Canada’s province of British Columbia (BC) recruiting foreign nurses with $12 million funding. The new funding is to recruit foreign-trained nurses by making it easier – and cheaper – for Canada to recognize their credentials.
The BC initiative recruitment program will include:
- marketing campaign to promote B.C. to internationally educated nurses
- new website to provide information on available supports
- foreign nurses recruitment support
- financial support for foreign nurses, and also,
- programs to encourage them remain in BC as permanent residents
“This investment is an exciting step in providing more support for internationally-educated nurses who want to work in B.C.,” says Michael McMillan, president and chief executive officer of the Health Employers Association of BC.
- Quebec needs Francophone nurses – $65M budget for 1,000 nurses
- Ontario seeks 6,000 foreign-trained nurses by March 2022
$9M in bursaries to help foreign nurses get credential assessments
BC will provide $9 million in bursaries to help foreign-trained nurses pay for credential assessment fees. That will benefit about 1,500 nurses in the first year alone.
Those bursaries will range from $1,500 to $16,000, depending on the credential assessment or upgrading.
The remaining $3 million will go to improving the province’s assessment and licensing processes for foreign-trained nurses. Currently, foreign-trained nurses undergo a complex, costly and also lengthy credential recognition process. The process also requires multiple assessments and document submissions to numerous organizations.
Funds will also go to immigration and licensing support, relocation information and job placement and employment support.
“Our government is committed to addressing the province’s demand for nurses. That’s why we’re launching this comprehensive suite of supports for internationally educated nurses to help them put their skills to use here in B.C.,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.
“We are very pleased to be supporting BCCNM in developing the triple-track assessment process and to work with HMBC to provide financial and logistical support for internationally educated nurses. Removing some financial barriers and streamlining the assessment process will facilitate pathways to employment in the province. It will also ensure British Columbians have access to the health care they deserve with even more nurses and healthcare assistants.”
- Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN) can qualify to work in Canada – Guidelines.
- Upgrade your foreign credentials for Canada study or work permit.
Why is British Columbia (BC) recruiting foreign nurses?
According to the British Columbia Nurses’ Union there is a chronic nursing shortage in the province going back several years. This according to Union 2021 report, “The Future Of Nursing In BC: Impacts Of The COVID-19 Pandemic And The Nursing Shortage In British Columbia”.
A May 2021 survey for that report also revealed more than 35% of BC nurses could leave their jobs in the next two years.
Did you know that Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN) can qualify to work as nurses in Canada? IENs who obtained a Canadian nursing license have significantly higher chance to become Canadian permanent residency.
It is the perfect time for Internationally Educated Nurses to seek work opportunities in Canada. Canada is facing a significant projected shortage of nurses. Almost 500,000 workers in the health-care sector are over the age of 55. Most are retiring in the next decade. Canada is looking to immigrants to help fill these important jobs.
The coronavirus pandemic has also exacerbated the shortage of nurses and other health professionals in Canada leading the government of Canada to commit to relying on immigrant nurses to fill the shortage.
How to become Canada permanent resident as a foreign nurse
Two of Canada’s leading economic immigration programs that are most popular among foreign nurses are the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC). To be eligible for these programs, it is important to have skilled nursing work experience.
Neither program requires a candidate to have a job offer, but having one can significantly increase your likelihood of successfully applying for Canadian permanent residence.
Canada uses the Express Entry system and the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to score and rank immigration applications. The CRS assigns a score to candidates based on the information you entered in your federal Express Entry profile. Candidates are placed into a pool of other candidates from which the government of Canada periodically conducts draws to select the highest scoring EE profiles and sends them Invitations To Apply (ITAs).
The FSWP requires an applicant nurse to have at least one year of continuous work experience from anywhere within the last ten years. An FSWP applicant also must score a CLB 7 in English or NCLC 7 in French on all four language competencies: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. They must additionally score at least 67/100 on the six-factor test that assesses candidates’ education level and language skills.
The CEC requires one year of work experience in Canada, within the last three years. Applicants must prove scores, across all four language competencies.
In addition, many Canadian provinces have more than one program that target foreign nurses in their Provincial immigrant nominee programs (PNPs). Through the PNPs, Canadian provinces are able to select candidates who meet their labor and skilled jobs shortages and recommend them for Canadian permament residency.
Foreign nurses are a top target of the PNPs because they are in high demand due to nurse shortages in Canada, and they are working in a skilled occupation.
The PNPs have streams dedicated specifically for foreign nurses only and other streams available to foreign nurses target several health professions, or they are open to skilled workers in general.