Canadian nursers leaving to work in the USA. - page 2

I am a 2nd year nursing student in British Columbia. My concern is that so many nurses are leaving to work in the US (5,400 Ontario nurses). We are losing trained nurses and this may result in a... Read More

  1. by   fergus51
    Wow, I don't know where you were in the US, but that wasn't exactly my experience. I found a lot of young eating, and a lot of disrespect from families and other staff. I think it's more dependent on the particular facility than on the country as a whole.
  2. by   RNFAlex
    Quote from RN Student-NIC
    I am a 2nd year nursing student in British Columbia. My concern is that so many nurses are leaving to work in the US (5,400 Ontario nurses). We are losing trained nurses and this may result in a worse shortage than we already have. How do you feel about this trend?
    It is a very very disheartening fact that more and more nurses are leaving to work in the US, even today, 2004! This is due to the fact that our healtcare system does not recognize advanced practice nursing soon enough. We are behind the times. I am an RNFA that's unemployed at this time. There are several offers in the US for this position. Why would one waste the expanded/advanced education here in CAnada? when it can be put to actual clinical/practical use elsewhere? $$$ & weather are factors here too. I am very frustrated and angry that I am not able to practice here in Canada. I love Canada! Oh, Canada!
  3. by   RNFAlex
    Quote from canoehead
    I left Canada after 6 years per diem. If they wanted me they had their chance. No sympathy here.
    I totally agree with you. If the gov't or your employer doesn't do anything to retain you, why stay? Moving on up to the east side! No sympathy here either sister
  4. by   lomid
    I, as well, went straight to the US, following grad (no jobs here) and it was an experience I will be ever grateful for - my orientation and preceptor was just fabulous and I will always credit this person with my ability to quickly acquire confidence in nursing. I agree with you - the level of respect and the "team" approach was just an entirely positive experience there. When I returned to Canada 4 years ago, I felt like I was in a time warp - nothing had changed - I was almost appalled. There is such a severe shortage of nurses and yet, it seems that they make the positions impossible to acquire. What I see as one of the major differences between here and the US is that our system is unwilling to bend - to be innovative. When I worked in the US, they were constantly searching for ways to improve nursing and accomodate nurses - to be flexible and "listen". An example - where I worked, nurses only worked one shift - none of this rotating stuff - I was astonished and inquired about it. A staff member told me that they had done a poll, to determine what nurses wanted and discovered that there were many nurses who only wanted to work evenings or nights (the typical problem ones), and that they would be more than willing to accept this, if it meant not having to rotate. When they added up the numbers, they had their full complement of staff. Not everyone wants to work days. Why couldn't they look at this in Canada? There are many nurses who not only don't want to rotate (it is difficult to adjust), but also can't due to family concerns (hard to find day care / sitters for varied shifts; no spouse). If they are really, really concerned about the nursing shortage - as they keep professing to be - they need to WAKE UP to the times.

    I am another one who has a hard time having much sympathy - the US treats us better!! Sorry Canada - but it IS your loss (and I Love Canada, too).

    Quote from moia
    I also went straight to the US after grad and it was a great experience. I got my critical care program done for free and with pay . I worked in critical care immediantly and gained a ton of experience. When I came back to canada I had over 10 job offers.
    I would encourage all new grads to go and get the experience and all the extra qualifications that canadian hospitals refuse to pay for.

    In the US nurses are very well respected by all professions, the culture shock when I returned to cnada was bad. It took along time to break alot of doctors out of the habit of being disrespectful. The families are a perfect horror here after the US. In the US patients and families were deeply respectful. Here in canada nurses are not valued so expect a real shock when you come back. The other thing about working in the US is your nursing collegues are respectful too..they do not believe in eating their young there.
    When I came back I couldn't believe the attitude of senior nurses...thats another nobody calling you junior.
    I look back at my US experience as the best thing I ever did.
  5. by   monie2004
    I am trying to get my papers to move to the US this summer too.! I've worked here 1 yr and already am sick of the way nurses are treated! :angryfire
  6. by   fergus51
    Just be careful of where you go, there are a LOT of American nurses being treated like crap as well.
  7. by   Joshua21
    All the previously mentioned (that is positive) is true by my experience. I love working in the states and at this time have no intentions of returning anytime soon. True, the money is nice but the respect, training (free) and opportunities for advancement are what keep me here.
  8. by   canoehead
    A friend of mine moved back to Canada a few months ago. She talks of disorganization, nurses not practicing to standards, lack of equipment, and docs not willing to come in for their patients. The nurses at her hospital actually defibrillated a guy half a dozen times in one night and the doc STILL refused to come in.

    Plus when I look around on visits they are still just hiring per diem staff or 0.4 positions (which inevitably get downsized to 0.2). Who needs that kind of stress? Plus they pay equivalent money in Canada as I get here- that's a 30% pay cut with the exchange rate, and 10% more with extra taxes.

    I remember how I was treated while I was there and coming in on a moment's notice to help out. My coworkers were excellent, they treated me as a full fledged staff member. But the thrill of seeing my name on a regular schedule has not yet faded, plus I am asked to participate in decision making here. In Canada our unit had 5 nurse managers in 6 years, and it was a full year before I could pick out the last one, because she was holed up in meetings. In the USA I was introduced to ALL the managers and the DON within a couple of days, and they remembered my name!

    I do my best to help them out in a crunch, and in return I get the vacations, or assignments I am interested in, within reason. It's not all sunshine, but at least everyone is doing their best for our patients, and the staff.
  9. by   marymary
    Quote from epg_pei
    I listened (eavesdropped) the other day as a 4th year student narrated a letter she was writing (recipient unknown) discussing the current shortage. She talked about whether the shortage was genuine or a fiction of the media and governments. She asked why, when governments talk of nursing as a way to return something to our communities, do they make it so difficult for new nurses to do so. Nothing but part-time positions available in our province for new grads, as I understood her to say. Her frustration was more and more evident as she reviewed her letter. I am considering my own future, even though I am only in the 2nd year of my program. Do I want to return to my own province, at the age of 40, to work part-time paying off a student loan and rebuilding the RRSP I will have depleted? No. Does the idea of a full-time job in another province/state sound appealing? Hell yes! As the other poster said, "No sympathy here."
    Well I guess the United States is not so bad after all. The government will pay off your loan here and give you a job with decent benefits. Maybe it's time for a change.
  10. by   agoddess
    Quote from RN Student-NIC
    I am a 2nd year nursing student in British Columbia. My concern is that so many nurses are leaving to work in the US (5,400 Ontario nurses). We are losing trained nurses and this may result in a worse shortage than we already have. How do you feel about this trend?
    I have had great experiences working in the US. I have done research and been aware of pitfalls. So much depends on where you go and your expectations.
    I found I was treated as an asset and not as a cost in the US.
    Canada has to realize our value and start treating us with more respect. The working conditions in Toronto suck, which is why I am going back to the US in April.
  11. by   shearernurse
    I currently work in both places, Alberta and Montana. I wanted to work in the U.S. in order to somehow avoid strike measures in Alberta. NO resolution there yet either. Lets face it, when you are hired in the states you are wanted. THEY WANT YOU! and usually are appreciative to have you. The pay may not be what it is in Alberta, but figure the exchange rate and its pretty even. On a nightshift you have 5-6 patients not 15. They have a union here in Montana and are in contract negotiations as well.
    I graduated 15 years ago and there weren't any jobs in B.C., so I went to Texas with a full-time job and recieved 3 month orientation and sign-on bonus and relocation bonus'. Now in Canada it seems we are just happy to have a job.
    Okay, I'm off my soapbox

    Keeping warm in Montana
  12. by   border rn
    Quote from RN Student-NIC
    Thanks fergus51, canoehead, and epg-pei.
    Your comments are appreciated.

    Any ideas what could be changed to keep nurses in Canada?

    RN Student-NIC

    I worked in Canada from 1996-2001 and my student loans are paid. I left to work in a specialty area and to make more money. I got 12 weeks paid training and continued education, the ratios are better, I was even given benefits even for a part-time position. You can't get that in Ontario - not to mention they actually have full time position with fully paid benefits including orthodontics and a employer funded 401K.
    Canada needs to wake up and smell the Tim Hortons!
  13. by   Blackcat99
    Quote from fergus51
    Just be careful of where you go, there are a LOT of American nurses being treated like crap as well.
    :chuckle Yes that's so true. Especially in West Virginia!