Based on the latest job vacancy figures, 1,62,100 positions were vacant in the healthcare and social assistance sector as of January 2023, the highest on record. It is International Nurses Day every year on May 12 in Canada, which honours nurses’ efforts to ensure that Canadians receive health care of the highest quality.
A shortage of nurses still exists in Canada as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the growing elderly population.
Health sector and nurses in demand in canada
The federal government and provinces believe that immigration and expedited credential recognition for Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) are critical components of addressing the workforce shortfall and filling these vacancies. Even before the pandemic, there was a nursing deficit in Canadian healthcare. The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) reported in 2022 that many nurses were suffering from poor mental health and exhaustion. Throughout the epidemic, this resulted in a large number of resignations among healthcare personnel.
Following the announcement of Budget 2023 on March 28th, the CFNU quoted a poll that found four out of ten nurses are considering leaving their jobs, owing mostly to heavy workloads and inadequate staffing levels, while one in every two younger, early-career nurses is experiencing clinical burnout.
Immigrant nurses are important to canada’s development
More than 1.6 million people work in Canada’s health-care sector, and many more will be needed in the future years to guarantee that patients continue to get high-quality treatment. Almost 500,000 health-care professionals are above the age of 55, and the majority of them will retire in the next decade or two.
Furthermore, there are current recruiting issues for nurses, residential care professionals, and home health care staff across Canada. Immigrants have a clear chance to play an essential role in ensuring that there are adequate individuals working in the healthcare industry. Canada is known for its best healthcare sector and how most immigrants come for the prospects in health support careers.
Provinces working to attract and retain nurses
The provision of healthcare is a provincial duty. Provinces are attempting to attract more international nurses and to reduce some of the hurdles that IENs may find upon arrival in Canada. Specifically, many nurses face difficulties obtaining the appropriate accreditation to practise in Canada. Recognising this difficulty, the provinces of Canada are making significant efforts to hire and retain more nurses. Here are a couple such instances.
Alberta: Alberta stated in February that the government will invest more than $15 million to train and support additional IENs. The money includes $7.8 million in bursaries of up to $30,000 for students. The remaining monies will be used to build 600 additional places in nurse bridging programmes at three Alberta institutions.
British Columbia: The province of British Columbia is now subsidising the application and assessment expenses for IENs, which may cost more than $3,700. In addition, BC will pay up to $4,000 per person for evaluations and qualified travel costs for nurses returning to practise after a hiatus.
Manitoba: In November 2022, Manitoba unveiled its Health Human Resource Action Plan. The administration also pledged to hire 2,000 more healthcare providers, invest $200 million in retaining, training, and recruiting healthcare workers across the province, and remove compulsory overtime.
Nova Scotia: A $10,000 bonus will be given to nurses in Nova Scotia as part of the province’s appreciation program, announced Premier Tim Houston on March 20. Those who sign a two-year return of service agreement before the end of March 2024 will be eligible for a $10,000 bonus the following year.
Ontario: The Ontario Ministry of Health, the College of Nurses in Ontario, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario implemented many modifications in October 2022, including:
- Incorporating a temporary class into nursing education and allowing global nurses to begin working sooner, while they pursue full registration;
- Making it simpler for non-practicing or retired nurses to return to the profession by removing the need that they have practised nursing within a specified time period before seeking for reinstatement.
How to become a Nurse in Canada’s provisions?
There are numerous programmes expressly designed for healthcare professionals among Canada’s nearly 100 economic immigration programmes. Nurses may be able to apply for Express Entry programmes like the Federal Skilled Worker Programme or the Canadian Experience Class.
Another common route for nurses is the Provincial Nominee Programme (PNP). The PNP lets provinces choose qualified immigration applicants who they believe would have the highest potential of becoming economically established in a province and filling labour force shortfalls. Read more about details in our previous blogs.