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USA RN to relocate to Canada

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by gardengrower92 gardengrower92 (New) New Nurse

Specializes in Surgical RN. Has 4 years experience.

Hi there! I'm wondering if any nurses who have immigrated from the US to Canada can share any of their experiences with the immigration process and getting your license transferred over. I've already submitted my paperwork to the NNAS and it is currently undergoing "final review."

Have any USA RNs who have gotten the 'comparable,' from the NNAS have still been forced to take the competency assessment from the NCAS?

And if you were successful in immigrating to Canada, what was applying for a hospital job like? Or any RN job like? Currently I work for a major hospital (3 yrs experience) in med surg here in Oregon.

Any experience / advice / thoughts are welcomed!

amandab13

Has 13 years experience.

Which province are you moving to?

Edited by amandab13

gardengrower92

Specializes in Surgical RN. Has 4 years experience.

Hey! I applied to British Columbia, but mostly because their nursing board was the only one that was really responsive- definitely not wedded to any specific Province in particular? Any suggestions? Thanks again!

I studied nursing in WA and moved to BC. BC is very different compared to other provinces in terms of the hospitals. (underfunded with less pay for nurses compared to other provinces)

- There are not many “cna” (called care aids in Canada) in inpatient units (1 per unit in cities or none at all) so the nurses usually do everything. Except for specialty units, lpns and rns work together in med-surg settings so that will also be different compared to the states as well.

-All inpatient nurses do days and nights rotating every week, and usually full time is 2 days 2nights and 4 off with 5 off every 2 weeks or once a month depending on where you work.
BC is a part of the Pacific NW so the ocean, lakes and mountains are really nice but there is a very high cost of living.

It depends on where you are planning to get a job (each area in BC has different healthcare systems. I have seen a nurse with a BSN from the states do a 1 year refresher program here, and my husband is also trying to get his Canadian license from WA and is in the nnas stage as well. He is a ADN so I expect him to be taking the NCAS exam for BC.

Edited by dayandnight

gardengrower92

Specializes in Surgical RN. Has 4 years experience.

Hey, thanks for your response!

I'm not looking forward to having to do both day and night shift (that must be awful, switching back and forth). Working with LPNs sounds like it could be nice though!

Good news is that my NNAS did come back as comparable (it is possible!), so now I've moved on to applying with the BC College of nursing. They say it takes about 3 weeks for that process, but with covid I'm sure it may take longer. Still crossing my fingers I don't have to take the NCAS!

icecreamdreams, RN

Has 3 years experience.

Hi gardengrower92!

Congratulations on your "comparable" score! Do you have an update on your application and process?

I'm in WA and considering a move to Canada. I only have my ASN currently but I finish my BSN next Summer. I plan to apply then.

Fiona59

Has 18 years experience.

On 6/23/2020 at 1:35 AM, gardengrower92 said:

Hey, thanks for your response!

I'm not looking forward to having to do both day and night shift (that must be awful, switching back and forth). Working with LPNs sounds like it could be nice though!

Good news is that my NNAS did come back as comparable (it is possible!), so now I've moved on to applying with the BC College of nursing. They say it takes about 3 weeks for that process, but with covid I'm sure it may take longer. Still crossing my fingers I don't have to take the NCAS!

You'll need to remember that the LPN carries her own patient load and isn't there to assist you.

Hi gardengrower92. 

this is my 1st time on writing here. I am in Washignton state RN, working in hospital for 6 yr. want to apply BC RN Lic and want to move there, can you please guide me on the steps on this process. thank you. 

gardengrower92

Specializes in Surgical RN. Has 4 years experience.

Hey there rssb13! You'll have to start with submitting an application to the NNAS for British Columbia. After they deem your degree comparable or not comparable with a Canada RN license, you can then submit an application directly to the British Columbia College of Nurses.

Let me know if this helps!

gardengrower92

Specializes in Surgical RN. Has 4 years experience.

Re icecreamdreams: I cannot believe I'm saying this, but I'm still waiting to get my license transferred over to British Columbia! The crazy part is, it's my board of nursing here in Oregon that are holding things up! They have decided to more or less shut down during the pandemic (don't answer the phone anymore, only email, no in person visits), and it has taken me three months of bugging them to get them to mail the correct form (first time they mailed an incomplete one). 

I'm hoping to get an answer soon though, now that I think they've finally mailed the right form this last week. I'll keep you posted! 

thank you gardengrower92. 

I will update you how it goes. Good luck in your situation. 

On 6/23/2020 at 12:35 AM, gardengrower92 said:

Good news is that my NNAS did come back as comparable (it is possible!), so now I've moved on to applying with the BC College of nursing. They say it takes about 3 weeks for that process, but with covid I'm sure it may take longer. Still crossing my fingers I don't have to take the NCAS!

That’s awesome! CONGRATS! If you don’t mind me asking, are you an ASN or BSN educated RN? I ask because I’m currently an ASN educated RN and am trying to discern how hard it will be for me to get my license transferred to British Columbia, Canada.