I know a lot of them who want to.
Maria (not her real name), for one, has always wanted to continue practice her nursing profession even in Canada. Three years ago, she and her family made this conscious decision to migrate to Manitoba to settle, and for herself, to grow more professionally as a nurse.
But since three years ago or probably four, the eligibility process for Internationally Educated Nurses has become more challenging. The College has required nurses to undergo the Clinical Competency Assessment prior to writing the licensure exam. The additional step has stretched the processing time even longer, as it also involves having to fulfill other time- sensitive requirements again, like the language test. Effective August 12, 2014, The College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba (CRNM) requires new applications to go through NNAS (National Nursing Assessment Service) instead of the IQAS (International Qualifications Assessment Service). With this specific change, there is also another waiting time involved, not to mention the additional cost. In 2015, The CRNE will transition into NCLEX. As of this writing , policies and procedures are still being developed and/or finalized at a national level, hence, a lot of questions and queries are yet unanswered.
Today, Maria is one- step closer to achieving her dream to be a Canadian Nurse. And yes, it often does take long. I know many stories like Maria’s, and I know only a few whose stories are more fortunate than hers. But it still saddens me to know that Maria’s story exists- I did not have to go through this long process when I became a nurse.
I know the government and the Colleges have their own reasons for these changes, but it’s saved for another story. Right now, I hope that this short write-up will reach the Filipino and Filipino-Canadian nurses who are based in Manitoba, and will invite everyone to be conscious of the status quo, especially the plight of the Internationally Educated Nurses. We need your stories, just as we need ears that listen to these stories.
On September 5, 2014, the Philippine Nurses Association of Manitoba (PNAM)will be having its General Assembly and Elections at Filcasa Hall (442 William Avenue), from 5pm- 9pm. We would like to invite Filipino and Filipino Canadian nurses (registered here or in the Philippines, or both), who are based here in Manitoba, to take part and join this gathering. We hope this will be an avenue for creating awareness on what PNAM can do for you, and what can you do to support our advocacies. For more info, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who wants to be a Canadian Nurse? I know there are so many Pinoy Nurses who want to, and my wish is that they carry on with their dreams. Meanwhile, it won’t hurt to reach out and be of support to them. Like said by Pope Francis, “Among us who is above must be of service to others. This does not mean we have to wash each other’s feet everyday, but we must help one another”.