Working in Toronto

Old Aug 30th 2004, 4:31 pm
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Hi everyone, I have been working over here for almost a year now on the medical surgical intensive care unit in one of the large downtown hospitals.

If anyone has any questions about working over here I am happy to answer. The hospital is recruiting nurses from the UK, you come over on a temporary registration then sit the Canadian exam (multiple choice) within a year. They pay relocation expenses up to $5000 which goes a long way towards transporting all your stuff and air fares, or they will put you up for a few weeks while you find your feet.

I came over with my husband and children, so it isn't only for singles. There are only certain areas they are allowed to recruit in, not sure what it is now but it used to be ICU, theatres, A&E, psych and maternity.

Next year all nurses will have to have a degree to be eligible for registration, so if you haven't got one and are thinking of coming over you need to make the move now.
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Old Aug 31st 2004, 3:15 pm
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Gail do you know where we can find the shortage areas for nursing currently.

My wife has 7 years experience of ICU (Ward manager) and also 2 years experience of Infection Control (Current position).

We're waiting for Meds having only just recieved AOR so a long wait.

You mention all nurses will be required to have a degree. From what date and does this mean she will not be able to practice at all with the two diplomas of HE aquired in the UK

Thanks in advance.
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Old Aug 31st 2004, 7:21 pm
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If you come over as a permanent resident you can work in any area, but if you come over on a work permit you will only get HRDC approval to work in an area where there is a shortage. ICU's are always short, but she would have to go back to being a staff nurse (I was also a sister, but to be honest I now get paid more with less hassle so don't mind !!!). She would probably find it hard to get a job in infection control as there is a lot of competition.

Depending on the province you are aiming for the requirements are changing from 1st January 2005. Ontario will only register nurses with degrees, the Diplomas will not be acceptable, though in the last newsletter they were extending the deadline in certain cases. All the information should be on the College of Nurses website for whichever province you are heading for as not all of them are changing yet (the ontario website is www.cno.org) - but ultimately they want an all degree profession. Once you are registered it doesn't matter if you don't have a degree - mine is in management and to be honest was a lot more useful when I was a sister than a nursing one would ever be!! Hospitals over here seem to be pretty good at helping nurses to get their degree, most will reimburse the cost.

Where are you hoping to move to? I hope everything works out, it is not as strightforward to get registered over here as many people think it will be. If you have any further questions don't hesitate to ask.

If you have only just got the AOR she will probably have time to do the degree before everything else comes through. Otherwise you need to think about coming over on a work permit and will have to move quick as it takes ages to get all the nursing stuff verified with the different colleges - they need transcripts, references, verification from the NMC.
[
QUOTE=jon254]Gail do you know where we can find the shortage areas for nursing currently.

My wife has 7 years experience of ICU (Ward manager) and also 2 years experience of Infection Control (Current position).

We're waiting for Meds having only just recieved AOR so a long wait.

You mention all nurses will be required to have a degree. From what date and does this mean she will not be able to practice at all with the two diplomas of HE aquired in the UK

Thanks in advance. [/QUOTE]
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Old Sep 2nd 2004, 1:33 pm
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Hi Gail. Thanks for that. Amanda is going to go for the degree whilst we wait for PR to come through.

It's usfull to know that ICU jobs are available, will help pay the bills when we get there.

Just a couple of other questions: How long did it take for the registration process to be completed from submission of paperwork and transcripts?
Whats the examination like, and are their any good books you'd recommend to help pass?

You mentioned it is not as straight forward as some people think to get registered. Could you elaborate.

I have cousins near Windsor, ON so we're hoping to relocate there. Not the prettiest part of Canada, but it's important that we have family nearby in those early days. In truth with Amherstburg and point pelee I think it's quite nice down there but so many people see it as a flat and dull place.

How come you chose Ajax? Was it your first choice, and where did you move from? Answers to these are optional of course.

Thanks again, and in advance
Jon
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Old Sep 2nd 2004, 1:46 pm
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Hi Gail

There is a nurse on my ward from the Phillipines, she would like to go out and work in Canada as her sister is working as a physio there. Would you be able to give me any info for her, would she be entitled to go over on the temporary visa?

From Katie
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Old Sep 2nd 2004, 6:43 pm
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If you are waiting for your PR to come through before coming over there will probably be more choice of jobs for Amanda as she won't be restricted to areas where there are shortages. It could be a good idea to contact the nurse recruiter in Windsor and ask about the job situation as in some of the smaller places it can be difficult to get a job. A lot of our staff travel very long distances as they have not been able to get jobs in the smaller hospitals where they live - they are literally waiting for people to die or retire !!!! Our local hospital only take casual staff at first, then they may offer part-time and eventually full-time - not ideal if you need to start earning some money. Casual and part-time staff don't get benefits, so it is a lot cheaper for the hospital - that's ok if your partner gets benefits with their job, but you are pretty stuck if they don't.

We moved from Leeds last October. I have relatives in Whitby, one is a real estate agent and she found us the house to rent in Ajax for 6 months. So we didn't really choose Ajax as such, but it was a reasonable commute and the public transport ran at the right times so I could get to work - one of the things you always have to consider when you work shifts. We also didn't really want to live in a city centre apartment, and we brought all our furniture so needed a house with plenty of room in it !!!

When we were looking for a house to buy we looked at a few places as we weren't keen on the part of ajax where we were renting. We preferred to stay at the East side of Toronto as my husband is working for a driving agency based in Whitby, plus the GO trains run at better times for my shifts from the East - I would spend a lot more time in the GO station if I lived to the West of the city and wasn't on a TTC route. You get more house for the money the further out you go so that was also a consideration. We went to lots of open houses and spoke to the estate agents about all the different areas, then we were able to narrow it down to where we wanted to be. We live now in a part of Ajax called Pickering Village, it is on the border of Ajax and Pickering and is regarded as a very desirable place to live - I must admit that we wouldn't have been able to afford to live in a comparable area in England.

How long the registration process takes depends on how quickly references are received. If you contact the College of Nurses of Ontario they will send a pack with all the necessary forms. I think it took about 3 months for them to declare that I was eligible for registration!!! We were further delayed as the hospital had to find out about the OHIP cover for my husband and children as the health department said they wouldn't be covered - eventually we were able to sort it out. Then I had to apply for the work permit and have a medical, I also applied for a 3-year career break in case it all didn't work out, and finally we put the house up for sale and came over !!!

Registration was harder in the end as the hospital had messed up and not sent my details to the College. Then the form saying I had worked so many hours in the previous year had expired, but they didn't make it clear on all the paperwork that there was a limit, so I had to get my employer in Leeds to resubmit it. They then had to reassess everything and there had been a new rule regarding work permits, so they had to have a special meeting to change the new rule as they hadn't realised it penalised foreign workers. So I was over here for about 6 weeks before I was able to work on the ICU - luckily because it was the hospitals fault they had to give me an easy clerical job and pay me as a nurse until it was all sorted out.

The exam is all multiple choice, you sit 2 3-hour papers in one day with hundreds of other people (depending on your exam centre). The questions are biased towards health promotion and psychology, some of them are really stupid and you could argue which is the correct answer. You also get some scenarios with a few multiple choice questions about it. If you go to amazon.ca you can order the book from the Canadian Nurses Association - it is the RN preparation guide and it gives examples of the questions and there is a CD so you can test yourself. Some people also look at the NCLX books but the Canadian exam is a lot easier. When you apply to register the College sends a list of recommended books. I just used the prep guide and a general nursing textbook as I had been qualified for so long I had forgotten all the psyche and midwifery stuff.

Hope this answers some of your questions
Gail



Originally Posted by jon254
Hi Gail. Thanks for that. Amanda is going to go for the degree whilst we wait for PR to come through.

It's usfull to know that ICU jobs are available, will help pay the bills when we get there.

Just a couple of other questions: How long did it take for the registration process to be completed from submission of paperwork and transcripts?
Whats the examination like, and are their any good books you'd recommend to help pass?

You mentioned it is not as straight forward as some people think to get registered. Could you elaborate.

I have cousins near Windsor, ON so we're hoping to relocate there. Not the prettiest part of Canada, but it's important that we have family nearby in those early days. In truth with Amherstburg and point pelee I think it's quite nice down there but so many people see it as a flat and dull place.

How come you chose Ajax? Was it your first choice, and where did you move from? Answers to these are optional of course.

Thanks again, and in advance
Jon
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Old Sep 3rd 2004, 7:41 pm
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Default Re: Working in Toronto

Hi Gail
Thank you for all your help. You have obviously spent some time when answering the questions posed by my husband on my behalf.

It's a small world, I did all my nurse training in Sheffield then moved to Manchester where I was introduced to my repribate of a husband. It's because of him that we are setting out on this big adventure :scared:

This is my first time using a newsgroup. Jon is the IT wiz but I have been kept upto date with your conversations and felt I should thank you myself.

I have contacted OCN to find out if I can register without citizenship, PR, or job offer and await their reply. If it is ok with you I would like to keep in touch just in case I have any more questions.

Once again many thanks
Amanda
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Old Sep 4th 2004, 2:17 pm
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Hi Katie

the nurse on your ward would probably be entitled to a work visa over here, we have a lot of staff from the Phillipines working in the hospitals. Depending on the province her sister is working in she needs to contact the appropriate college of nurses. If it is ontario it is www.cno.org if it is a different province she should be able to find the relevant website on one of the search engines. As I said before, she will need a degree to work in Ontario from January.

Gail


Originally Posted by KatieStar
Hi Gail

There is a nurse on my ward from the Phillipines, she would like to go out and work in Canada as her sister is working as a physio there. Would you be able to give me any info for her, would she be entitled to go over on the temporary visa?

From Katie
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Old Sep 4th 2004, 2:21 pm
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Hi Amanda

As the Canadians say "you're welcome" for the information !!! Feel free to contact me and ask any questions, I will try to answer !!! It is a big adjustment so every bit of information helps. Another useful nursing site is www.allnurses.com as they have a forum on Canadian nursing as well as forums for different specialities.

Gail





Originally Posted by jon254
Hi Gail
Thank you for all your help. You have obviously spent some time when answering the questions posed by my husband on my behalf.

It's a small world, I did all my nurse training in Sheffield then moved to Manchester where I was introduced to my repribate of a husband. It's because of him that we are setting out on this big adventure :scared:

This is my first time using a newsgroup. Jon is the IT wiz but I have been kept upto date with your conversations and felt I should thank you myself.

I have contacted OCN to find out if I can register without citizenship, PR, or job offer and await their reply. If it is ok with you I would like to keep in touch just in case I have any more questions.

Once again many thanks
Amanda
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Old Sep 11th 2004, 6:57 pm
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Default Re: Working in Toronto

Thanks Gail for your reply it is Toronto that her sister is working in. I will do a search online. Thanks again.

From Katie
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Old Oct 5th 2004, 8:47 pm
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Default Re: Working in Toronto

hi gail,

I was passed on your name by jon254 as he said you have been a great help to him and amanda....
I've posted my thread 'paeds in canada'.... and have come to a sticky spot!!!!!

My wife is an A&E paeds nurse in Cardiff UHW.. although she has done some adult training during her diploma she specialised in paeds and has been working there for 2 years. So she is an RSCN not RGN which is the problem.
The only solution we can come up with is if she does a conversion course but I don't think the hospital will allow it.

Is there some way which she could get a job in Canada(anywhere really) with just a paeds qualification or until she does a conversion course in Canada..

We have tried contacting different provinces but few have replied, those who have say you must be a general nurse to apply.

thanks for your help

aaron&amanda
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Old Oct 5th 2004, 9:44 pm
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Hi my husband and I are interested in emigrating to ontario. been on holiday there and loved it. I am a community cardiac nurse (G grade) with a nurse prescribing qualification and degree. I have 6 years ITU experience and am prepared that I may have to go back to this if we were successful in going to canada to live. Could I ask if anyone knows of a reputable agency or to give advice on the best way of going about emigrating. would we be better to apply for permant residency and if so would this enable me to work in any area of nursing. Being permanent resident, would I still need transcripts of my uk nurse training and still have to sit the canadian exams etc? My husband is a software developer - would anyone know how easy it would be for him to find work? all comments much appreciated.













Originally Posted by Gail
Hi everyone, I have been working over here for almost a year now on the medical surgical intensive care unit in one of the large downtown hospitals.

If anyone has any questions about working over here I am happy to answer. The hospital is recruiting nurses from the UK, you come over on a temporary registration then sit the Canadian exam (multiple choice) within a year. They pay relocation expenses up to $5000 which goes a long way towards transporting all your stuff and air fares, or they will put you up for a few weeks while you find your feet.

I came over with my husband and children, so it isn't only for singles. There are only certain areas they are allowed to recruit in, not sure what it is now but it used to be ICU, theatres, A&E, psych and maternity.

Next year all nurses will have to have a degree to be eligible for registration, so if you haven't got one and are thinking of coming over you need to make the move now.
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Old Oct 16th 2004, 3:07 am
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Hi Aaron and Amanda

Sorry for the delay in replying but we have been very busy with relatives visiting and working etc etc !!!!

Unfortunately there is no such thing over here as an RSCN, which seems a bit strange in comparison to the UK. I have asked around and also know a couple of people who work at Sick Kids in Toronto. All nurses over here are general and can work in paeds without taking any specialist qualification. The College of Nurses of Ontario assess your transcript of training to see if you meet the requirements. They have specific requirements for psychiatric placements and midwifery placements and this is usually where the problem arises for an RSCN. Also the adult portion of the course is very limited and again unlikely to meet their requirements.

All I can suggest is maybe phoning the CNO as they take forever to answer questions by post. If you can actually get past the arrogant people on the switchboard you may be able to get some advice. I know they sometimes just ask for you to get experience in the required areas you are lacking, but this can also be very difficult as your employer is unlikely to pay for you to do a psychiatric placement if you are going to utilise it elsewhere.

I don't know how easy it is nowadays to do a conversion course in the UK from RSCN to RGN as it is usually done the other way round, but it would probably be the easiest way of getting around the problem. Nursing over here is even more bureaucratic than in the UK, I spoke to some of my colleagues who are involved with the degree programmes over here and they thought that you probably would have to start the course from scratch as it is very difficult to verify experience and be awarded credits for particular areas previously covered. A lot of our staff do courses at George Brown College in Toronto, so you could contact them and ask about the feasibility - though it would probably cost a lot more here than doing it in the UK. If Amanda was able to do the degree over here she could get a study permit and you would get an open work permit, but then there is the problem of you being able to get a well enough paid job ..............

Also the fact that everyone registering after January will have to have a degree doesn't help, the diploma will no longer be recognised.

Sorry that I can't give you any better information, if you have any problems getting through to the College get in touch and I will try contact them for you.

Gail
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Old Oct 16th 2004, 3:44 am
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Hi there

Sorry for the delay in replying. I will try to answer your questions but get back to me if you need to know anything else.

Not very many agencies deal with jobs in Canada, the only one I found was Blake Beresford Thomas. One word of warning with the agencies (after speaking to other nurses who used this route) - they tend to place people in hospitals where nobody really wants to work, one colleague ended up in a small rural area where they only provided accommodation for a few weeks and after that they had to fend for themselves. Problem then was that there wasn't any rented accommodation available as it was a family community. In the end they all left the agency, some had to return home and others were lucky enough to secure jobs in downtown Toronto !!!

If you want to get over here quickly it is easier to get a job on a work permit and apply for residency at the same time. You have to work at the hospital stated on the permit but your husband gets an open work permit so can work in any job. It seems to be the route the hospitals prefer as they don't want to keep a job open for the 18 months or more that it will take you to get your residency. This is the route we took, I work with a few other British nurses and they did the same thing.

The downside with the permit is that you have to stick out the job until your residency comes through, once you are a resident you can work wherever you like. At least it gives you the opportunity to get established and you are not wasting 2 years waiting to come over.

The ICU's are desparate for staff and if you have experience it is pretty easy to get a job in certain hospitals - others don't want to know, but if you are prepared to work in the downtown areas you won't have a problem.

Where I work they will pay you and send you on their ICU course if they don't think you have enough experience. If they think you have enough experience you will be mentored for a few weeks until you feel comfortable taking patients. I hadn't done ICU for a few years as I was a sister in Recovery (though we did have pretty ill ventilated patients), but I didn't have any problems with the work over here. A lot depends on where you did your previous ICU, I worked in a regional ICU and to be honest find a lot of the stuff over here a bit tame, the patients are nowhere near as ill as the ones I looked after in England.

I know our nurse recruiter pretty well and they are always on the lookout for experienced staff. If you want to send me a private e-mail on this site I can give you her name. They sort out all the paperwork for you and you also get a $5000 relocation allowance or accommodation for the first few weeks.

It all depends on how much you want to come over here and whether you are willing to wait for residency before coming over. I don't particularly want to stay in ICU but view it as a means to an end and once we have residency I will have more options. Also with your experience you would be at the top of the pay scale $33.75/hour (we are due a pay rise but they are still negotiating). We had a pretty good lifestyle when we were renting and my husband was at home looking after the children, we wouldn't have survived on my wage alone in England - the money goes a lot further over here.

If you don't want to work in Toronto there are lots of other major hospitals that do the same thing - I know someone at Calgary Childrens Hospital and they are always looking for staff. You can always work in Toronto then move elsewhere when your residency comes through, at least you will be getting the "canadian experience" they are all so fond of !!!

As for your question about software developing, can't really give you any help on that one. I know that there are lots of IT people that can't find work, especially if they are from another country - many people from overseas are having to take different jobs and it is pretty difficult. Agencies and companies don't want to know until you are actually over her. My husband did a couple of courses with the government jobseeking dept which was helpful, they cover CV's, interviews etc as it is very different over here. He fancied a change of career but has ended up back as a truck driver as at the moment there are too many canadians wanting the "white collar" jobs and they get priority over those on a work permit/new immigrants. But you never know, he may be lucky - one of my colleagues husbands has just got a job in human resources with the Government and they are still only on work permits. Again, it boils down to how flexible he is regarding jobs.

Good luck and get in touch if you want any more info
Gail
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Old Oct 16th 2004, 9:40 am
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Hi Gail
Thanks for you very comprehensive and honest advice and it all sounds very tempting. Only have a few questions. How long does the temporary work visa last for? What would happen if accidents happended (as they can do!) and e.g. I got pregnant, would there be maternity leave etc? My husband and I are extremely interested and if I were to send my details to you for you to take to your hospital manager, how would I get in contact with you privately?

Originally Posted by Gail
Hi there

Sorry for the delay in replying. I will try to answer your questions but get back to me if you need to know anything else.

Not very many agencies deal with jobs in Canada, the only one I found was Blake Beresford Thomas. One word of warning with the agencies (after speaking to other nurses who used this route) - they tend to place people in hospitals where nobody really wants to work, one colleague ended up in a small rural area where they only provided accommodation for a few weeks and after that they had to fend for themselves. Problem then was that there wasn't any rented accommodation available as it was a family community. In the end they all left the agency, some had to return home and others were lucky enough to secure jobs in downtown Toronto !!!

If you want to get over here quickly it is easier to get a job on a work permit and apply for residency at the same time. You have to work at the hospital stated on the permit but your husband gets an open work permit so can work in any job. It seems to be the route the hospitals prefer as they don't want to keep a job open for the 18 months or more that it will take you to get your residency. This is the route we took, I work with a few other British nurses and they did the same thing.

The downside with the permit is that you have to stick out the job until your residency comes through, once you are a resident you can work wherever you like. At least it gives you the opportunity to get established and you are not wasting 2 years waiting to come over.

The ICU's are desparate for staff and if you have experience it is pretty easy to get a job in certain hospitals - others don't want to know, but if you are prepared to work in the downtown areas you won't have a problem.

Where I work they will pay you and send you on their ICU course if they don't think you have enough experience. If they think you have enough experience you will be mentored for a few weeks until you feel comfortable taking patients. I hadn't done ICU for a few years as I was a sister in Recovery (though we did have pretty ill ventilated patients), but I didn't have any problems with the work over here. A lot depends on where you did your previous ICU, I worked in a regional ICU and to be honest find a lot of the stuff over here a bit tame, the patients are nowhere near as ill as the ones I looked after in England.

I know our nurse recruiter pretty well and they are always on the lookout for experienced staff. If you want to send me a private e-mail on this site I can give you her name. They sort out all the paperwork for you and you also get a $5000 relocation allowance or accommodation for the first few weeks.

It all depends on how much you want to come over here and whether you are willing to wait for residency before coming over. I don't particularly want to stay in ICU but view it as a means to an end and once we have residency I will have more options. Also with your experience you would be at the top of the pay scale $33.75/hour (we are due a pay rise but they are still negotiating). We had a pretty good lifestyle when we were renting and my husband was at home looking after the children, we wouldn't have survived on my wage alone in England - the money goes a lot further over here.

If you don't want to work in Toronto there are lots of other major hospitals that do the same thing - I know someone at Calgary Childrens Hospital and they are always looking for staff. You can always work in Toronto then move elsewhere when your residency comes through, at least you will be getting the "canadian experience" they are all so fond of !!!

As for your question about software developing, can't really give you any help on that one. I know that there are lots of IT people that can't find work, especially if they are from another country - many people from overseas are having to take different jobs and it is pretty difficult. Agencies and companies don't want to know until you are actually over her. My husband did a couple of courses with the government jobseeking dept which was helpful, they cover CV's, interviews etc as it is very different over here. He fancied a change of career but has ended up back as a truck driver as at the moment there are too many canadians wanting the "white collar" jobs and they get priority over those on a work permit/new immigrants. But you never know, he may be lucky - one of my colleagues husbands has just got a job in human resources with the Government and they are still only on work permits. Again, it boils down to how flexible he is regarding jobs.

Good luck and get in touch if you want any more info
Gail
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