Special thanks to Salley O’Neil who kindly offered to share her advice and experiences to help others. Hopefully her insight into nursing work in Vancouver will be of great benefit to those planning their trip.
Note: This article is written for Vancouver, British Columbia, but the advice is applicable to all provinces in Canada.
When arranging a move to Canada to work in nursing, the most important thing is to not leave your country without first arranging your accreditation in Canada. Time differences and trying to contact people over email is not easy. Forms from Ireland that can take weeks to be completed while over here in Canada may only take days when you’re in Ireland. Forms have to be sent directly from the institution. Therefore once you have made your mind up to immigrate, applying for your registration is just as important as applying for your visa.
While waiting for registration if you happen to be in Canada:
There is an abundance of live-in caregiver work, but if that isn’t for you then it’s tough to get work in the health care field. The main employment agency in Vancouver is Coastal Health, so I thought that would be my best bet to get a caregiver position while waiting. But things are so different over here. For a caregiver position in Vancouver you are required to have qualifications that are recognised in Canada and most (including Irish) foreign nursing registration is not recognised. Nursing Homes, Day Centres and Hospitals (public and private) will not take you on as a care attendant at all. Therefore, live-in care giver positions are your best bet and can be found on Craigslist.
A summary of the forms required:
Other useful links:
A private organisation that offers door-to-door home help. They’re always interested in internationally-trained nurses to begin at care giving and then possibly move up through the ranks once registration is obtained. This organization does not require a caregiver qualification from BC. It recognizes many international qualifications.
Similar to the above link. For both organizations you require a copy of your police certificate, so obtain an additional copy when applying for your visa.