Registered Nurse Job Prospects Canada 2014

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8,343 Posts

So, Trevor, should I lose my job because I'm a naturalized Canadian with a trace of an accent? I got my nursing education here in Canada after working for various levels of government as a Canadian citizen. So, I was a local new grad once upon a time.


330 Posts

No offense but it is hard for IENs to stay employed even if you see them working. Chances are that they have enough experiences to be qualified to hold the positions. Unless you have 2-3 yrs of experience in OR, ER or critical care, it is almost impossible for non-US (they have TN visas) RNs to even be hired let alone be able to work for more than one year. They are there because they deserve it. I bet you 99% of IENs go back to their countries or cannot work in Canada as a nurse at all. Many IENs work in Canada as live-in caregivers. Most IEN's, frankly immigrated to Canada first with their family so they're not really "international," they're Canadian residents or citizens.

It does not matter if anyone "grows up" in Canada or not at all. You still age as an adult so they are still "growing" in Canada. They're all Canadians regardless and that is what the country was built up on, by bringing in immigrants


159 Posts

Specializes in Cardiology.

I'll take a locally trained nurse 7 days a week and twice on Sunday.

Here in Alberta our new grads should have priority for hiring over anyone else who wants to enter the profession in our province. Be it a BC grad or a nurse from abroad.

You could be a 10th generation Canadian citizen and train overseas and still be classified as an IEN. Growing up in Canada or citizenship has nothing to do with it. It's where you were trained and if you were trained outside of Canada, sorry but you're at the back of the line.

Here's an idea: get the heck outta Toronto and take advantage of loan repayment for underserved areas while you're at it.

That's right, get like the equivalent of $8500 a year for 4 years by working in the sticks.


8 Posts

To answer OP's question, it is a tight job market here in Alberta. Thanks to Redford and her spending enormous amount of money on herself, Alberta's politics is in a huge mess. Also, the education and health care budgets have been severely cut, leaving many new grads in nursing and teaching jobless. Even people who graduated from engineering are having a hard time finding jobs.

Basically, Redford ate our money up, leaving all of us Albertans in shock.

However, Baby Boomers all across Canada will retire soon. The retirement won't solve the job problems, but since there are more Baby Boomers than the Gen Y'ers combined (Comparison age pyramids), maybe there's a chance we might see vacancy and more jobs created in the future.

Why I liked Trevor's post: The problem right now is that many young Canadian grads are left without jobs. About a staggering amount of new graduates are still looking for jobs after 6 months of graduation and are applying for loan breaks, which in turn breaks the tax payers. The economy is in the pits! The priority shouldn't be the immigrants anymore, but to Canadians because this is Canada in its darkest times. Immigration was good when the economy was good, but right now, think of the homeland problems.

Canadian grads = No jobs/job prospects which = More debt = More tax squeeze = Not good for the economy and the future of Canada.

joanna73, BSN, RN

4,767 Posts

Specializes in geriatrics.

I moved to rural Alberta from ON, but I already had a signed offer. Do not move without a job, especially to BC or Alberta.

For those of you located in the GTA who are unsuccessful at finding work after a year or more, I wonder why you haven't relocated? There are jobs in smaller towns who would be glad to have you, but the longer you sit unemployed, the less attractive you seem to employers.

Many people either relocated or commuted long distances in order to start working. Times have changed and we have to go where the jobs are. Flexibility and adaptability is essential. I'd leave the GTA if you're not finding work. Nothing is going to change, and Ontario is trying to cut wages and jobs at this very moment.

Once you have at least 18 months of experience, there will be more options. Zero experience will not help your cause because there are new grads being pumped out every semester across the country.


104 Posts

Hi everyone,

Thank you for the responses. Yes I heard that Ontario at the moment is cutting even more jobs and wages, which really does not help.

I would be more than willing to relocate to remote areas, just for the time being until something can come up closer to the city. Working for an agency is not really reliable and you are always wondering when is the next shift or how much will you get paid this month. It also affects if you can make payments for bills, etc.

For International Nurses, I do not understand how they can get jobs over the local grads. I am one of the young Canadians struggling to find work and when parents cannot understand why, it is not easy to explain.

Anyways, I appreciate all your comments and I don't feel like I am the only one struggling.

I try to stay on the positive side and to keep believing, but all I can do right now is to survive.

Besides agency, going to industrial places to just make a living is something I will have to resort to. It is not nursing related, but something that will bring money to the table.

Silverdragon102, BSN

1 Article; 39,477 Posts

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC.

Things aren't easy for IEN's at the moment either so not just Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents that are having problems. Most IEN's come over on work permits and the employer has to prove to the government that they have advertised across Canada for x amount of months and that the post couldn't be filled. If they are here are permanent residents then they should be treated as a citizen when applying for jobs. I think a lot comes from being a new grad and not being able to hit the floor running as time is taken up training and supporting new grads. I as a IEN live in an area where RN's aren't plentiful managed to get a job as an overhire due to the shortage of RN's and eventually moved into my own line when someone left and had 3 days orientation and that was it.

joanna73, BSN, RN

4,767 Posts

Specializes in geriatrics.

Agreed. Once the IEN is in Canada, they have the right to stay. It isn't easy to qualify. I've looked into going to other countries and the documentation is extensive.

Most IENs are hired into lines in critical care, the OR, or hard to fill vacancies. New grads wouldn't qualify for many of those positions or don't want them, which is evident from the number of people waiting around for jobs.

If you have bills to pay then move. There are various programs funded by the government that allow nurses to qualify for loan forgiveness and scholarships across the country.

I realize it's depressing and unfair, but the competition is fierce. Times have not changed in the last 7 years for nurses and this trend will continue. You'll need to work with the resources available if you want employment.

It's all a matter of perspective. If you want to progress you'll do what you need to do. I personally need to eat and pay bills, so there's very little waiting around. I gave everything away and moved. Now, not everyone is as adventurous, but the point is: if you want something to happen, YOU may it happen, or not.


104 Posts

Thanks Joanna and everyone for responding.

I was thinking of going up to somewhere rural again, but after hearing about the turmoil in Alberta right now it has made me just wonder of where I am going to get more work.

I went to a job fair recently and would like to ask what thoughts people have on going to US to work? And what about coming back to Canada after... would the experience count and help or would it hold me back?

I am looking into doing the NCLEX, so if anyone has experience going to the states to work and coming back to Canada I would love to hear about your experience.


2,188 Posts

Specializes in Home Care.

Job prospects aren't good in the States either. There's lots of threads for you to read


141 Posts

I am an RN in rural Manitoba and currently work at a 1.0 EFT and as much overtime as I want.

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