CIC News > Latest News > Immigration > Quebec > Quebec turns to nurses abroad to fill shortages Foreign-trained nurses will continue to play a critical role in the face of Canada's worsening health care labour shortage.
Nurse at work

Quebec turns to nurses abroad to fill shortages Foreign-trained nurses will continue to play a critical role in the face of Canada's worsening health care labour shortage.

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Nurse at work

The Quebec health network is seeking to fill its current shortage of nurses by recruiting abroad.

This information was reported by the French-language media, Radio-Canada.

According to the information reported, recruitment sessions will be held in France and Belgium over the next few months in order to “attract at least 1,700 nurses and more than 200 orderlies to Quebec.”

Although the shortage of nurses and orderlies is not new to Quebec, the pandemic would have made it worse due to people leaving the profession or retiring early.

As a result, the number of nurses being recruited from abroad is five times higher than it was two years ago, according to Radio-Canada.

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Quebec is not the only province facing a shortage of nurses. For several weeks now, provinces across the country have been warning of the severity of the situation, which predates the pandemic but has been exacerbated by it.

According to the Globe and Mail, nursing job vacancies have increased by almost 50 per cent in the past year, particularly in intensive care and emergency rooms.

Recent Statistics Canada data on job postings provide further indication of a trend toward increased employment in the health care sector.

In November 2020, the vacancy rate in the Health Care sector was higher than in any other industry and accounted for over one-fifth or 112,700 of all job vacancies, according to the January Labour Force Survey.

The high level of job vacancies in the health care sector could be partly attributed to immigration disruptions resulting from COVID-19 travel restrictions, with immigrants playing a particularly important role in this sector, according to the Survey. In January, 41.3 per cent of nurse aides and orderlies and 42.8 per cent of medical specialists were immigrants, the survey found.

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How can you immigrate to Canada as a nurse?

To get a job as a nurse in Canada, you must prove that you are qualified at the same level as a qualified person working in this field in Canada. Therefore, the process will involve having your credentials assessed, reviewing your previous experience, and finally, proving that you are able to meet Canada’s licensing requirements.

Nurses can immigrate to Canada as skilled workers through one of the federal or provincial economic immigration programs.

As a foreign nurse, you may be eligible for Express Entry under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), provided you meet the requirements of the program. You must submit a profile to a pool of applicants, following which you will receive a Comprehensive Ranking System score based on factors such as education, age, work experience and language skills.

The highest-ranking candidates are selected from the pool on a regular basis and receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence. There is no fee for entering the Express Entry pool and the standard of processing once you receive an Invitation To Apply is approximately six months.

Another possible immigration option for nurses is the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Almost every province and territory administer a PNP to bring in skilled workers from around the world and help strengthen their local economies.

Most of the PNP streams are therefore designed to address skill shortages in the province and are intended to welcome skilled workers with experience in occupations for which there is a demand in the province. Canadian provinces regularly hold their own draws and, as was recently the case in Nova Scotia, they may target specific occupations such as nursing.

Obtaining a provincial nomination and already having a profile in the Express Entry pool will earn you an additional 600 CRS points, and essentially ensure that you will be invited to apply for permanent residence.

Nurses who wish to settle in the French-speaking province of Quebec can also apply to immigrate under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QWP). Successful candidates under this program are also granted permanent residence in Canada. Applicants who immigrate as Quebec Skilled Workers must have a genuine intention to settle in the province of Quebec.

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