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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. This announcement was made by the French-language media, Radio-Canada.

According to the announcement, recruitment sessions will be conducted in France and Belgium over the next few months in order to “bring at least 1,700 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 not the only province 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 health care 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 health care sector could be largely attributed to immigration disruptions resulting from travel restrictions on account of the pandemic, with immigrants playing a major role in this sector, according to the Survey.

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

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 this field 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 eligibility requirements of the program. 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 is 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 and are designed to welcome skilled workers with experience in occupation for which there is a demand in the province.

Canadian provinces regularly conducts their own 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 guaranteed 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 Canadian permanent residence. Applicants who wish to immigrate as Quebec Skilled Workers must genuinely intend to settle in the Quebec province.