Foreign-trained nurses suffer in Canada
Seven years ago, when Arlyn Chow moved to Canada from Philippines, she dreamt of working as a nurse here, as she had been working since four years back home.
While she was dreaming of all this, no one ever told her that she will be required to go through an 18-month program at Mohawk College, which required her to take a loan and work part time. Remembering it, she said that if she knew it, it would have been helpful.
Anyways, she is one of the lucky ones to work in her chosen field as a surgical nurse at St. Joseph’s Healthcare. Most of the foreign-trained nurses are actually working at lower paid jobs, such as personal support workers.
A study conducted by McMaster University’s Nursing Health Services Research Unit revealed that there is a ‘brain waste’ of immigrant nurses who are coming to Canada. The study showed that although Canada faces a serious shortage in nursing, there are not enough measures taken to recruit and retrain internationally educated nurses or IENs.
Dr. Andrea Baumann, associate vice-president, faculty of health sciences, international health, and was also a part of the study, said that if nothing is done then there is going to be a big trouble. She said that more information needs to be provided to international nurses during the immigration process so that they can be prepared for everything.
Baumann said that new foreign trained nurses also need support around cultural diversity and mentoring programs.