Making Connections

Welcome to CARE Centre’s IEN Connector – volume #2! We hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and that you are all refreshed for 2013!

Thanks very much for the compliments we received after we launched the first issue of CARE Centre’s IEN Connector; please keep in touch with story ideas or comments. As a quarterly publication, there’s a lot to cover in three months of CARE Centre’s activities, and the fall of 2012 was even busier than usual as we took several measures to reach out to IENs in our membership, those newly arrived in Ontario, and those still in their home countries planning to immigrate to Canada. The College of Nurses of Ontario’s (CNO) regulatory changes take effect January 1, 2013, so it’s now more important than ever for IENs to find the support they need to achieve their registration and to remain in good standing with the College. As detailed on the CNO website, among the more substantial changes introduced by the revised regulations are:

  • a new jurisprudence exam for all applicants;
  • evidence of recent practice within the last 3 years;
  • demonstrating language proficiency through results from approved proficiency tests only; and
  • a 2-year timeframe to meet registration requirements.

To reach IENs in their home countries, CARE Centre has partnered with the federally funded Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP) which provides pre-departure orientation to individuals applying to come to Canada through the Federal Skilled Worker and Provincial Nominee Programs. CARE Centre has delivered webinars to both CIIP employees and IEN applicants through offices in China, India, the Philippines and the United Kingdom. Over the last couple of months, another exciting collaboration has been for CARE Centre to be featured as a community based support for employers and IENs as part of the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) and Nursing Health Services Research Unit (NHSRU)’s IEN Integration initiative. Like CARE Centre, this initiative is also funded by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCI) and the Government of Canada; collectively we have been advocating to employers about how integral IENs are to providing care to Ontario’s diverse communities. In addition to meeting workforce requirements as significant numbers of senior nurses retire, IENs are also reflective of the diverse patient demographics in most parts of Ontario; they add to the healthcare team’s ability to provide quality and culturally congruent care. IENs with established careers in their home or other countries have so much to offer Ontario healthcare – as voiced by Health and Long-term Care Minister Deb Matthews in her congratulatory message to the 2012 CARE Centre Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Award winner, Ismail El-Assaad, a critical care registered nurse working at University Hospital in London. I think we can all agree with her strong backing for IENs- see the video greeting here