It was during the boom in the economy in Alberta that I went from advising Canadians on career related issues, to working with Internationally Educated Health Professionals. At that time the industry was hot: the nursing shortage evident. Then the economy shifted. What was happening in the US impacted us here in Canada. The well dried up, or so it seemed. All of the jobs disappeared: not because they were filled but because a dip in the economy means decreased spending or cutbacks. Instead of cutting back, our health care system simply continued as it had been: coping with the shortages but not talking about it.Seeing these changes I kept encouraging people: don’t worry. Use your time wisely. The economy will shift. The nursing shortage will become a hot topic once again. All the jobs will suddenly reappear. Proceed on your licensure process so when they do appear you are ready!
I hope you were listening. They are starting to talk about the shortage again. The winds of change are signalling the time will be here soon.Will you be ready?
This week I received in my mailbox the NorQuest Community Report. Norquest is a college in Edmonton where LPNs are trained. The headline screams, “Navigating the Perfect Storm: Norquest College’s crucial role in the future of Alberta health care.” Here is a quote:
There are storm fronts on Alberta’s horizon that have nothing to do with the weather. In some health-care circles, their coming together is referred to as the Perfect Storm: increasingly large numbers of baby boomers are starting to retire; likewise, large number of frontline health-care workers are retiring.
The convergence of these storm fronts beg the question: with so many people retiring, will we have enough frontline continuing-care workers to meet Alberta’s needs. Page 3 Read More>>
If you are in your 50’s, the age many Canadians are thinking of retiring, but want to continue being a nurse read the story about Janet Colter, LPN at 54! Page 7 Read More>>
Although this report is about Alberta, know that this situation is happening across Canada!
Those who were fearful, like the grasshopper, focused on the present without looking to the future. They allowed the darkness of the times to overcome them. Seeing no light, they continued to think, “maybe some day.” When the flood gates of available positions arrive they will feel regret, wishing they had done differently. Some may even find a new source of motivation. Others will simply carry on dreaming and wishing but never doing.
Those who are wise have trusted that the economy will change, that the nursing shortage in Canada has been hidden, but will reemerge. Those who are wise, like the squirrel, have been working diligently on their English and other requirements, progressing towards becoming a nurse in Canada. They will be ready. When the flood gates of available positions arrive they will be ready to act.
What choices have you made? What choices will you make? Will you be ready?
Despite the economy, I have continued in my work of creating resources to help IENs prepare for the CELBAN, the SEC and the CRNE. I have done so knowing that we need you. We need each and every one of you. No matter what the papers say, no matter how many jobs are available today, no matter how difficult the process has become: I know the storm is coming. I kn0w that my family, my friends, my people need you, some time in the very near future. And I hope and pray that you will find the courage and motivation, time and dedication to work on your English and other requirements so that when the flood gates open you will be ready. There is still time. They are only starting to talk about it again. When they open the doors, will you be registered? Will you be an LPN or RN in Canada?
P.S. Here is the link if the ones above do not work: http://www.norquest.ca/pdf/publications_2012/NQ_community_report_spring_2012.pdf