The Canadian province of British Columbia is planning to spend $12 million for recruiting foreign-trained nurses. The amount will be spent in such a way that it would be easier and cheaper for these nurses to have their credentials recognized in Canada. As part of these efforts, a new marketing campaign would be launched to promote British Columbia as the best career destination for nurses. A new website that would provide information on various supports for nurses would also be launched to share information on the support services available for foreign nurses who want to work in British Columbia.
Financial assistance for credential assessment of Nurses
The amount set aside for the purpose includes $9 million in bursaries for helping foreign-trained nurses pay assessment fees for getting their credentials assessed in Canada. This step is expected to benefit around 1500 nurses in the first year itself. The remaining amount, which would be around $3 million, would be spent on consolidating the province-based assessment processes for foreign-turned nurses and for creating nurse navigator positions to help foreign nurses navigate the assessment and licensing process in Canada.
The complex and expensive system of credential assessment was one of the major reasons that prevented foreign trained nurses from seeking employment in British Columbia. However, the latest initiative of the government to provide bursaries for foreign-trained nurses will offset the cost of assessment services, language testing, skill evaluation as well as educational upgrading. These bursaries would range from $1,500 to $16,000. Besides, the nurse navigators would help these nurses navigate various testing and assessments required to practice as a nurse in British Columbia.
High demand for nurses in British Columbia
British Columbia has been facing a severe shortage of nurses even before the onset of the pandemic. The pandemic situation has made the situation worse and a survey report released last year, which was titled ‘The Future Of Nursing In BC: Impacts Of The COVID-19 Pandemic And The Nursing Shortage In British Columbia’ found that more than a third of nurses in British Columbia would be leaving their profession in the next two years as an impact of the stress caused to them by the excess work during the pandemic.
Immigration programs for nurses
The foreign-trained nurses having required eligibilities may move to British Columbia with a Permanent Residence status through any of the federal or provincial immigration programs, mainly the Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Programs and the Skilled Worker Program in Quebec. Under the Express Entry system, the nurses would qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program if they have a high Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. They can also come to Canada through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, if they are able to score at least 50 in the selection grid of the province. Nurses can also get PR status through the Provincial Nominee Programs of various provinces and territories.
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