London Well being Science Middle welcomes worldwide nurses – London

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The London Health Science Center welcomes changes to allow international nurses into Forest City, in line with Ontario Nursing College’s aim to alleviate the health sector’s staffing shortage.

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Ontario gives nursing college its go-ahead to speed up international registration of nurses

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  • Ontario gives nursing college its go-ahead to speed up international registration of nurses

Earlier this week, Ontario Minister of Health Sylvia Jones approved plans by the College of Nurses of Ontario to quickly enroll “internationally trained professionals” as staff shortages continue to cause temporary closures of emergency rooms across the province.


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Sarah Smith, Head of Nursing Practice at the London Health Science Centre, said that at the local level “things are still difficult”.

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“Burnout is real,” she said. “We continue to see and hear stories of nurses leaving hospital care, even leaving the profession.

“We have many staff shortages in the hospital and we continue to face major challenges that are difficult to overcome.”

According to The Canadian Press, the plan would allow international nurses to be temporarily registered while they complete their training and exams.

In addition, the plan envisages that about 5,300 non-practicing nurses living in Ontario could return to the labor market, which is necessary for reinstatement, despite current regulations banning nurses who have not practiced in the past three years is.

The changes would also make it easier for retired nurses in the province to recertify if they are interested.

Jones urged the college to draft these rule changes as soon as possible.

The college has said the changes could potentially help the nearly 6,000 active international applicants currently residing in the province, but Jones has asked exactly how many nurses will benefit.

However, Smith said internationally trained nurses often faced challenges in achieving registration.

“The province is one of the jurisdictions with the most delays in registering internationally trained nurses in Canada,” she said.

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“But hopefully some of the changes announced this week at Queen’s Park will really break down some of those barriers and challenges and speed us up to hiring and onboarding these nurses.

“In fact, we have internationally trained nurses in our own organization working in non-regulated roles who are already here and have an interest in healthcare and are working toward enrollment,” she said

“People are available, but they face many challenges.”

Jose Villamater, an internationally qualified nurse and clinical trainer at the London Health Science Center (LHSC) from the Philippines.

Steve Young / London Health Science Center (LHSC)

Jose Villamater, an internationally qualified nurse at the London Health Science Center from the Philippines, told Global News about his experience registering in Canada.

“It took them about three years, maybe longer, to get my license even though I submitted all the requirements on time,” he said. “It’s just a very long process.”

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Ontario directs regulator to register internationally trained nurses faster

International nurses must meet certain qualifications when moving to Canada, which not only makes for a long but expensive process, Villamater said.

“In terms of the registration application and then the exam, yes, it adds up,” he said.

“When you move here and you can’t practice nursing because you don’t have a license it’s quite difficult and I think that’s one of the barriers that delays registration.

“I am delighted that the government’s response was to provide or cover expenses such as registration, testing and the whole process. [including] for retired nurses who are ready to return to the labor market,” he said.

London Health Science Center (LHSC), Villamater works as a clinical educator, supervising new nurses, including some internationally trained. He said the plan approved by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) is a “very positive change”.

Smith agreed.

“We already have an established partnership with the CNO and as such it will be a natural step for LHSC to build on that relationship and the processes we have already established,” she said.

About 40 nurses have participated in the organization’s matchmaking program over the past six months, and seven more are scheduled to start next week, Smith said.

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“We’re also very used to working with temporary nurses,” she said.

“This is a longstanding practice and not only our organization but all organizations will be really familiar with hiring temporary certified nurses [as] This is something we do for new graduates who are already being trained in Ontario.”

LHSC has vacancies for approximately 442 Registered Nurse positions and approximately 100 Registered Practical Nurse positions. The hospital currently has nearly 15,000 employees, residents and doctors.


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