Licensure of Internationally Educated Nurses Seeking Professional Careers in the Province of Alberta in Canada

  • Linda Ogilvie
  • Barbara Leung
  • Terry Gushuliak
  • Marion McGuire
  • Elizabeth Burgess-Pinto
Article

Abstract

While the regulation of nursing practice through licensure ensures that nurses meet minimum standards for safe competent and ethical care, it also inhibits integration of immigrant internationally educated nurses (IENs) into the Canadian professional labour market. With projections of significant nurse workforce shortages by 2010, there is impetus to enhance the numbers of licensed professional nurses through multiple strategies. The licensure processes and accompanying tensions in the Canadian context are described. As professional nurse licensure in Canada is a provincial responsibility, the situation in the Province of Alberta is used as an example. Suggestions for policy development and research include needs for better data and for gender-based analysis to address barriers to IEN licensure. The ability to practice in one’s chosen profession can be a major factor in integration of immigrants into Canadian society and thus a powerful factor in attraction and retention of highly skilled immigrants.

Keywords

Internationally educated nurses Nurse licensure Nurse immigration Canada 

Résumé

Alors que la réglementation, par le permis d’exercice, de la pratique des soins infirmiers assure que les infirmières répondent aux normes assurant des soins sans risques, compétents et éthiques, elle a aussi comme effet de limiter l’intégration des infirmières formées à l’étranger au marché du travail intellectuel canadien. Les projections selon lesquelles le marché du travail connaîtra des pénuries importantes d’ici 2010 constituent une incitation à adopter diverses stratégies visant à augmenter le nombre d’infirmières professionnelles autorisées. Nous décrivons les processus d’octroi de permis d’exercice et les tensions qui les accompagnent dans le contexte canadien. L’octroi des permis d’exercice aux infirmières au Canada relevant de compétence provinciale, nous avons choisi une province, l’Alberta, comme exemple. Nous offrons des suggestions en matière d’élaboration des politiques et de recherche; nous soulevons, entre autres, le besoin de meilleures données et d’une analyse différenciée selon les sexes pour aborder les obstacles à l’octroi de permis d’exercice aux infirmières formées à l’étranger. Pour les immigrants, la capacité de pratiquer la profession de son choix peut constituer un facteur d’intégration important à la société canadienne et donc un atout puissant pour attirer et maintenir en poste des immigrants hautement qualifiés.

Mots clés

Infirmières formées à l’étranger Octroi de permis d’exercice aux infirmières Immigration des infirmières Canada 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda Ogilvie
    • 1
  • Barbara Leung
    • 2
  • Terry Gushuliak
    • 3
  • Marion McGuire
    • 4
  • Elizabeth Burgess-Pinto
    • 5
  1. 1.Faculty of Nursing/Prairie Metropolis CentreUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Community Programs, Alberta Advanced EducationEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.College and Association of Registered Nurses of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  4. 4.Mount Royal College, CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  5. 5.Faculty of NursingUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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