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How to be a nurse in Canada

Posted on October 17, 2011 | 1 Comment on How to be a nurse in Canada

With the aging baby boom generation, the demand for health and medical care service had considerably increased in the last two decades amidst the continued relative world peace that modern society had experienced. Canada is among the many nations, who is experiencing this demand for health care services to an extent that it requires outsourcing the needed manpower overseas. Registered nurses from the Philippines are among the best nurses that address this deficiency in Canada to provide healthcare services.

For a nurse aspiring to be work overseas in Canada, one of the primary requirements is that he/ she must be a licensed nurse in the Philippines. In other words, a nursing degree does not suffice. One should be able to pass the nursing licensure exam and be a registered nurse in the Philippines first. Second, the Filipino registered nurse also needs to pass the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE) in order to be allowed to practice the profession in the Canada.

The Canadian Registered Nurse Examination is a essentially a test developed and maintained by the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) in coordination with the provincial and territorial nursing regulatory authorities, that administer and facilitate the exam in a particular state, province or their specific area of jurisdiction. Thus, registration of nurses or the obtaining of license is on the provincial level depending on the specific province or territory where one intends to work. Moreover, this CRNE requirement does not apply in Quebec, which sets its own examination.

This CRNE principally consists of a multiple choice exam that included independent and case-based questions that gauges a particular skill or competency expected of nurses. The test which last for around 4 hours is used by the government to certify that all entering registered nurses in Canada meet an acceptable standard of competence and expertise before they begin to practice. The test not only help standardize the level of competence of overseas nurse but more importantly ensures the Canadian public that they shall be given the quality health care service that they demand and require even by foreign nurses.

Communication is important in the practice of any profession. In the case of Canada, a Filipino nurses may be, as often the case, required to take an English language proficiency test to become a licensed nurse in Canada. Aside from English, French is also a common vernacular in Canada hence a French communication skills would also be an advantage. In certain Canadian provinces, the CRNE may be written in French.

Finally, since working as a nurse in Canada is apparently an overseas work, one is therefore required to secure the standard regulatory legal documents that a person needs to work abroad. This includes the passport and the working visa.

Working as a nurse in Canada is definitely a rewarding career. Most often, nursing professions are furthered classified into three distinct groups such as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Registered Nurses (RNs) and Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPNs). Each cluster of nurse has a certain specialization. The RPNs for instance specialized on mental health patients. It is therefore important to decide in advance which type of nurse one wants to be so that one can specialize and review the specific expertise required for such nursing group.


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  1. Florence Patrocinio Reply

    What if you have only less than 2 years of experience in a hospital, is their any chances than you can still work there?

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