Prospective international nursing student in Canada - page 2

Hello everone, I'm brand new here & would greatly appreciate any input. I apologize if this is a repeat topic, I have searched a lot before posting and there are a number of topics about nurses... Read More

  1. by   joanna73
    Not to disillusion you, but I would stay clear of Ontario. Of all the Provinces, Ontario is one of the worst right now for job prospects. Even experienced nurses are finding it hard to change or get employment. It's all casual, temp, RPN. Many of my friends who graduated within the last 2 years there are underemployed. Three of us left Ontario to work elsewhere last year. As an iEN, you will most definitely face even more hurdles. Too few jobs there and too many applicants at the moment.
  2. by   kamae
    Hi there.. I'm on the same boat as you. I'm also studying nursing on a student visa in toronto ontario. After graduation, you do get to apply for a work permit which is valid for the number of yrs you studied.. it's called a post-gradiate work permit. Then I believe that that permit will allow CNO to register you given that you pass the exam. Gosh, this was all posted april of 2011. I hope you'd still reply though. Cheers!
  3. by   knina
    Greetings. You know, it never occurred to me that there might be a problem registering with the provincial licensing board to take the exam. Good question. I thought that graduating from a Canadian nursing program got you access to the exam. We should check in our provinces to make sure.

    I think that as long as your program is at least two years, you actually get a three year work permit. Consider getting an off-campus work permit now to let you work in health care while in school. I switched from an accelerated program to a decelerated program because I ran out of money faster than I expected, but I've since worked in both a hospital and a community clinic and the experience and contacts have been invaluable. I won't finish until Dec 2012.

    If you do apply for an off campus work permit, make sure to tell them that you are a health care student and need a permit without conditions because you need to work in health care.

    Also make sure to file your taxes even if you haven't made any money because you can bank your tuition costs and can deduct them from your taxes in later years. I'm paying the rest of my painfully high international tuition with the tax return I'm getting based on the tuition deduction.

    How has your experience been so far?
  4. by   kamae
    Thanks for the reply knina. Experience has been good so far. I'm taking a 2-year PN program here in Ontario but I'm still on my 1st month so I can't apply for an off-campus work permit till July. I have just been lucky to be granted a scholarship by someone in my family. I never thought of filing for taxes despite not working yet so thank you for that advice.

    To tell you the truth, I'm already an RN in my country so I am currently waiting for CNO's initial assessment to sit a PN exam. I am studying PN because I'm interested to get the post-graduate work permit which I need to be able to work here in the future. It was explained to me that that work permit will allow me to work for 2-3 years after graduation.

    I'm aware I could take the exam but afterwards, I'm not sure if the post-graduation work permit issued to me will be sufficient to register at CNO because one of the requirements is to show a proof that I am legally allowed to work here as a nurse.

    Is that the same case in Alberta? Thank you!
  5. by   knina
    I'm confused -- is PN practical nurse or practioner nurse?

    In Alberta RPNs are registered psychiatric nurses and LPNs are licensed practical nurses. There aren't very many jobs for nurse practitioners here -- Ontario looks much more progressive in terms of nursing scope of practice.

    My understanding is that the post grad work permit is proof of legally being able to work here. But you don't have it yet so it will be interesting to see what the initial assessment says. Please let me know. Maybe the off campus work permit as well? I wonder if you could take the RN exam when you get that.

    Again, make sure you apply for an off campus work permit without conditions, because the first one I got said I couldn't work in health care services! I had to apply and pay again and it took months more.

    Nursing programs are clueless about the realities of the job market so make sure to network beyond school as well as trying to use your clinicals to make connections and look for jobs. You are in better shape than most because you have experience! I don't know where you are from and what you are used to, but in Canada there is the possibility of these remote jobs, but here remote really means remote.

    In Alberta there are "undergraduate nurse" jobs, which students can get part way through their program and that is what I'm doing right now. I don't know what that role is called in Ontario.
  6. by   Fiona59
    Ontario is the only province that uses the term RPN for LPNs. Reg. Psych Nurses only exist in the western provinces.
  7. by   kamae
    PN is Practical Nurse here. How do I apply for one without conditions? Will there be an option wherein I can state I'd like to work in a healthcare setting? According to CNO, I can sit the exam for PN because of my RN degree back home..but I can only start working or be fully registered once I get a work permit. That's why I'm wondering if a post-graduate work permit would be sufficient for them to register me because that's the kind of permit I'll be getting after graduation.

    I am hoping I could work as a Personal support worker (PSW) when I get my off-campus work permit. I think it's another term for a nurse aide. I'm from the Philippines by the way. Thanks for the input. very helpful.
  8. by   vimge4
    WOW, it really has been almost a year since this thread first started it!! It is good to know of other people on the same boat as me. I have been in Toronto since late August and it has been quite the adjustment. After an excrutiating Fall Prep Semester, I was able to pull it through and am now officially on the 2nd entry nursing program of UNB, Humber site. @ Kinina, I feel your pain...I tought I was good, that I had saved enough, but am also running out of money like hemorrhage, who would have ever know that cost of life in Toronto could beat Southern California?? Insane! Especially daycare, it makes me want to cry.
    @ Kamae, which school you are going to? (if you dont mind saying it, of course). I was planning to work as a PSW also as soon as I am able to apply for a work permit. I dont have experience though, so I think it would be a great way to build that up. Best of luck to you!
  9. by   kamae
    Hi there vimge4! I'm taking a PN program at Centennial College. I have a question for u, do you know if CNO would register us on a post-graduation work permit? It's just that one of their requirements is either you're a permanent resident or you have a valid work permit. So I'm not sure if the kind we're getting after graduation should be enough to register given we pass the exam of course.

    Best of luck to you too. I still got a long way to go though.. I'm still on my 1st month!
  10. by   vimge4
    Hi Kamae. You know I still dont have the answer to this question and as you can tell by this thread, I have been looking into that for about a year, even before coming here. I hope that it will be fine, that once we get our work permits and graduate CNO would allow us to take the exam. I had actually completely forgotten all about all this and I will be asking at the school and see. If I find out anything important I'll let you know here!
  11. by   kamae
    I'm glad to know I'm not alone. Thanks! I'll update you if I find out anything about it too. Good luck!
  12. by   BryanWang
    Hello everyone!
    Nice to see you guys in there!
    I am a international student from China and now I am studying PN program In Georgian college, Barrie Ontario.
    It seems you guy are facing the same problems with me, I did lots research online but the information for us is so limited!
    I think there is a good place for us to share the recent information.
    I have heared the policy related to nursing has somewhat changed in otario last year that international students have no rights to write the CNO exam. I am not sure about this because I haven't find anything online yet, But there are someone I know actually quit the nursing program because of the poliy.....

    I will tell everybody the newest information I get very soon!
    good luck to all of us!
  13. by   Silverdragon102
    Any information like that would be and should be stated on the College of Ontario website.