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Quebec Turns To Foreign-trained Nurses To Fill Shortages

The Quebec health network is looking to fill its current shortage of nurses by recruiting overseas. The French-language media, Radio-Canada, made this announcement. According to the announcement, recruitment sessions will be conducted in France and Belgium over the next few months to “bring at least 1,700 foreign-trained nurses and more than 200 orderlies to Quebec.”

Although the shortage of nurses is not new to Quebec, the COVID-19 pandemic would have made it worse due to people retiring early in the profession or leaving it.

As a result, the number of foreign-trained nurses being recruited from abroad is five times bigger than it was two years ago, according to Radio-Canada.

Quebec is one of many provinces facing a scarcity of nurses. For several weeks now, Canadian provinces have been warning of the severity of the situation, which predates the COVID-19 pandemic era but has been exacerbated by it.

According to the Globe and Mail, nursing job vacancies have increased by almost fifty (50) percent in the past year, particularly in intensive care and emergency units.

Recent Statistics Canada data on job postings shows a further indication of a trend toward increasing employment in the healthcare sector.

In Nov. 2020, the vacancy rate in the Health Care sector was higher than in any other sector and accounted for over one-fifth of all job vacancies, according to the January Labour Force Survey.

The high level of job vacancies in the healthcare sector could be largely attributed to immigration disruptions resulting from travel restrictions because of the pandemic, with immigrants playing a major role in this sector, according to the Survey.

In January, the Survey found that forty-one (41) percent of nurse aides and orderlies and forty-three (43) percent of medical specialists were immigrants.

How To immigrate to Canada as a nurse?

To acquire a job as a nurse in Canada, you must prove that you are eligible at the same level as a qualified person working in Canada.

Therefore, the process may involve having your credentials evaluated, reviewing your previous work experience, and finally, demonstrating that you are able to meet Canada’s licensing requirements.

Nurses can move to Canada as skilled workers via one of the federal or provincial economic immigration streams.

As a foreign nurse, you may be qualified for Express Entry under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), provided you meet the program’s eligibility requirements. First, you must lodge a profile to a pool of applicants, following which you will receive a Comprehensive Ranking System score based on factors such as age, work experience, education, age, and language skills.

The highest-ranking candidates are picked from the pool on a regular basis and receive an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

There are no charges for entering the Express Entry pool, and the standard of processing, once you get an Invitation To Apply, is about six months.

Another possible immigration pathway for nurses is the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Almost every province and territory in Canada administer a PNP to attract skilled workers from around the world and help strengthen their domestic economies.

Most of the PNP immigration streams are therefore created to address skill shortages in the province. In addition, they are designed to welcome skilled workers with experience in the occupation for which there is a demand in the province.

Canadian provinces regularly conduct their regular draws, and, as was recently the case with Nova Scotia province, they may target specific occupations such as nursing.

Getting a provincial nomination and already having a valid profile in the Express Entry pool will earn you an extra 600 CRS points and essentially guarantee that you will be invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

Nurses who wish to settle in the French-speaking Quebec province can also apply to immigrate via the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QWP).

Successful candidates under this program are also granted permanent Canadian residence. Applicants who wish to immigrate as Quebec Skilled Workers must genuinely intend to settle in the Quebec province.


In conclusion, Quebec is turning to foreign-trained nurses to fill their shortages. These nurses have a wealth of experience and knowledge that can help improve patient care. This move is a creative way to address the problem and should be encouraged.

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