Canadian nursing - page 2

Hey, I'm a student nurse in England. When I qualify I am thinking of emigrating to another country for a few years and I think I'd quite like to move to Canada. I've been there on holiday and also... Read More

  1. by   elanurse
    Hi Bigjay,

    I am so glad you posted regarding the hospital you work at here in T.O. I am presently a student Nurse (going into 2nd year), and I am hoping to work within the hospital network. Of course I like to hear what I have to look forward to and the positive side is what I like to hear more!!

    I have a question about working at a non-union you feel there are any advantages or disadvantages compared to union? I know Sick Kids is also non-union.

  2. by   jurbyjunk
    I live and work in the Vancouver area, British Columbia. Rather than come to BC, I would recommend that you go to Alberta. I've been watching "reality" set in with the "new grads".... only hired for "casual" work, no benefits, no nothing. This applies to experienced nurses who are looking for a change in employers or have been one of the 600 "displaced" nurses in BC.

    One of the local hospitals (St Mary's) is "losing it's contract" with the provincial government, and experienced OR, PACU, SDC nurses are only being offered casual work at the other hospitals in the area (the ones, including mine, who are bemoaning the lack of nurses). They expect these people to kiss off all of their seniority and benefits. In fact, the provincial employer organization (HEABC) has fought tooth-and-nail with the Labour Relation Board and it's ruling that these "displaced" nurses seniority/benefits are supposed to be portable between employers.

    If you're interested in "doing" a specialty nursing program, the employer might provide a "compressed time frame study", but you will be expected to pay up to 60% of the costs of the program, then work "casual" for at least 6 months after the program is finished if you weren't originally on-staff at that hospital. In that case, you will also only be paid "casual" wages (3rd year level), and only for the hours that you spend on the specialty unit doing clinical time, while you take the program. Since the contract with BCNU says that benefits are portable for up to 9 months from leaving the original employer, the new employer has now gotten you past the portability time and so now you have to start all over.

    Check out the website for the British Columbia Nurses Union,, if you want to see what the issues with this provincial government are. Someone farther up on this thread said that BC nursing was having to deal with "politics". How right they were. BCNU publically humiliated the BC Liberal government last summer with our "going public" about the acute nursing shortage, non-competitive wages, etc and they struck back via changes to our "imposed by them" contract, deleting provincial funding for specialty courses, etc.

    Unless you're willing to work "anywhere within 30 kilometers" of your employer "for up to 7 days at a time", and/or "anywhere within the province for up to 30 days at a time, 3 X year", don't come. To refuse "is considered to be immediate resignation".

    The provincial health minister even threatened to pass legislation refusing to allow "verification of credentials" by the RNABC. To ask to have "verification of credentials" means that the nurse is planning on working out-of-province. This would mean that any BC-trained nurse would be unable to get a license anywhere else.

    These idiots think that this is how to fix the nursing shortage.

    Our contract expires March 31, 2004, and I'm sure that this will be the scenario. The Liberals will still be in control of the government (they have 77/79 seats). Our contract will be "extended" so that no job action (such as refusing overtime) can occur, the employers will submit their demands and same will be legislated in. There will be either minimal lip service or no consultation with our bargaining committee.

    Believe me, this provincial government does not give a crap about nurses/nursing issues. They're still running under the belief that we are "girls" who should do as daddy says, should be willing for the least amount of $$ that can be paid because, of course, we only went into nursing in order to "serve humanity". Glorified maids or nuns, and when we step out of our assigned "role", we become bytches, needing to be put in our place. The president of the BCNU was even subjected to rude remarks about her weight and love life, even where she chooses to shop for her jewelery, in the media.

    Go somewhere that at least appears to respect you and what you do for a living. Read the blurb from the Calgary Herald, which says that BC is busy pinkslipping RNs while Alberta is encouraging them to go there. 600 RNs have been pinkslipped so far here.

    Bonnie Lantz, president of The Registered Nurses Association of BC (RNABC), has publically gone on record with the information that there are 27,000 licensed RNs in BC, by 2011, 15,000 will have retired.

    In, as of this date, 3 years 11 months and 7 days, I can retire at the 60 year age, I intend to do so. Then, I'm going to rent our my house and go live/work in Alberta until 65.
    Last edit by jurbyjunk on Aug 25, '02