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International student - Nursing is my DREAM


Hi everybody :) I made this account just now so I hope I am doing this correctly!

Let me tell you about myself. My name is Farah, I'm 17 years old, I live in the Middle East and I graduated from high school 4 months ago. I knew I wanted to be a nurse when I was 13 years old when my father was diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer's (he was only 55). I was so young and I knew nothing about it. Months and years passed and my father started to change. Me and my mom were his primary caregivers and we've seen it all. Right now my father is in his final stages, battling with lung infections. My dream is to become a nurse and I just can't stop reading about the Nursing field and what nurses do and I feel like I finally found myself. I want to study Nursing in Canada (BSc Nursing) but I am so confused about the best colleges and universities there. I am applying to 5 universities in Ontario (the only ones my mom could partially afford- TrentU, Mcmaster, UWindsor, Uottawa, YorkU) but I have no idea which colleges are considered the best for "Collaborative BSc Nursing (which are Nursing programs done in collaboration with a university)". If you live in Canada and have ANY idea, please help! I don't mind another provinces but I just need some help so that I know where to start.

If you graduated from a BScN program in Canada or you're currently studying in one, I'll really appreciate your help :)

Thanks so much for reading this long post :sorry:


Has 18 years experience.

OK, first piece of advice, change your user name. Makes you too identifiable in the real world.

You do realize that overseas students are charged usually double the tuition fees posted in the calendars? How do you propose to fund the portion that your family can't afford? How are you going to support yourself while here?

Why Canada?

Hi Fiona.

Where exactly can I change it from?

Yes, I am well aware of the international tuition fees. These international tuition fees are even more affordable than the fees here in the city I live in, so it's a better option for me to study abroad.

I'm hopefully going to be working part time during my studies and during the breaks (it is allowed, I checked the rules). My high school average was quite high, it was 95.6 so I'm hoping I'll get a scholarship. Why Canada? Well so many reasons. Primarily because almost all of my uncles and cousins live there and I would appreciate the company. And because the education in Canada is way better than here.

loriangel14, RN

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

Collaborative programs are programs that are a collaboration between a college and a university. BSN programs are usually solely done through a university but now some are a collarboration between college and university. are you planning on going back home after school is over?

Yes.. most the universities have collaborative programs now. Do you know which ones are the best?

Well I would like to stay in Canada after graduation. I have an uncle who is a doctor and he is willing to help me find find a job after graduating, in his clinic or in one of the hospitals he worked at. My mother also wants me to stay in Canada after graduating because life here in my city is very hard. I've done my research and I know the procedure for staying after graduation (CEC, PNP, finding a job offer). But that's a long time from now so I'd like to concentrate on university for now..

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 33 years experience.

Just so you know your uncle may find it difficult to find you a job as the government has stamped down heavily on this subject. You are lucky if studied in Canada that more jobs are open for you and if your course is over 12 months long then for each year of the course = a year you can get a work permit for. For example if your course is 3 years long then you get a work permit for 3 years.

loriangel14, RN

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

SD is right. You may only get a work permit for as long as your program. In a union faculty your uncle may not be able to get you a job, family member or not. It doesn't work that way in Canada.

Yeah, I know about the Post graduation work permit. If I study for 4 years, I can get a 3 years work permit. I know people talk about how hard it is to find a job in Canada but is it really THAT hard? Everyone keeps saying that but SO many people we know went to Canada on a job offer and they told us it wasn't as hard as people make it seem. Yes they had to search hard but they were able to find a job. And keep in mind they were not living in Canada when they searched for a job, so I have a feeling that living IN the country and graduating from a Canadian university can also help me towards finding a decent job.

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 33 years experience.

Depends on the job and where. You will have an advantage on staying but nursing is a tough area to find jobs. Most start off if lucky as casual and slowly progress to full time

loriangel14, RN

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

You will find it difficult being a noncitizen competing with Canadian citizens for work.

It is very hard. I am an Internationally Educated Nurse who studied in the US and went to Canada. Finding a job was not easy. If I could give you an advice, get a driver's license in your home country as soon as possible so you can easily transfer to a driver's license when you come to Canada. Driving will make it easier for you to go around looking for jobs and will make your life easier if you want to commute for your clinical practicum. I don't know how much connections your uncle has but unless you get a full time job right after graduating from school or get it within 1 year of graduation, it will be difficult to apply under PNP or CEC because you really, REALLY need a full time PERMANENT job offer in order to apply for immigration. In addition, almost no hospitals will sponsor you to help you extend your visa when it runs out in 3 years, so you really have to be under immigration processing via PNP or CEC in that 3 years of time (PGWP).

Just apply for schools and make sure you read CIC and keep track of the immigration law changes so you can easily adapt when the laws change. + Also look into working early during your nursing program to gain experience before graduation to help you get a job after graduation. International students have a lot, and A LOT of barriers stacked against them in finding jobs.

Hope that helps! Good luck!

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

Considering that you are not local, you will find the job market more competitive than the average new grad. Also, most facilities are unionized and all the postings are scrutinized. There is a process to applying and interviewing for postings.

The BScN programs are very similar in nature. Unless you have a preference for a certain location, it really doesn't matter where you study in Canada.

I don't consider one Ontario nursing school better than another, but if you are curious about which Ontario schools have had a higher percentage of registration exam pass rates, look at the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) nursing registration exams report 2014. Also, since you are hoping to receive a scholarship, look at the availability of scholarships for international students on each of the university websites, as many scholarships are only for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. One more thing to consider, in order to meet the CNO registration requirements, you must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or hold authorization under the refugee protection act.

Hi Dishes. I've already searched for the scholarships for international students and they're all very good. Anyway, can you please tell me what exactly you mean CNO registration? All I know is that any Nursing student can write the NCLEX-RN exam upon graduation, regardless of her status in Canada? Or is it a must to be a Canadian citizen/PR?

Thanks for the informative answer companisbiki! Just a question: if i have some sort of work experience after graduating (say I worked part time), does this help count for the 1 year experience I need to qualify under CEC?

@farah writing the exam is just one of eight requirements for registration with the College of Nurses of Ontario, citizenship is another, see CNO org become a nurse new applicants, ontario registration requirements

in Ontario actually, if you have a legal working permit, which all international students will get IF they graduate any program over 8 months of duration in post-secondary institution, you will be ok to register under CNO. Also applies if you have a working permit due to Working Holiday, spouse sponsored visa, etc

You'd need full time hours. I don't suggest doing part time because it might take over 2 years to get that number of hours, if you can, just work a lot of hours! You should research Express Entry's CEC in your own time, to see if they accept part time work equivalent to full time hours. I do know that the fact that you have an actual a FULL TIME job offer is extremely important is applying for ANY provincial nomination immigration program & the CEC. Nowadays it might be your only ticket in applying