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Obstetric Nurse Ontario

Obstetric Nurse Ontario

Old May 22nd 2015, 8:17 pm
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Default Obstetric Nurse Ontario

Hi All,
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I have been a qualified Midwife in the UK for 7 years and looking to move to Toronto or the surrounding areas over the next couple of years. I am looking for some details on my eligibility for obstetric nursing. I am not a qualified nurse but do have a degree in midwifery, with honours and have numerous qualifications on top of this. Will my lack of nursing qualification prevent me from getting a job as an obstetric nurse? Thank you.
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Old May 22nd 2015, 11:21 pm
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Default Re: Obstetric Nurse Ontario

There are many nurses and some midwives (I think) here who will be able to share their experiences in making the transition.

As an observer, I'd say it's possible but not easy.

HTH and welcome.

Last edited by christmasoompa; May 22nd 2015 at 11:29 pm. Reason: Comment about above poster removed
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Old May 23rd 2015, 3:56 am
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Default Re: Obstetric Nurse Ontario

Hi and welcome...

So I'm a Diploma trained nurse living in Ontario... Going through qualification. My experience of midwives is from my recent third baby and it is a very different set up from the UK. Midwifery and the way wards are staffed are very different. Midwifery is a relatively new profession (10 yrs) and although are allowed hospital rights in SOME hospitals, they do not make up staff on obstetric wards. These are purely staffed by Registered Nurses. Midwives allowed hospital rights are allowed to deliver babies in hospital rather than solely in the community. The hospital I delivered at allowed midwives and that's who I had but it wasn't a very harmonious relationship between them and the clinicians. They seem at odds with each other rather than working together as you would be used to in the UK and certainly the midwives haven't helped their cause in my opinion with some of their advice during my pregnancy/labour and delivery. Talking to one surgeon she felt that their had been some unnecessarily bad outcomes because of midwifery care.

Given that obstetric wards are staffed by RN's I don't think you will be able to work in that capacity, whether or not you could become a midwife here I don't know... You would need to contact the relevant college for midwives to find out how much they accept of British qualifications. Note with nurses, they don't seem to accept much of our training at all. A long assessment process followed by exams, retraining etc etc.

I'm sorry it's not very encouraging... I don't know if other hospitals in Ontario are different and allow midwives to staff their wards but I don't think so.
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Old May 24th 2015, 8:38 pm
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Default Re: Obstetric Nurse Ontario

Thanks for this great advice! Looks like I've got a lot of research to do!
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Old May 25th 2015, 1:29 am
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Default Re: Obstetric Nurse Ontario

Midwifery has always been an "iffy" in Canada .......... it was very much a "hidden profession" for many years, there was no official training just women working privately. Some of those women would have midwifery qualifications from other countries such as the UK, many did not

and yes, there were some absolutely horrendous outcomes leading to the deaths or mothers and / or babies.

I had my daughter 40 years ago when it was the usual practise for the FP to have complete care of the mother right through to delivery of the baby in hospital, going to an obstetrician was the unusual route. It was also the time when a "normal" birth had you staying in hospital for 3-5 days.

The best nurse on the ward was an English trained midwife who opted to work as what was then called an LPN or Licensed Practical Nurse. That allowed her to work with the patients without any of the relentless paperwork that the RNs had to do. I was one of the few patients on the ward at that time period who knew and appreciated just what her training was!

I had almost 10 days experience of her ability as I'd had complications that led to specialists being called in and a cesarean.

I've watched as midwifery has become a much more accepted profession in BC .......... with a Bachelor of Midwifery degree now possible from the University of British Columbia, and possibly elsewhere.

Midwives in this province do work closely with FPs and specialists, and they do not seem to be too much at odds NOW. BC Women's Hospital, the largest maternity hospital in BC, has a Midwifery Department where midwives work in conjunction with RNS and doctors.

Home births also occur in BC with midwives and doulahs, but are not really encouraged ...... if there is any problem the mother has to whipped off to hospital, the doctor does not make house calls.

You might want to explore the possibilities that might be available to you in provinces other than Ontario ............ I do not what what the opportunities are, or whether your qualifications fit the qualifications needed here.

The Midwives Association of British Columbia might be able to give you some advice ......

Midwives Association of British Columbia

but don't be surprised if they suggest you take the Midwifery Program at UBC

Home | Midwifery Program
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Old May 25th 2015, 6:57 am
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Default Re: Obstetric Nurse Ontario

Originally Posted by sammydex View Post
Hi All,
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I have been a qualified Midwife in the UK for 7 years and looking to move to Toronto or the surrounding areas over the next couple of years. I am looking for some details on my eligibility for obstetric nursing. I am not a qualified nurse but do have a degree in midwifery, with honours and have numerous qualifications on top of this. Will my lack of nursing qualification prevent me from getting a job as an obstetric nurse? Thank you.
Hi there and welcome to British Expats.

As the Welcome Inn is for intro and welcome posts only really, I shall move this into the Canada forum for you.

Hopefully you will gain further responses from nurses and midwives who have been or are going through the process so will know about acceptable overseas quals and experience.

Good luck.
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Old May 27th 2015, 7:31 am
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Default Re: Obstetric Nurse Ontario

Hi I worked for 30 years as a Midwife in the UK but unfortunately it counts for very little here in Canada. The University of British Columbia has just started a "fast track" for foreign trained midwives. I did enquire about it but there is nothing fast about it, it is very expensive and you go in right at the bottom of the pile, irrespective of experience. Also hearing about some of the practices it seems very out dated in some areas.
Have you thought about working as a Doula? I know midwives and doulas don't always see eye to eye in the UK but they are very popular over here and people are prepared to pay alot of money!
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Old May 31st 2015, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: Obstetric Nurse Ontario

Originally Posted by Tirytory View Post

So I'm a Diploma trained nurse living in Ontario...

Note with nurses, they don't seem to accept much of our training at all. A long assessment process followed by exams, retraining etc etc.

I'm sorry it's not very encouraging...


Is it really that bad over there?? (Ontario)
In your opinion and experience, (or anyone else reading this) do you think it would be more beneficial for UK trained nurse in securing a job if they have a degree?


There seems to be plenty of jobs advertised on jobsites for RN's, RPN's, new hospitals opening...
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Old May 31st 2015, 5:35 pm
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Default Re: Obstetric Nurse Ontario

Originally Posted by Roberto1980 View Post
Is it really that bad over there?? (Ontario)
In your opinion and experience, (or anyone else reading this) do you think it would be more beneficial for UK trained nurse in securing a job if they have a degree?


There seems to be plenty of jobs advertised on jobsites for RN's, RPN's, new hospitals opening...
I think there are a number of if's ...

If you can get through their (CNO) OSCE assessment and pass the NCLEX..

If you can find a job. Note I live in a small community, nearest major hospital an hour away..

I am hearing that RN's are having trouble getting jobs as the government have figured they cost too much and RPN's are cheaper labour. However, my community hospital only advertises for RN. My word on the ground does come from a nursing professor though (lives opposite me) and the fact that my husband and I socialize with other medics. So there probably is truth in it.

For me the worst part is that the CNO have had all paperwork for well over a year (20 weeks stated assessment time) for RPN which I am over qualified for and I'm about to miss the last exam for a second year. I want to rant at them in my frequent follow up conversations with them but I don't. I was an endoscopy nurse - and had been asked to apply for a Nurse Endoscopist role as we were leaving to come here- and to be without any foreseeable career saddens me. Will a step down to RPN even suit me I don't know...

Of course to temper that... If I had wanted to work I should have applied way sooner than I did so I could hit the ground running in terms of exams, because we were coming on the back of my husbands job and was meant to be temporary we didn't. There are things I would definitely have done differently..
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Old May 31st 2015, 9:13 pm
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Default Re: Obstetric Nurse Ontario

Originally Posted by Tirytory View Post
I think there are a number of if's ...

If you can get through their (CNO) OSCE assessment and pass the NCLEX..

If you can find a job. Note I live in a small community, nearest major hospital an hour away..

I am hearing that RN's are having trouble getting jobs as the government have figured they cost too much and RPN's are cheaper labour. However, my community hospital only advertises for RN.

For me the worst part is that the CNO have had all paperwork for well over a year (20 weeks stated assessment time) for RPN which I am over qualified for

Will a step down to RPN even suit me I don't know...

Of course to temper that... If I had wanted to work I should have applied way sooner than I did so I could hit the ground running in terms of exams, because we were coming on the back of my husbands job and was meant to be temporary we didn't. There are things I would definitely have done differently.
Yeah of course there is always If's.. But if you are applying as an RPN and you are as over qualified as you say, then you shouldn't have any problem getting through CNO assessment?. Or be required to do further training?.. (Why it's taking so long is another matter) So all you will have to do is sit the NCLEX exam and that's the golden ticket to employment.

I'm a little confused as you say you applied to CNO as an RPN as you "were only diploma trained". But you can apply as a RN now, why is that?

You also say you love your job but can't contemplate retraining.. Again why do you think you will have to if you are over qualified ? Have you heard of instances where other uk nurses (with degree/diploma or whatever) that have been required to do so? And would this retraining be so difficult?
May I ask why you didn't apply to CNO prior to moving to canada?

What do you mean above by saying "if I had wanted to work".. Was there a point where you didn't, and now you do?

Not intending this to be a finger pointing exercise, my queries are to clear up any uncertainties I personally have with this whole nursing thing, as my wife is also a nurse

Last edited by Roberto1980; May 31st 2015 at 10:17 pm.
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Old May 31st 2015, 10:25 pm
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Default Re: Obstetric Nurse Ontario

Originally Posted by Roberto1980 View Post
Yeah of course there is always If's.. But if you are applying as an RPN and you are as over qualified as you say, then you shouldn't have any problem getting through CNO assessment?. Or be required to do further training?.. (Why it's taking so long is another matter) So all you will have to do is sit the NCLEX exam and that's the golden ticket to employment.

I'm a little confused as you say you applied to CNO as an RPN as you "were only diploma trained". But you can apply as a RN now, why is that?

You also say you love your job but can't contemplate retraining.. Again why do you think you will have to if you are over qualified ? Have you heard of instances where other uk nurses (with degree/diploma or whatever) that have been required to do so? And would this retraining be so difficult?
May I ask why you didn't apply to CNO prior to moving to canada?

What do you mean above by saying "if I had wanted to work".. Was there a point where you didn't, and now you do?

Not intending this to be a finger pointing exercise, my queries are to clear up any uncertainties I have with this whole nursing thing, as my wife is also a nurse
I know your wife is a nurse, I've asked you questions before about where she is in the process to which you told me that was your wife's department and you wouldn't answer and that it was really none of my business. Oh the irony.....

Still since it is helpful for others to disclose information I will make myself clearer...

A UK trained Diploma nurse is a three university course... Which is what I studied for. An RPN here does a two year course as opposed to the four year degree a RN studies for. So I fall roughly in between the two nurses. Over qualified for RPN so to speak and with 15 years experience to boot but risk having NNAS state my qualification is not enough for RN. So you're right the assessment for RPN should be automatic and I should be allowed to sit the entrance exam. I don't think it's just my application which is taking a long time, I've heard others who are struggling too. I'm not even sure I will like being an RPN given that I was working at a higher level in the UK but felt like that was where my qualifications matched up so that is what I applied for.

I could still ask to be reviewed for RN but with no real guarantee that the process will be successful. I saw something on another forum where a U.S. Nursing degree wasn't deemed acceptable. Like I said NNAS said it can take up to year to assess qualifications, then you are passed over to the provincial body for OSCE assessment. If you manage to pass this without needing to sit more courses, then you can sit the entrance exam for RN which is the NCLEX. I hope you can see why this is discouraging for a well experienced nurse.

We moved over with no permanent plans at all, on my husband's temp work permit and I took a career break. I still have untill June next year before my UK registration requires it's designated hours. Initially we were giving it a year and returning home. Given how hard it is to register and that we had two children at home to settle into a new school/activities etc we decided there was no point applying for me to go through the process. Soon after we arrived in January I decided I needed to keep my options open and applied. Realistically I should have covered my bases sooner, like two years sooner

Btw the retraining was from a different thread, not this one and was suggested by someone else other than me. Probably because retraining altogether would be quicker....added...oh I can see I mentioned retraining in reference to the originals poster op...going from a diploma to a RN here. Hopefully I've explained why it maybe necessary.

I did love my job but I'm not starting again given that it would take 4 years and $40000 to retrain in something I am already trained as. Logistically I couldn't do it with the kids and the distance to a university anyway. There is the potential to do an online RPN to RN course but that will take a few years and again 1000's of dollars to do something I already know how to do. It kinda of sticks in your throat... I might consider it but to be honest I feel like washing my hands of it. Clearly from other threads I'm not the only one who feels like that. Certain provinces are easier than Ontario to register in, but we needed to come to Ontario because of my husbands job as the main income.

And finally when you get to the end of this whole debacle, they operate on a seniority basis with two weeks annual leave until you get to about ten years when you can work your way up to five weeks annual leave which I started on 15 years ago. Even writing it down makes me despair.

Last edited by Tirytory; May 31st 2015 at 11:04 pm.
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Old Jun 1st 2015, 12:23 am
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Default Re: Obstetric Nurse Ontario

Originally Posted by Roberto1980 View Post
Yeah of course there is always If's.. But if you are applying as an RPN and you are as over qualified as you say, then you shouldn't have any problem getting through CNO assessment?. Or be required to do further training?.. (Why it's taking so long is another matter) So all you will have to do is sit the NCLEX exam and that's the golden ticket to employment.
CNO has probably the highest application % of Canada. Also RPN exam is not NCLEX only the RN exam has changed to NCLEX.

Now I think CNO shouldn't take this long even if an International trained nurse but I think you will find all provincial colleges have a long wait just not as long as CNO.
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Old Jun 1st 2015, 9:25 pm
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Default Re: Obstetric Nurse Ontario

Originally Posted by Tirytory View Post
I know your wife is a nurse, I've asked you questions before about where she is in the process to which you told me that was your wife's department and you wouldn't answer and that it was really none of my business. Oh the irony.....


Given how hard it is to register and that we had two children at home to settle into a new school/activities etc we decided there was no point applying for me to go through the process. Soon after we arrived in January I decided I needed to keep my options open and applied. Realistically I should have covered my bases sooner, like two years sooner

oh I can see I mentioned retraining in reference to the originals poster op...going from a diploma to a RN here. Hopefully I've explained why it maybe necessary.

I did love my job but I'm not starting again given that it would take 4 years and $40000 to retrain in something I am already trained as.


'Oh the irony'? Geez...
Well, I don't really have time to go back and check every reply I gave you, but from what I vaguely remember you kept asking me about nursing things I was not fully up to speed with. Still not. Hence me looking into this thread and asking a few questions. And I appreciate your recent info. If I have put your nose out of joint by not getting back to you about my wife's grand plans then my apologies..


I am learning bits as I go (regarding this nursing malarkey). And from what I see, it IS a bit of a joke. But... peoples experiences and circumstances are different. Its not all negative surely? Are there not any success stories for UK nurses on here at all??


I sympathize with what you've had to put up with, as my wife has already wasted money and time on this. It seems you have had a negative experience so far, and you are not slow in mentioning to others/new posters about how difficult it is. But you decided to take a career break. You don't have the degree. You changed your mind and decided to get your documents assessed only when you arrived in Canada. You think RPN duties are beneath you. You live in a small country town with limited job prospects. I'm not trying to be critical, just pointing out it may not be as difficult as you make out for everyone..


But we are going to try and stay positive.
My wife has sent away 'her stuff' to NAAS for assessment. We expect a long(ish) process. We wont be activating our PR until next May (if everything visa related goes to plan) She has the degree. She is willing to do further studies if she is told she is lacking in certain areas. She/we are willing to locate anywhere within reason to where the jobs are. There seems to be job posts (RPN/RN) being advertised in many areas of the GTA.
We'll take it as it comes and see what's thrown at us..
Maybe we'll be the ones sitting at our computers in Ontario years from now, working as a mall cop and floor sweeper at Mcdonalds, dejected with the whole thing. Maybe not..
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Old Jun 1st 2015, 11:25 pm
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Default Re: Obstetric Nurse Ontario

Originally Posted by Roberto1980 View Post
'Oh the irony'? Geez...
Well, I don't really have time to go back and check every reply I gave you, but from what I vaguely remember you kept asking me about nursing things I was not fully up to speed with. Still not. Hence me looking into this thread and asking a few questions. And I appreciate your recent info. If I have put your nose out of joint by not getting back to you about my wife's grand plans then my apologies..


I am learning bits as I go (regarding this nursing malarkey). And from what I see, it IS a bit of a joke. But... peoples experiences and circumstances are different. Its not all negative surely? Are there not any success stories for UK nurses on here at all??


I sympathize with what you've had to put up with, as my wife has already wasted money and time on this. It seems you have had a negative experience so far, and you are not slow in mentioning to others/new posters about how difficult it is. But you decided to take a career break. You don't have the degree. You changed your mind and decided to get your documents assessed only when you arrived in Canada. You think RPN duties are beneath you. You live in a small country town with limited job prospects. I'm not trying to be critical, just pointing out it may not be as difficult as you make out for everyone..


But we are going to try and stay positive.
My wife has sent away 'her stuff' to NAAS for assessment. We expect a long(ish) process. We wont be activating our PR until next May (if everything visa related goes to plan) She has the degree. She is willing to do further studies if she is told she is lacking in certain areas. She/we are willing to locate anywhere within reason to where the jobs are. There seems to be job posts (RPN/RN) being advertised in many areas of the GTA.
We'll take it as it comes and see what's thrown at us..
Maybe we'll be the ones sitting at our computers in Ontario years from now, working as a mall cop and floor sweeper at Mcdonalds, dejected with the whole thing. Maybe not..
Well clearly I wouldn't have mentioned those things if I didn't think anybody could learn from my mistakes... I pointed them out, not you. Success stories seem to come from those who registered a while ago although Silverdragon is working as a nurse but in Nova Scotia. Others have answered from BC again where it's easier than Ontario. Caleo who won't mind me saying is a recent example of a nurse with a Diploma and a degree and years of service who has struggled through the system and lives in a city with several hospitals. Qualified as an RPN but not RN. I don't think there is an any point sugar coating how difficult it is but I usually just point out that's it's hard, expect a long wait and to put some money into it. The post you have taken over was an entirely different scenario so I was just being realistic.

I also want to point out that I in no way think an RPN is beneath me but I do think that it will be frustrating to take a step back in what you are allowed to do and how you practice. Saying I'm over qualified is merely a statement of training differences. I wouldn't have applied for it if I wasn't prepared to give it a crack. You or your wife since that is her department might need to do some reading on the differences between RPN and RN including half the wage- not that matters to me but I am or not as the case may be the second wage in the family and hopefully the RN part will go swimmingly for your wife anyway

Again I expect people to take what I have written and go well I could do that differently and that differently etc etc but you have to have your eyes open and certainly come here with registration under your belt, unless you don't need the income which is my situation. As for the small town thing I'll be ok.. One of the benefits of being married to a doctor who they desperately want to keep.

I don't suppose you will be the mall cleaner...I'm sure nurses can make it through the process. It just appears that for some dammed reason CNO don't want to make it easy. Actually I suspect the reason is or at least we were told in connection with my husbands job that they have lots of immigrants doctors apply to Ontario so they don't need to offer incentives/cut them a break etc etc. It probably applies to nurses also.

Bear in mind with nursing jobs too how it goes in the UK. A job gets advertised to follow protocol but often they have an internal candidate lined up and it's all just a formality. Your wife will probably need to pick up casual work to get herself in the "seniority" line... Again it's not a big problem as such just keep it in mind when you're considering contingency money etc.

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Old Jun 2nd 2015, 7:12 am
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Default Re: Obstetric Nurse Ontario

Originally Posted by Tirytory View Post
Well clearly I wouldn't have mentioned those things if I didn't think anybody could learn from my mistakes... I pointed them out, not you.


The post you have taken over was an entirely different scenario so I was just being realistic.

I also want to point out that I in no way think an RPN is beneath me but I do think that it will be frustrating to take a step back in what you are allowed to do and how you practice. Saying I'm over qualified is merely a statement of training differences. I wouldn't have applied for it if I wasn't prepared to give it a crack. You or your wife since that is her department might need to do some reading on the differences between RPN and RN including half the wage- not that matters to me

Again I expect people to take what I have written and go well I could do that differently and that differently etc etc but you have to have your eyes open and certainly come here with registration under your belt,

I don't suppose you will be the mall cleaner...I'm sure nurses can make it through the process.
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Yes I know you pointed out your problems. Cheers for that. Again from my point of view, I feel your situation has been made a little more awkward / negative than it already is (registration process) by you deciding not to work / register in advance of moving there.
I also think if you love the job as much as you say you do, and you were prepared to take a (possibly temporary) drop in wages and / or duties then I'd say its a no brainer. My wife has read up on, and is aware of both.


You say you're 'going to give it a crack'. Is this still your plan or are you still looking for other 'work ideas'?


Since when was it a crime to ask questions on a thread? ( all relatively topic related by the way). I distinctly remember someone else on the forum pointing out that "threads are like conversations in a pub, they go off track and cant expect it to stay on what you want" - or something along those lines)
Apologies to the OP if I have offended, but maybe they might appreciate just one more opinion on the things.


Yeah others, and myself will take learning points from your posts. And are planning on doing things a little differently. In our case that's been through 'reading' off our own backs and sometimes a little common sense. I find some floating about sometimes.


So yeah, nurses can actually make it through the process. That's more like it lol


Where in Ontario are you if you don't mind me asking? Just so I can judge whether these 'small towns' are definitely a no go for jobs/commuting etc

Last edited by Roberto1980; Jun 2nd 2015 at 7:19 am.
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