Nursing as a Career in Canada (Calgary, AB) - page 2

Hi all! I'm new to the site and have so many questions! I am fairly certain that I have decided on nursing as a career, and will be applying to U of C shortly, to attend this coming September. I've... Read More

  1. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Hi Krista. Any answers I give you about how things work in Calgary will be educated guesses...

    The day-evening-weekend schedule is 40 x 7.75 hour shifts in 8 weeks, so an average of 5 per week. I can tell you with some certainty that the ORs do not run 24 hours a day, but there is OR staff on call for after-hours emergencies. The postings for recovery I looked at don't indicate that recovery room staff are on call though. Here's one.

    The community health positions posted right now aren't plentiful (there are only 7, of which only 2 are full time) and the ones that are all ask for specific experience, for example: or

    Community health is really hard to get into especially right out of school. Schedules depend on which area one works in.

    Calgary is being hit particularly hard by the nursing shortage due to the in-migration of people from the rest of the country. So they may be a little less picky about experience and expectations when they screen applicants. I know here in Edmonton, they're looking the other way a lot. So go for the gusto, what's the worst that can happen?

    BTW, where are you coming from?

  2. by   kkettle70
    Hi Jan,

    Thank-you for responding to my post so quickly. My husband and I are from St. John's, Newfoundland. We are as far east from Calgary as you can go in Canada.

    40 - 7.75 shifts in 8 weeks.... That schedule is similar to what the majority of the population works. Do the nurses in calgary work the majority of days when they are on the day/evening/weekend schedule or do they work an even number of days,evenings and weekends.

    The reason why I asked if the OR's run 24 hours a day is because I have seen a number of posts that ask for a recovery room/operating room nurse to work nights such as this one.
    I start my recovery room rotation on Feb 5th. I am very excited.

    Sorry for responding to your post so late. I worked all day at my public health placement.

    Have a great day!

  3. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    our collective agreement says that:
    "employees working 'day/evening/night, day/evening or day/night' shift patterns shall be assigned day duty at least 2/5 of the time during the shift cycle... the proportion of day duty may be decreased to less that 2/5 when it is mathematically impossible to assign all available shifts using only regular employees within the scheduling provisions... only to the extent necessary". we're trying to have that changed so that no one is required to work more than 50% nights or evenings. as for weekends, full time employees are expected to work 1/2 of the weekends in a complete shift schedule, be that six, eight or twelve weeks, and they may be consecutive but no more than two in a row... i can't comment on what shift pattern they follow at any of the calgary hospitals.

    rockyview, the hospital that posted the position linked in your post above, does ortho, plastics and transplant surgeries and they are a trauma centre, so they would want to have an or/ recovery room nurse or two on for the night. but i don't think they do elective surgeries at night. there's no money in the health care budget for that.

    there was an article inteh edmonton journal today about heather smith, our union president and the upcoming negotiations. there was another article in the edmonton sun about the nursing shortage in calgary with a telling statement about how alberta has the highest amount of paid and unpaid overtime in the country... let me see if i can link you to the sun article...

    you'll be in good company out here in the west... there are a lot of newfoundlanders out here. i went to a great big sea concert a couple of years ago and it seemed like half the audience was from the rock. you might not even notice that you're not at home, except for the terrain and the weather, that is.
  4. by   pie_face
    Was wondering if anyone had the gossip on the recruitment of international nurses. I have sent a resume to crha, but have yet to hear anything. I have heard rumours of expedited registration and visas, but I also hear that it's a waste of money to get registered as an foreign trained nurse due to the difficulty of obtaining work in Canada , i'm keen to work in Calgary but do not want to waste hundreds of dollars and lots of time.
  5. by   kkettle70
    I do not know very much about international recruitment for nurses in Canada. However, Calgary Health Region currently has a job posting for international nurse recruitment.

    Here is the link to the job posting:

    Hope this helps,

  6. by   pie_face
    Thanks, that was the post I sent my resume for, nearly two weeks now, still no response, not sure if this is a normal time frame for Canada.
  7. by   oneLoneNurse
    Hi janfrn,

    I previously wrote an entry here, requesting information about the AB contract negotiations. I have since that time read your posting from yesterday. Thanks for keeping us up to date.

    Are they out of their minds?


    Last edit by oneLoneNurse on Apr 14, '07
  8. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    In a word... YES!!! They are out of their minds. And if they think we're going to roll over and let them run roughshod over us they have another think coming.
  9. by   tsunami62
    thanks for the info Jan!! you answered alot of my questions as well!!!
  10. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Glad I could help. BTW, welcome to our little family!
  11. by   AussieKylie
    Hi Janfrn

    I read your earlier posts and I have seen that Labor and Delivery job add on CRHA. I am from Australia and will be coming back to Calgary sometime this year. I have already spoken to CRHA and had a small interview and now I am awaiting my registration to come through from CARNA. So looking forwarding to coming back to Canada with my Canadian Husband who is from Calgary.

    I would like to know more about the shift hours if possible from you. For instance, I have seen a job add on CRHA for Pulmonary Medicine & Thoracic Surgery. Regular parttime 0.79FTE and hours 15, 7.75hrs shifts per 4 week cycle. Can u explain this more to me please.

    I have many interests for working in Calgary including the above mentioned. The biggest one is Community Health that will be later in my career I want to build up more on my clinical skills. Labor and delivery, Urology, General Surgical and possibly medical and cardiac.

    Would you know much about which hospital provides Cardiac Catheter Labs for Angios?

    As I am a Grad RN the only experience I have is Cardiothoracic Surgical.

    Look forward to your reply
  12. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    I can try to explain it to you, but I'm not making any promises that it'll make sense...

    The 0.79 FTE is the full time equivalent, or percentage of full time hours you would work. 15 shifts (8 1/4 hours in length and paid at 7 3/4 hours because they don't pay you for you lunch break) in 4 weeks would mean that you'd work 15 shifts in some combination that would give you roughly 50:50 days/evenings or days/nights. They would probably be in blocks of three, on a rotation repeating every four weeks. I don't know what the rotations in CRHA look like since every place I've ever worked has its own particular weird pattern. If you are into unraveling arcane regulations, you can go to and click on Collective Agreements on the left side of the screen. Once in there you want to look at Articles 7,8,11,18 and 30, and Local Conditions #1. Then come back to me with more questions!

    Alberta has a desperate need for nurses in all areas of practice, but Calgary is by far the most desperate. I'm not surprised they've already done a lot of the legwork to get you hired. The two hospitals in Calgary that have cath labs are the Foothills and Rockyview. The codes for these on the job board are FMC and RGH. Go ahead and look into them; what's the worst that can happen? They say "Thanks but no thanks"? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Best of luck!
  13. by   AussieKylie
    Hi Janfrn

    I just wanted to let you know that I have been offered letter of employment with CRHA. Fulltime Staff Nurse. So that is so good however I need my VISA to get over and start working but that will take sometime due to the Government processing papers.

    I am leaning towards General Surgical Nursing for now however whatever happens will be for a reason.

    I had a question to ask but now forgot