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Nurses from Philippines to get more opportunities in Canada


Well, it’s not new for us Filipinos to hear news about countries opening up their doors to a vast number of foreign workers to aid their immediate demands for a healthy and stable work force. We have seen most of our kababayans come and go to these countries taking the opportunity to provide for their own families and secure a bright future even though they are thousands of miles away, and now another door has opened. Canada, which is considered one of the top destinations for immigration of most Filipinos, is now under crisis regarding their shortage of nurses.

Back in 2015, the supply of nurses in Canada has declined for the first time in 20 years. In fact, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) found that more nurses left the profession than entered it in 2014 (15,836 in one year in Ontario alone) which totals to about 0.3 percent decrease from the past year, 2013. Now, the whole country is feeling the shortage and is in urgent motion to keep things under control. An estimated number of 60,000 nurses will be needed by 2022 to fill the labor shortage as per the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) assessment, but with the average age of employed nurses rising from 42.7 in 2000 to 44.6 in 2010 and 55 and older in 2017, the age where most RNs take the route to early retirement, Canada is most likely going to lose half of its nursing workforce to retirement in a span of two to four years.

Tony Burke, vice president of the OMNI College of Nursing said on the sidelines of the first Canada Nursing Expo in Cebu City said, “The Canadian government has called the ongoing nursing shortage a crisis.”

The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) has predicted that Canada would be in need of at least 60,000 nurses by 2020 to fill the labor shortage

Burke also reported that to aid the dilemma that is happening, each of Canada’s ten provinces are now projecting to open some 2,000 to 4,000 nursing jobs in the next couple of years to address the labor shortage. He also said that Canada’s aging population requires more nurses to take care of the elderly, as backed by the job-indexing site, who also said that an aging population not just in Canada but across much of the world is behind the growing demands of nurses. Canadian universities just can’t produce Canadian-trained nurses as fast as they need them.

“We’ve seen the growth in the number of nursing graduates slow down, so it’s just under 1 per cent now. This is after five years where growth was between 6 and 12 per cent,” Ms. Andrea Porter-Chapman, CIHI’s manager of health work force information said.

The best and most effective way to address this gap is to hire internationally educated nurses such as those from the Philippines and train them under Canadian standards. Fortunately, the Philippines produces around 200,000 nursing graduates annually according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) but be that as it may, only 2,500 among those 200,000 nurses would likely find a nursing job that awaits them across the country. Because of this, most of them are forced to work abroad or stay in the Philippines but work in unrelated fields while waiting for a job vacancy.

However, other countries such as Canada do not recognize nursing education in the Philippines and, therefore, would imply that Filipino nurses in Canada are technically not nurses unless they acquire a Canadian nursing license.

In fact, the Philippines is OMNI’s second top market (almost tied with India) when it comes to helping nurses train to gain Canadian experience in the nursing field; but the Filipino’s ability to adjust and adapt and even succeed wherever they go is what sets us apart from all others. “Filipinos, anywhere they go, they make it and they’re successful. Filipino nurses and Indian nurses both have really good training and experience, but adapting is the biggest difference,” added Tony Burke.

Disclaimer: is not in any way connected with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)), nor are immigration consultants by profession or agency any information or news shared on this site are gathered from updates from various resources.


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