Canadian nursing

  1. 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 have some relatives over there (Vancouver & Maine Island). My parents also lived there before I was born (Kenora) and I think it's a nice country.

    So I was wondering how is nursing over your way? As the NHS (Nation Health Service) over is here is not that appealing, when I qualify I will go in at about 16,000 p/a (before tax) which is $39,712 p/a in candian dollars. I mean is the pay better out there? I've heard anywhere is better than the UK! How is your health service run out there? Over here everyone pays 17.5% tax on everything and then tax on earnings (depends how much u earn to how much they tax, but up to 40%!) which pays for free health care for all. However the Government don't think to pay their hard working nurses and decent wage through it all! You don't have to have all the insurance stuff, it's all free at the point of delivery which is good from the cradle to the grave as they like to say...

    Anyway, I've gone on more than I wanted to!
    Any info would be cool!

  2. Visit BetterBursary profile page

    About BetterBursary

    Joined: Jul '02; Posts: 18; Likes: 1
    Student Nurse


  3. by   disher
    BetterBursary, The majority of Canadian nurses work at unionized hospitals. Salary range varies from province to province you can see the salaries at the canadian federation of nursing union website
    Our healthcare system like yours is publicly funded by our tax dollar (federal and provinical taxes).
    We have quite a few nurses from the UK in Toronto, many were recruited in the late 1980's and ended up staying so I guess that says something good about living in Canada.
  4. by   BetterBursary
    Hey disher,
    Thanks for the info,

    Anyone else care to offer anything else?

  5. by   bhppy
    I think disher did a great job at explaining it!
    In my province the provincial tax is 8% the Fed.(GST) is at 7% which means the whole of Ontario is taxed 15% on about everything. The provincial tax varies from province to province.
    The tax on the salary again is dependant on how much you earn.

  6. by   adrienurse
    I encourage you to come to Canada. Your parents are from Kenora? I live an hour and a half away! I can only speak for nursing in Manitoba. I am relatively happy in my present job. There is a nursing shortage, of course, but staffing seems to be better in the city centres than in rural areas. Most areas in the country have recently received raises in pay, BC being one of them. There seem to be a lot more political issues in BC so I imagine that nursing there is not without its share of challenges and frustrations.

    Make sure you do your research before accepting a position. Some areas have worse staffing than others. BC is a beautiful place. I'd live there if I could.
  7. by   elanurse
    Hi Betterbursary, I am also a student nurse - Toronto. I am originally from Scotland. Have been in Canada for 13.5 years and love it. I think you should give it a go when you qualify. Just check out what you will need to do in order to achieve your license here - check it out with "College of Nurses" of whichever province you want to move to. You will most likely have to sit a challenge exam at the very least before you are able to practice. However, as in alot of countries Canada is currently declaring a shortage of nurses with prediction it will last for many years.
    A visit to the area you are interested in would serve you well as the amount of pay and taxes are not all you have to consider when you make such a big move. It takes patience and time to settle to a new way of life. Good your studies and if you decide to move. Elanurse
  8. by   Sarahstudent
    In Alberta we only pay a 7% Gst on goods and services plus I don't know what inflation is like in the UK but you can buy a bottle of coke for about $1.29 Cdn, how does that compare?

    I love Canada, and am proud to live here.
  9. by   BetterBursary
    $1.29 is just over 50p which is about right for england, well that's if you're buying it in a shop, otherwise it's about 39p.

    Thanks for all your comments, I'll let you know how the future goes and maybe see u in Canada!
  10. by   zebidee101
    Hi, I am from Scotland I trained as an RGN '87 and came to canada 2 years ago and am working in Toronto. There are several things you need to know about the system over here before you make the decision.

    long winded post(sorry)
    There are things called Dr's orders which means that everything that that patient needs must be written by a Dr on this shhet eg activity,meals, shower/bath, vitals(what and how often),investigations and meds. the nurse then takes the order sends a copy to pharmacy (if it has a med on it) then writes out any medications prescribed onto a second sheet and another nurse has to sign that it has been transcribed correctly the other orders must then get copied into a kardex/care plan.
    in other words the paperwork is horrendous and nursing decisions are taken out of your control.

    because many of the hospitals are unionised if you were to get a job one day after someone else on the same floor and you wanted vacation the other person has the right to bump you and take the time slot you requested so essentially if someone has even one day more seniority they have the right to bump you every year for vacation(fair?) and you only get 2 weeks a year
    I hope that it is only this hospital that I am working at but the medical staff are appauling(not all though but 80%) they look down at nurses treat us as idiots and are rude and uncaring to their patients and their families

    IMHO people are not allowed to die. Patients who code with multiple co-morbidities are ventilated, dialysed and kept alive just because Dr's and nurses are scared of being sued.

    medications are dispensed as single unit dose. This means that if a medication is prescribed/ordered a copy of the order is sent to pharmacy the drug and patient details are entered into a computer the pharmacist then prepares the med and then it gets sent to the floor/unit (just have a guess how long it takes)Yes longer than it should.

    I don't want to sound all negative I apologise for that but it is extremely difficult to make the transition from one system to another. I appreciate that the NHS is no bed of roses either or I would not have stayed here for 2 years and am planning a 3rd

    mmmm what eles can I tell you.
    get a job offer first before applying to immigration it will make the process easier. The employer has to apply for a special job offer to be able to accept foreign workers
    most employers here want 1-2 years experience and try to get some in ICU/CCU they are desparate for critical care nurses
    To be able to practice you must sit your Canadian RN exam. It is a pretty easy no brainer multiple choice. Just some of the terminology is different you can buy the book and cd rom of how to sit the exam just don't confuse it with the NCLEX.
    many hospitals offer relocation bonuses so shop around.

    To purge myself of any more negativity I have got to say that life here can be pretty good. Give it a try if you don't like it there are loads of other options. I think that it's a bigger risk not to take one.
  11. by   fergus51
    It isn't like that here at all. Nursing decisions are nurses' perogative and docs write orders for medical decisions (like meds, etc.). We also don't have to have 2 nurses see and transcribe orders, the unit clerk does it on days, one nurse does it on nights.

    Once our vacation time has been aproved no one can bump us. In fact, if the hospital needs us during our vacation time we get a BIG load of cash (double or tripple time) and we can't be forced to come back. And I think those at the top of the seniority scale here get something like 8 weeks vacation.

    Medical staff....well... we have some freaks, but most are good.

    People are only codes if they want to be codes. If they or their families decide it is their time to go we let them go peacefully.

    Our meds are kept stocked on the floor.

    Frankly, I am scared to go to Toronto if this is the case. I am in BC and we have our own set of problems with gov't cuts and short staffing, but not those things you mentioned. I have heard things are really good in Alberta. A friend is working at Foothills hospital and her nurse to patient ratio is 4 to 1! I would KILL for that on a med surg unit. Pay is good, benes are good, relocation money is available.
  12. by   elanurse
    Zebidee, Just curious........have you worked anywhere else in T.O other than your present position? If not maybe a change would be the ticket. I have a friend who is an RN in Ottawa, she is an ER nurse and loves it.......the Doctor's are friendly and respectful. However she used to work on a med/surg floor and did not like it too much but I think her main complaints were the other nurses!!
  13. by   zebidee101
    Hi guys,
    I haven't worked anywhere else in Toronto but from what I hear there are problems at many of the other hospitals here(as there are at home)one of the things I find really bad is the fact that patients can wait for many days in ER for a bed. I have admitted acute MI's that have sat for 3 days on a stretcher in ER(now no longer being acute) and the door to needle times are...well let's just say you don't need a watch but a calendar.
    I know things for us nurses are usually pretty poor wherever you go(does job utopia really exist?) but I still think that the system we used in Scotland is better, less paperwork, more autonomy and teamwork and better patient care which is what we are all about. Right?
    I am a nurse educator I cover a 38 bed telemetry and a 6 bed CCU with a total of about 70 staff and I don't know how the floor nurses cope with 6/7 high accuity cardiac patients on days and sometimes 9/10 on nights. I have the utmost respect for just how hard the nurses work, slogging it out on every shift and keep coming back. Kudos kudos to the floor nurses.

    I have a question though. How would you like to work in a system where the Dr writes clearly and directly into the medication sheet. No transcribing of orders and No waiting for pharmacy?
  14. by   bigjay
    Just to add another positive note on nursing in the TO area (I work in Mississauga).

    1) Dr's orders are never checked by two nurses. On days, the unit clerk checks them, sends them to pharmacy and flags the chart for the nurse. On nights the nurse will send them down on their own. There is a considerable delay of the med coming up from pharmacy with this system but if you need it earlier you can walk the order down and grab the med. This is assuming it's not stocked on the floor, which most commonly used meds are (tylenol, gravol, pain meds, etc).

    2) Staffing here isn't as bad as you describe. I work on an onc/gmed floor and we have 4-5 pts on days and 9-10 on nights. Busy but quite managable.

    3) Where I work, the multi-disciplinary team works together quite well to address code status issues. In my four years here I have only seen two unnecessary codes... one was a 102 year old lady who took an unexpected bad turn (that code lasted all of three minutes) and the other was at the family's instistance. Medical staff can have their moments but all in all are quite easy to get along with.

    4) My hospital isn't unionized so I can't speak to those issues.

    5) Nursing issues are the domain of nursing. I have never seen an order addressing bathing (they do at your hospital?) or other daily routine needs. Ambulation orders are generally AAT unless pts need to be restricted. Turning, non-medicated dressings, diet textures and adjustments, etc are all up to the judgement of the nurse (as it should be) barring some quite specific need of the pt.

    Having the doc write clearly and directly onto the med sheet sounds like a great system... a few questions though. Where do you get the meds from? Who prepares and checks them? Who makes up the list of medications for the next day? If a new order changes a previous order does the doctor correct it or is that left up to the nurse? There is a reason why we have a doctors order system. Granted, much of the paperwork is unnecessary but all in all I don't really have a problem with our system.

    The pay here is better than what you describe. Starting for a fresh new grad is about 45,000 Cdn a year, with full benefits for fulltime. Tack on an extra 15% in lieu of benefits if you're working casual or part time.

    Hope this helps!