fairs, are just fishing to increase their pool of applicants, not to fill vacancies. At this point in time, I don't recommend heeding advice from sources such as agencies, private nursing schools or even applying at job fairs, instead apply directly to rural healthcare services and see what kind of response you receive.



Has 18 years experience.

The areas that have nursing jobs are not rural but remote. Many are north of 60, and just not suitable for fresh or inexperienced nurses. It"s a totally different culture up there.

Read some of the posts from people who have done it. Accessible only when the ice roads are built, otherwise fly in/fly out communities.

IENs need to consider non metropolitan areas. Forget about Toronto and Vancouver. Think Thunder Bay, Prince George, Saskatoon, etc.

But as there are multiple Canadian new grads looking for their first jobs and healthcare funding is being slashed, as other have said take what is said with a very large dose of reality behind you.

Not every job posted will be filled. There are reasons jobs go unfillled, isolation. Poor management, no funding, unwelcoming communities

Edited by Fiona59
iPad tying is the pits

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

The challenge for many IENs is meeting the English language requirements and passing the exam. This process can easily take a year or more.

Yes, jobs exist in rural and remote areas, but for many IENs and new grads these are not ideal settings for reasons that Fiona mentioned. You need to know your stuff and be able to work with minimal supervision upon hire.