For IEN (internationally educated nurses) who plan on getting licensed in British Columbia (B.C., Canada) to note: On Nov 5th, 2014, CRNBC announced a project to create a new Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS) for Internationally Educated Practitioners (IEPs) by March 2016. Below is quoted from the announcement.
"The purpose of the NCAS is to support the regulatory colleges and the Care Aid Registry to make decisions about registering IEPs by:
- Determining if IEPs have competencies that are substantially equivalent to those of entry-level Registered Nurses, Registered Psychiatric Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Health Care Assistants in BC
- Identifying competence gaps to assist regulators to determine appropriate supplementary education
- Identifying an alternate profession/role for which the applicant has demonstrated the competencies.
The NCAS project is an initiative led jointly by the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry (the Registry), and the three nursing regulatory colleges (CLPNBC, CRNBC, CRPNBC) as the nursing community partners."
Note: IEPs refer to internationally-educated Registered Nurses, Registered Psychiatric Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses (also known as Assistant Nurses or Enrolled Nurses in Singapore), and Health Care Assistants. According to the quick facts provided in the announcement, "Roughly 1450 IEPs seek registration in the four professions in BC each year." For details, please refer to the CRNBC announcement or their PDF download.
For those who intend to work in the Metro Vancouver area, I suggest checking out the Government of Canada Job Bank to understand the job market better. Please see below for some statistics on the Lower Mainland - Southwest region, i.e. Metro Vancouver as of Dec-14, 2014.
- For Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses (NOC 3152 - A) - There are 133 job postings (including 3 months-old postings). According to the Outlook report released on May 22, 2014, the job outlook is "Good" because of the expectation that job openings will be created as older workers retire and "according to the 2011 National Household Survey, ... 21% of workers were 55 years old and older." That said, your individual experience may differ, click here and here for examples.
- For Licensed Practical Nurses (NOC 3233 - B) - There are 4 job postings (November and December 2014). According to the Outlook report released on May 22, 2014, the job outlook is "Good" because of the expectation that job openings will be created as older workers retire and "according to the 2011 National Household Survey, ... 14% of workers were 55 years old and older." Again, your individual experience may differ. Back in 2013, I have met several LPNs who told me about themselves and/or their schoolmates having difficulty landing full-time/part-time LPN jobs up to 9 months after graduation, surviving on casual (on-the-call) jobs instead.
- For Health Care Assistants [listed as Nurses Aides, Orderlies and Patient Service Associates (NOC 3413 - C) in the Job Bank] - There are 3 job postings (all listed in December 2014). According to the Outlook report released on May 22, 2014, the job outlook is "Good" because of the expectation that job openings will be created as older workers retire and "according to the 2011 National Household Survey, ... 19% of workers were 55 years old and older." Again, your individual experience may differ.
- Often one will see advertisements that "Canada needs nurses", "there is a high demand for nurses", "there is a shortage of nurses", etc (especially advertisements from the private for-profit colleges/schools). One has to be careful to understand the fact that there may a conflict of interest in the claims put out by these advertisements. Yes, the need is there, but the real question is -- "Is the funding there?" E.g. Are the public health authorities willing/able to invest enough to meet the staffing needs? Are the private facilities/employers' terms of employment reasonable?
- The 1,450 IEPs seeking registration in the 4 professions (RN, RPN, LPN, HCA) each year does not include those locally trained/educated looking for jobs in the above professions. For number of local fresh-graduates seeking for the same jobs, I suggest interested readers to do more of their own online data-mining; e.g. from the Education Planner (BC) website and the websites of the various colleges/training-schools. Please also do not forget to add that there are also job seekers who transfer their registration from other provinces to Metro Vancouver, B.C.
- One solution that I have encountered is would-be professionals doing their education/training/registration in Metro Vancouver, B.C. because of the existence of family/social-support here in Metro Vancouver, but with plans to move to Interior B.C., Northern B.C. or other provinces after they get their registration. E.g. I have personally met a B.C.-registered LPN fresh graduate who moved to Manitoba because of the combination of having family and more/better job opportunities there. E.g. I have met a RPN-student who plans to head to Atlantic Canada for jobs after he gets his B.C. registration because according to him the job opportunities for RPN fresh-graduates is really limited in B.C., given that RNs and RPNs are both lumped under the same NOC and according to him RNs are often preferred over RPNs.
p.s. A piece of good news for IENs with 5-10 years of relevant nursing experience before coming to B.C., Canada. I learned recently from a GNIE ex-classmate that several of our fellow GNIE-classmates have had their years of overseas (i.e. non-Canadian) nursing experience recognized by their health-authority employer(s), and their hourly-salary adjusted accordingly (albeit they still start from scratch on the B.C. Nurses Union's Seniority Scheme). FYI, click here for B.C.'s Registered Psychiatric Nurses' pay-scale effective from April 1st, 2013. Note: Registered Nurses in B.C. have the same pay-scale.