An organization is helping foreign nurses get certification quickly so they can begin to practice in Canada.
The organization, called the CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses, has been around for about a decade.
Even nurses who have had a complete education and plenty of experience have had to start four-year training programs all over again once they relocate to Canada. CARE is doing something about that.
“You can easily go back into nursing within one year or two years,” said the organization’s Domine Reutayisire in this article on CBCnews.ca.
Tambudzai Kasiyamhuru came to Canada two years ago from Zimbabwe. She spent 16 years there working with AIDS patients.
She came to the CARE centre in Windsor “so I can quickly write my examinations and quickly get a job here in Canada,” she said.
Kasiyamhuru currently volunteers at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital and she has two part-time jobs elsewhere.
“There’s a high probability that I can get a [full-time] job as soon as I finish my exam and get my license,” she said.
Marie Wood worked all over the world as a nurse for the British army, and later in palliative care in England. She even earned a medal from the Queen. But that didn’t help her navigate the bureaucracy of Ontario’s College of Nurses.
“I was emailing back and forth with the College of Nurses and getting nowhere. They were always [telling me] it takes time, but as soon as CARE came along, they seemed to pull up their braces, so to speak, and get on with things,” Wood said.
Wood volunteers at Hospice while working on her accreditation.
Both women plan to write their exams in May, far sooner than they could have done arranging it on their own.
Nurses in demand
Rutayisire said there are jobs in Windsor for nurses.
“There is quite a bit of demand. We do have two big hospitals and we have nurses who work in long-term care facilities as well, and community nursing. So nursing is in demand all the time,” Rutayisire said.
There’s still a need for more nurses in Ontario. The Ministry of Health plans to create another 500 positions this fiscal year.
So it’s not quite “Goodbye to the nursing shortage” yet, though it certainly seems to vary by region. This is an innovative way to address the problem.