Canada experiences an increase in the number of internationally trained nurses seeking employment opportunities
Canada’s provinces are making it easier for internationally trained nurses to work in the country by shortening registration and licensure processes. Atlantic Canada’s Nova Scotia College of Nursing (NSCN) has introduced an expedited process for applicants from seven designated countries: the Philippines, India, Nigeria, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.
The new process reduces the processing time for nurses licensed in other parts of Canada from five days to just one and for internationally trained nurses from the designated countries from months to a few weeks. The NSCN received over 8,800 new applications through the new process just one week after its launch on May 1, 2023.
As stated by NSCN CEO Sue Smith, “I am pleased to share what is truly a first-in-the-country approach to licensing international and Canadian nurses in Nova Scotia.”
“The new approach is in line with the new goals of healthcare partners and will reduce licensing time significantly, enhance nurse licensure, and decrease administrative needs. For nurses who want to work in our province, the application process is more secure and more rapid which is good news for all Nova Scotians.”
The COVID-19 pandemic, according to Michelle Thompson, minister of health for the province, made the need for a faster process evident.
“The province needs more nurses, and we need to make it simpler for nurses who want to move here and start new lives to quickly start working, she said.”
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Canada is actively recruiting internationally trained nurses and other healthcare professionals
Healthcare authorities recruited overseas to address a severe labor shortage last year, resulting in increased immigration from internationally-trained nurses, orderlies, and other healthcare workers.
According to the latest data, 2,595 new permanent residents came to fill healthcare openings through the Express Entry system last year, up 28.1% from 2,025 the previous year.
Last year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) made nurse aides and orderlies eligible for the Express Entry Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, as demand was very high for these highly-skilled workers.
The following job titles and occupational codes are included in Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 system of identifying occupations:
- nurse aide or orderly – (NOC) 33102
- medical chemist – (NOC) 21101
- medical archivist – (NOC) 12111
- medical examiner – (NOC) 41310
- medical secretary – (NOC) 13112
- medical biochemist – (NOC) 21101
- medical physicist – (NOC) 21100
- health care assistant – (NOC) 33102
- medical laboratory assistants and related technical occupations – (NOC) 33101
- other assisting occupations in support of health services – (NOC) 33109
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