Skip to content

Challenges to Internationally Educated Health-Care Professionals

Play Video

Health care staffing is a global problem right now. In Canada, about nine per cent of nurses and 26 per cent of physicians make up the internationally educated health workers. Over the past year, provinces have introduced incentives to recruit more, including Targeted immigration streams. However, up to 47 per cent of those nurses and doctors do not work in the professions for which they are trained. 

Some find their qualifications and language skills don’t meet Canada’s requirements. For others, lengthy and expensive licensing and registration processes can delay their ability to work in their field, sometimes for years. 

Marco Pena, president of the Philippine Nurses Association of Manitoba, explains the challenges to internationally educated health-care professionals (IEHPs), including nurses, when seeking licensure and employment in Manitoba, Canada.

Some of these challenges include: 

  • Credential Recognition: One of the primary challenges for IEHPs is having their educational credentials recognized in Manitoba. The regulatory body for nursing, the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba (CRNM), evaluates international credentials to ensure they meet Canadian standards. This process can be lengthy and may require additional education or exams to bridge gaps. 
  • Language Proficiency: IEHPs must demonstrate proficiency in English or French to practice in Manitoba. They may need to pass language proficiency exams such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN). 
  • Clinical Competency Assessment: In addition to meeting educational requirements, IEHPs may need to undergo a clinical competency assessment to demonstrate their ability to practice safely and effectively in the Canadian healthcare system. This assessment may involve written exams, clinical simulations, and supervised clinical practice. 
  • Work Experience Requirements: Some employers in Manitoba may require IEHPs to have Canadian work experience, which can be challenging for newcomers. IEHPs may face a “catch-22” situation where they need Canadian experience to get a job but can’t get Canadian experience without a job. 
  • Cultural Adjustment: Moving to a new country involves adapting to a different culture, healthcare system, and work environment. IEHPs may experience cultural shock and need support to navigate these adjustments successfully. 
  • Financial Challenges: The process of credential recognition, language testing, and licensure can be expensive, and IEHPs may face financial barriers to completing these requirements. Additionally, IEHPs may struggle to find employment while waiting for licensure, leading to financial strain. 
  • Limited Support Services: While there are organizations and programs that support IEHPs in Manitoba, such as bridging programs and mentorship initiatives, these resources may be limited in availability or capacity. 
  • Professional Integration: Once licensed, IEHPs may face challenges finding suitable employment matching their skills and experience. They may encounter biases or discrimination in the hiring process and barriers to career advancement. 

Addressing these challenges requires collaboration among regulatory bodies, health care institutions, educational institutions, government agencies, and community organizations. Efforts to streamline the credential recognition process, improve access to language training and clinical assessments, expand support services for newcomers, and promote diversity and inclusion in the healthcare workforce can help facilitate the successful integration of IEHPs in Manitoba. 

– Lourdes Federis, U Multicultural

Reconnecting to Filipino Heritage Primrose Madayag Knazan is an award-winning Jewish Filipino-Canadian playwright and author. Her novel, Lessons in Fusion, was nominated for the Manitoba Book Award for Best First Book, both the Manitoba and Saskatchewan Young Readers Choice Awards, and won the Manitoba Book Award for Young Readers. Her play, Precipice, wonContinue Reading

Read More »

УКанаді: Як почати бізнес в Канаді без грошей та мови? Певно, кожен, хто зараз знаходиться в еміграції, знає, як це втрачати. Знає, як це залишати своє життя, мрії, іноді навіть надію. Знає про той біль, з яким залишаєшся наодинці і мусиш шукати нове життя на чужині. І точно знає, як страшно знову починати творити та прагнути нових цілей.   Проте, колиContinue Reading

Read More »

Share this post with your friends

Subscribe to Our Newsletter