Published Feb 12, 2005
Hi everyone. I'm in Alberta and have found there are plenty of LPN jobs here -- most grads don't have much trouble finding work. Does anyone know the situation in BC for LPNs? Looking at the job boards, there doesn't seem to be nearly the demand for LPNs there. Thanks for any insight you can share.
In two words, STAY PUT!
We had to move to BC last summer for my husband's job. I left two part time LPN positions in Alberta that I loved. In eight months I had one interview and didn't get the job. Most places don't even acknowledge that you've applied and don't even offer casual.
Depending upon the area, many hospitals don't allow LPN's to work to full scope of practice. We're not allowed in Maternity units, some LTC units "allow" us to give meds.
There is no advanced education courses available. So, no training for OR Tech, or Ortho Tech. Having said that if you wanted to do a bridge to RN the standards are much lower to get accepted than in Alberta. One place asks for a current license and gr. 12 English. Compare that to GMCC's requirements.:chuckle
Yup the money sounds great, its about 20%more than an Alberta LPN, but the job situation sucks. They laid off a load last May in govt. cutbacks. They have to hire them back before making new hires.
CLPNBC charges over $200 to "evaluate" credentials, then charges $190 for a license, you have to obtain your insurance from LPNABC for $75. All this to look for a job that is impossible to find in some areas.
I've got my AB license and am on my way back. Husband has managed to get transferred back to Alberta this summer. I can get one of my old positions back, but have lost my seniority..
What is GMCC?
Also, to reply, it is tough for jobs out here. People I know are only getting casual positions. Some hospitals like Royal Columbian are working full scope. I am full scope in a LTC facility, have been for 7.5 years. Started out as casual and lucked out full time eventually.
I am an LPN of 15 years, and still can not get a permanent LPN job in the facility where I work. I have had to work as a nurses aid for the past 7 years, 'bumping up' to LPN when they run out of casual staff. In m any cases, if you get hired by a hospital, you do not need individual insurance unless you choose to get it. Most hospitals have over $1 million coverage for nurses, which I believe is what is required for licensing. I know we are covered where I work. The BC situation for LPN's is grim. You work your tail off getting that diploma, then can't get a job for love or money. Some hospitals are more progressive than others, I know Royal Jubilee in Victoria has LPN's working to full scope on acute care floors.
If a nurses aid asks me about upgrading to LPN, I tell them if it were my decision, I would either stay an aid (the pay is not a heck of a lot different than LPN wages) or go for the whole shebang and get your degree. Right now, being an LPN in BC does not seem a great prospect. (We won't even MENTION the CLPNBC):angryfire
Thanks for the feedback everyone. There are many things I don't like about Alberta (no offence to those who love it here!), but one thing it has going for it is JOBS. Grads here have no trouble finding casual, and then most get a permanent position within a reasonable amount of time. So I can stay here and work, or I can head to the coast, be broke and unemployed, but walk on the beach every day. Hmmmm.... I'll let you know which way it goes. :) Anyway, maybe in time things will improve in BC for LPNs. I hope so! Thanks again for your comments. Take care. ~Shari
Much easier to tolerate -35C with a paycheque and a trip to somewhere hot than live with a beach and be down $35K/year. I mean I know its "our money" but it just doesn't feel the same using the husbands cheque to support the shoe addiction.
My partner is a California LPN, and we were thinking of relocation to BC (so beautiful, we fell in love with it), specifically to Vancouver Island. Imagine my shock when I ran across this thread. We would need his income to live there. Before I deem my dream dashed for good, are things as they appear? It appears that it is difficult for a CANADIAN LPN to get a job in BC, much les Vancouver Island. Do I have that right? If so, it must be well nigh impossible for a foreign LPN to land a job. Isn't there a nursing shortage up there? Do you think privitization will help? Is privatization in the cards? Will less privatization help?
Why, in a word, aren't nurses need in BC? Woe is me!
RNs can still find work in BC and are still in demand, but obviously things are different for LPNs. I don't think it has anything to do with privatization, I've just never seen LPNs used in BC like they are in the US. If your partner is an American citizen he doesn't even qualify for preferential immigration as an LPN so it's unlikely he'd be able to get a work permit even if he could find a job. If he becomes an RN (with a BSN) he'll be able to immigrate fairly easily and find work thanks to NAFTA.
I think its because the RN union in BC is very strong, vocal and political.
VIHA is struggling to utilize their LPN's but there is a lot of resistance from the working RN's. It's the only place I've ever worked where I've been treated poorly and with no respect by the RN's on a floor.
Check you pm's.
As I posted previously, 15 years of seniority at the same hospital and still not able to get an LPN job, except as a casual. I have my doubts that a US LPN would be able to get working papers here as there is no shortage of LPN's. We have many, many (I dare say HUNDREDS) of LPN's who can not find permanent full time work as LPN's. I know in the facilities where I work, we are always needing casual LPN's, but gone are the days when you could walk off the street and get an LPN job without years of seniority. Working as an RCA/nurses aide is another option, as they are in demand. Don't ask me why, as the salary difference between an aide and a new LPN is only $1.00/hour. (give or take a few cents). And I don't think you could get working papers as a nurses aide either. But you never know. There may be some northern communities where you could find an LPN job, but you'd have to do a lot of research before making the big move. BC is a spectacular place to live, but not a great place to work if you are an LPN.
I'd like to thank all of the kind Canadians who have taken the time to respond to my questions on this board. The scales have fallen from my eyes and my feet are back on earth now. To summarize, it appears that LPN's do not have the same level of responsibility in BC that they do in California (I'm not an LPN and am not familiar with practices in other states). I do know that here in California there was some concern that LPN's would usurp the role of RN's. That concern was not entirely misplaced. Some organizations used LPN's to their full capacity within their scope of practice and some RN's were displaced. Unfortunately, it appears that there is great concern about this in BC and that LPN's may be relegated to the least important and menial tasks, with an added layer of possibile hostility if they overstep their bounds. I note that there is a great upheaval in health care in Canada and am watching that with some concern. I hope all of you ride atop the wave of change,and not under it.
I was also concerned to see that casual nurses are the norm and that one must stand in place for 15 years or more before becoming a "regular" nurse. I presume that means a nurse with some sort of additional benefits. Down here "per diem" nurses are the ones without benefits, while full-time nurses do get benefits.
I guess its a case of the grass being greener. With regard to the work permit, our intention was to apply for permanenent residency. I am lawyer, hyper-educated (by low, low US standards!), speak French, so I was thinking my chances of getting in might be pretty good (although I do not wish to work --brains are mush from stress!). So we need an LPN's salary. But I am convinced from the posts that they are absolutely not in demand in BC. Not sure if I can talk him into going onto RN with a BSN, whatever that may be! Thank you all for the splash of cold water. I feel revived now, and will remember the image of stinking salmon rotting after spawning for some time to come! Your honesty was most refreshing, and you all speak with one voice: It is hard for US LPN's to find work in BC.
That doesn't mean BC is not a good place. You were most kind to us, and we will not forget, if you, or any of your fellow Canadians come to visit.
Uh, so how about living in BC and commuting to Washington?
Just to clarify Cyberglen, an RN with a BSN just means a registered nurse with a bachelors degree in nursing. The US has RNs with associates degrees and some diploma programs in addition to the bachelors programs. BC now requires new RNs to have their bachelors degree. There are Canadian nurses who commute across the border to the US to work, so it's possible. I don't know how that would affect your residency application though if you aren't planning on working and you would be relying on his income.
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