In recent years, Canada has recorded a high demand for nurses and it shows no sign of slowing down in the future. The significant thing to be noted here is that industrialized countries like Canada are facing an overall shortage of healthcare workers. In fact, according to a report by the World Health Organization, it is expected that there will be a shortage of around 18 million healthcare workers by the year 2030.
Since nurses form a substantial portion of this predicted shortage, it is estimated that there will be a deficit of around 60,000 nurses in Canada by the next decade. One of the most tangible solutions to this problem is employing International Educated Nurses or IENs within the Canadian healthcare system. These nurses provide a practical solution to overcome the ever-increasing demand for the nursing staff and for this reason, IEN recruitment is becoming increasingly relevant for meeting the healthcare needs of the Canadian population.
The Canadian government realizes the importance and benefits of hiring and integrating IENs in the healthcare workforce of Canada. Therefore, pursuing a nursing study in Canada is a reliable option for any nursing job seeker who aspires to make the most of an accomplished nursing career in the country.
Given the benefits offered to nurses in Canada, it is a highly preferred destination for all the nurses. In this blog, we will look at why IENs should study nursing in Canada?
CULTURALLY COMPETENT HEALTHCARE:
As a country, Canada is known for welcoming multicultural people from across the world. Since the country has one of the most multicultural populations, the government of this country understands the benefits that a culturally diverse healthcare workforce would bring to the country.
The internationally educated nurses come with multilingual and multicultural skills along with the perspectives that are important for imparting culturally competent care. Understanding this fact well enough, different strategies for employing and integrating the IENs are being devised by the healthcare employers in the country.
Employing IENs gives rise to an equal and inclusive work environment while enhancing the care and building community connections. Therefore, healthcare employers in Canada are constantly on the look-out for a culturally competent nursing healthcare workforce. They not only consider new and improved methods of nurse supply, capitalize on the government employment strategy but also collaborate with famous colleges for recruitment of nurses after they complete their nursing study in Canada.
WORKFORCE INTEGRATION PRACTICES:
It is important for the health workforce of any country to keep pace with the multicultural diversity of the population. Canadian healthcare authorities understand that internationally educated nurses are one of the most valuable resources.
For this reason, consistent efforts are being made to introduce employment opportunities that match the skills and qualifications of the IENs. Canada is rigorously making efforts for workforce integration, which is a process by which nurses can enter the healthcare workforce efficiently, easily and with a productive employment option.
This workforce integration includes a full-time employment opportunity, an in-depth preparation for the healthcare practices and a method to adapt to the culture and overall system of healthcare organizations.
Extending to the nursing programs in Toronto, different methods to popularize and align with the processes of workforce integration by training the students accordingly are being followed as well. Hence, all the IENs looking to move to Canada in search of a nursing career can stay rest assured that they are in for multiple lucrative opportunities.
IMPROVED EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS FOR IENs:
Since healthcare in Canada is one of the fastest-growing professional fields, IENs can expect multiple beneficial employment prospects after obtaining a necessary license.
Due to a maximum chunk of the population that is aging in the country, the healthcare sector in Canada is slated to undergo a much better and significant growth in the coming time. There is absolutely no doubt in the fact that job requirements for nurses are going to increase manifold in the coming future.
For this reason, any internationally trained nursing job seeker who wants to make a successful career in Canada must consider the beneficial prospects offered in the country.
EASY TRANSITION INTO THE NURSING MARKET:
Canadian healthcare industry is extensively regulated to protect and follow the public health and safety norms. Due to this, most healthcare occupations require the aspirant to gain a license to practice.
Therefore, IENs are required to meet a similar skill requirement as their counterparts who have been educated in Canada regardless of whether they are experienced in the field or not.
In Canada, the IENs who desire to practice as RNs or as LPNs are required to attain a Canadian license. After attaining an advisory report or completing an evaluation from the NNAS (National Nursing Assessment Service), they must register with their respective provincial regulatory body in order to maintain good standing.
There are special nursing programs in Toronto offered for IENs. These programs are known as the Canadian Graduate certificate programs and specialized nursing programs. These can help the IENs to make an easy transition into the nursing market. The curriculum of these programs is based on training the nurses in necessary skills and competencies that are wanted by the Canadian healthcare employers.
FLEXIBLE CAREER OPTIONS:
IENs also have an option to pursue an alternate career option after moving to Canada while using their professional training and experiences in the best way. If the IENs can successfully make use of their knowledge, competencies and skills for applying to any related or alternative career, then there are many career options to capitalize on.
IENs are trained in particular areas related to record-keeping, managing immediate crisis, partnering with healthcare professionals, managing multiple tasks, keeping with complex healthcare situations, etc. With being trained in these skills, they can choose working as homecare assistants, healthcare interpreters, medical transcriptionists, pharmacy technicians, healthcare writers, community health workers, etc.
COMPREHENSIVE ORIENTATION AND MENTORSHIP:
Many healthcare organizations in Canada offer a three to six months orientation and mentorship program for IENs. For instance; the Department of Health and Community Services implemented an eight-week workplace and community integration strategy framework for IENs.
In this framework, some of the important activities included ongoing coaching, constant support, and a long period of mentorship for assisting the IENs as they transitioned into independent clinical practice.
Some of the prominent Hospitals in Canada also use research and questionnaires for matching mentors and IENs based on their distinct personalities, values, and interests. The main objective of pairing the IENs with mentors is to enhance cultural sensitivity, IEN satisfaction, job retention, etc.
ADDITIONAL LEARNING FOR IENs:
The Canadian healthcare organizations understand the significance of ensuring IEN initiatives included in the targeted training method for the IENs. They make sure that these nurses get proper training so they can adapt to the Canadian environment without any problems.
This additional learning for IENs usually includes a series of workshops that are focused on the system of Canadian healthcare. In addition to helping the nurses gain a better insight, these workshops also enable the IENs to share their personal and professional experiences, build relationships with staff members and discover mutual interests.
In addition to this, the senior management professionals at various hospitals are also required to take compulsory sessions on how to lead a multicultural workforce. On the other hand, the other staff is encouraged to embrace diversity by becoming more open towards IENs, sharing personal journeys with them and helping them learn new things.
COMMITTEES WORKING FOR IENs:
Numerous healthcare organizations in Canada have committees working dedicatedly on factors like culture, equity, and inclusion. The membership of these committees runs organization wise and includes the participation of senior leaders as well.
These committees consist of senior and junior members who are equipped with the important tools, lessons, resources for creating an inclusive, welcoming and respectful environment for the IENs. The good thing is that there are ongoing efforts made by the members of these committees to meet regularly, discuss topics of interests, problems, and challenges that encourage the committee members to welcome culturally diverse workforce.
The strategies are created and aimed at informing the human resources team to examine, organize, train, attract and retain the IENs while creating new and improved programs for them at the same time.
Internationally educated nurses have an extremely important role to play when it comes to tackling the prevailing shortage of healthcare workforce in Canada. With experience, skills and extensive training, the IENs can strike a perfect balance in the healthcare field, filling the shortages of the nurses and enhancing the healthcare community with different backgrounds.
They can choose to opt for some of the widely known nursing programs in Toronto in Colleges like the Niagara College and Seneca College to improve their skill sets, experience, and understanding of the Canadian healthcare system.