Nursing as a Career in Canada (Calgary, AB) - page 3

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
    Congratulations!! That was the easy part... The visa and CRNE and registration will be a lot of work and rather costly as well. (Not to scare you off, just to prepare you!) There are lots of threads here about the process, and I hope you seek them out so you can be ready.

    When you remember what it is you wanted to ask me, fire away. Oh, and BTW, there are lots of Aussie nurses in Alberta.
  2. by   AussieKylie
    Hi Janfrn

    The Registration is already in process awaiting reply, however CRHA want to go ahead and see what the result is, so I approved them to go ahead on that. The VISA process, the permanent residency visa is also sent awaiting approval as my husband is Canadian and is sponsoring me. The temporary work visa is something that I can also apply for whilst awaiting PR visa approval. So again most of the hard work is done, just awaiting results.

    Will keep you posted
  3. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    You're so far ahead of the game girl! Good job. The waiting will be hard. Keep me in the loop!
  4. by   lolababy
    Quote from jrsmrs
    Oh my gosh, thank you so much for taking the time to type that all out for me! You are a god-send- so helpful! You really answered all my questions. I feel a lot better about things, I think!
    Thanks again
    i am bumping this discussion to appreciate you Janfrn for your incredible knowlege and for sharing your knowledge. You have been so much helpful in a lot of way. You always provide thorough and detailed information.
    Keep up the good job.
    Love ya.
  5. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Why thank you lolababy! I'm glad to help out when I can.
  6. by   hjfrn
    Quote from janfrn
    the posting from foothills that i looked at was for a full time position, and it said the rotation was 40 shifts in 12 weeks, which is standard for full time 12 hour shift positions. as per the contract, for 12 hour shift units, the ratio is supposed to be 50:50 days to nights. there are a lot of different rotations out there and the contract has specific rules for them, like no more than 4 shifts in a row and no more than five shifts in seven days. most rotations have a section that is a bit busy and then another stretch of days off. one four-week full time rotation that i've worked looks like this:

    s m t w t f s
    / / / / n n n
    n / / / d d /
    / d d d / / d
    d n n n / / /

    for it to work properly, one shift would be an 8 hour one, or else every 12 weeks one shift would be dropped. i work a point 7 (at the university - picu) as i said before, and i have a sweet rotation! we work 12 hours shifts, but our shifts are paid out at 11.625 hours because we are on the clock from 0700 to 1915 and only have one unpaid meal break. my schedule looks like this over 6 weeks:

    s m t w t f s
    / n / / / / d
    n / / / d n /
    / / d n / / /
    / / / d n / /
    / d / / / d n
    / / / d n / /

    my rotation was developed for me because of my home situation (i have a handicapped adult son). i've been working it for more than a year and just love it. the flipping back and forth isn't as hard as you'd think and i get a lot of rest.

    if you don't want full time work, there are part time positions available, but they usually go to someone with seniority before they'd go to a new grad. there's a clause in the contract that covers increasing or decreasing your fte (full time equivalent, or "point"... my point 7 = 70 % of full time). if you have a regular day that you need off, let's say tuesday for a class, you can have that built into your schedule. the contract stipulates that the schedule has to be posted 12 weeks in advance of the first shift on it, which can make it hard to plan your life if you want to ask for a specific day off, but trading shifts isn't that hard. sometimes it's possible to work more nights or more days than the master rotation, and some positions are permanent days or nights. overtime is usually readily available and for part timers, they can pick up extra shifts to whatever fte they want. and if you get called in on your designated day of rest (part timers get 2 a week) they have to pay you overtime, which is double the basic rate.

    vacation entitlement is based on date of hire. in the first year, you don't get any because the hours you earn this year are for next year. technically. you can borrow against next year's entitlement, but then it's gone. so in your first vacation year, it's 15 working days or 116.25 hours. years 2 to 9 it goes up to 20 working days or 155 hours, years 10 through 19 it's 25 working days or 193.75 hours and so on. and of course it's prorated for part timers. full timers also get 12 "stats" per year, days off in lieu of named holidays.

    how do i know all this? i'm the union rep for my unit and i make it my business to make sure everyone is treated fairly. i love it when i can tell someone they've been had and how to make it right, but just as often i have to tell them they've been in violation (like the gal who came in for overtime when she was on vacation, a huge no-no), or "yes indeed management can do that!" i keep a copy of the collective agreement in my tote and another on my desk at home so that i can refer to it often. my mother is so disappointed in me, you have no idea! she's very anti-union and it sticks in her craw that i'm so into it. oh well, she's the one who raised me.

    so any time you think of something else i can clear up for you, don't hesitate. if you want to take it off the board, send me a pm...
    is it okay for me to pm you with some questions regarding unions in ab?
  7. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    OF COURSE!! Bring it on!
  8. by   prroy
    I am new member and it was very much helpful of browsing your discussions.
  9. by   Nita100
    I just read the reply by hjfrn it is very useful. Can I just clarify that you don't get ANY holidays in the first year, therefore working a whole year with no break except days off, or have I read it wrong?
  10. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    That's exactly right. The vacation year runs from May 1 to April 30. If you start your employment in the middle, when the vacation planner is posted you will be able to select vacation up to the number of hours you've accrued to the end of April of the current year. If you choose to request vacation before the start of the new vacation year, it will be subtracted from the following year's entitlement.

    As an example, let's say you start your employment on November 1, 2008 and you work full time. By the beginning of the subsequent vacation year, you'll have accrued 7.5 eight hour shifts of vacation time. When the planner is posted at the beginning of January 2009, you will be able to request those shifts as vacation in the vacation year May 1, 2009 to April 30, 2010. If you work in a twelve hour unit, then you'd only be able to take 5 shifts as vacation.

    But, if you're a full time employee, you also earn stats, days off in lieu of statutory holidays that you may be required to work. In Alberta there are eleven scheduled stats and one floating stat. So that's twelve eight hour shifts you can take off too in addition to your days off.
  11. by   globalRN
    with the nursing shortage, I don't understand why admin doesn't pay a large premium for weekends, eves and nights. Large enough to make it worthwhile.

    Say working nights on w/e would be equiv to fulltime pay or double pay.
    I am sure there would be takers. working all shifts and 50% w/e would definitely
    put many nurses off fulltime nursing.

    I know that I would not want to work shiftwork or weekends. In fact, at one point in my career I was ready to give up nursing because the shiftwork got to me and that is when I left shiftwork nursing.

    if I had to stay doing shiftwork....I'd be an accountant today instead of an NP
  12. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Alberta's collective agreement has provision for weekend workers. People desiring to work this arrangement work the equivalent of 0.8 and are paid for full time hours. They may choose only nights, only days or a mix.

    There are permanent night positions available on request and the manager cannot unreasonably deny these. There are permanent day positions available in clinics and on some units. However, these day positions are fewer than the night ones due to the availability of advanced practice personnel on days to assist with the workload and the absence of same on nights.

    Shift differentials are the most generous in the country: evenings attract an additional $2.50 an hour, nights $4.25 and weekends $2.75. They are set to increase again April 1, 2009 by $0.25, $0.75 and $0.50 respectively.

    Let's not forget that there are two parties at the table when contracts are negotiated. Both parties must compromise on certain issues in order to keep the process moving. Agreements on wages and benefits will never make everyone perfectly happy. When it all comes down to it, someone ahds to do the work, and by dividing up the good shifts as well as the bad it's a fair compromise.

    Unfortunately GlobalRN, your solution is not available to most nurses in the early years of their career. It takes time and experience to work one's way into a position of authority and autonomy.