Thursday, October 03, 2013

GNIE: Staying in touch

Recently some of my GNIE classmates contacted me to stay-in-touch. It is always nice to hear how my peers are doing, giving encouragement and supporting each other on our nursing journey. 
  • Kudos to the few who have obtained full-time lines (i.e. unionized positions) with the health authorities. Their hard-work and persistence (in job applications) have paid-off.
  • Some have casual positions with the health authorities, which I believe would eventually help them to secure permanent full/part-time positions with perseverance. 
  • A few have joined me in Paediatric Home Health Nursing -- getting regular part-time pay.
  • Most have regular part-time or full-time hours with private acute care (e.g. surgery position) or private residential care.
  • A few are juggling several casual and/or agency jobs.
  • A few I've not heard from and/or are still looking for jobs.
All said, I am glad to hear of my GNIE peers getting jobs and that some are climbing the corporate hierarchy and/or union seniority. Examples of nursing job market challenges that I've heard of include the following.
  • I have heard from some LPN colleagues of other nurses (notably LPNs) who graduated in January 2013 and have yet to land their first nursing job 8 months later (in September 2013).
  • I have also met and heard from other colleagues of nurses with some years of experience who lost their "unionized jobs" because of the union agreement with the health authorities to re-structure the work-hours -- thus they got "bumped off" from their previous jobs as "more senior" unionized nurses took over their jobs. Note: That's the disadvantage of "union jobs" -- your job is not really secure unless you have maximized your union seniority, which takes about 10 years of full-time work. Check out the url below for the article titled "Not Qualified"
At the end of my evening shift today, I count my blessings that I am getting around 90 hours of work this month -- not quite full-time, but enough to live on (for I lead a simple lifestyle). At my peak, I was working 175 hours in August-2013 between several jobs, so it is nice to have a slower pace to catch my breath and reflect on my career directions.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Anonymous who wrote on Thursday, October 10, 2013 8:46:00 PM:

      Hi! First off wanted to say I really enjoy your blog posts especially about nursing. I'm a recent graduate, a CBC from Vancouver however moved to Alberta to pursue my nursing education. I really would like to move back to Vancouver, and had a few questions about the nursing job market. If you could get back to email is [edited for privacy] I would greatly appreciate it!

      Hi there,

      Firstly, thanks for visiting and your compliments.

      Secondly, my apologies. I generally do not correspond with my blog readers personally in private unless I know the person in "real life". I have edited your comment to remove your email address to protect your privacy.

      As for moving back to Vancouver for nursing, there following opinions are based on hearsay and/or my "totally unreliable un-scientific small sample size" observations. Please read them with a high dose of NaCl and take them at your own risk.

      > I'm a recent graduate, CBC from Vancouver however moved to Alberta to pursue my nursing education

      Based on the small bit of information you've provided about yourself, I'm going to ASS-U-ME a few more things about you and then add my 2 cents of cheap talk.

      I'll assume that you have passed the CRNE/CLPNE and obtained registration with the relevant nursing board in Alberta, with ZERO paid-nursing work experience, are young (chronologically), looks about your chronological age, physically fit, female (females still dominate nursing), speaks English with a Canadian especially Vancouverite accent, understands the local employment culture (i.e. you have prepared 2 or more nursing-related work references, e.g. your Clinical Supervisor and/or your preceptor, because they are essential if you want to join any BC health authority), ( "from Vancouver" and "I really would like to move back to Vancouver") have family/friends that can provide you with food/shelter for the interim period while you're doing your job search and/or when your casual hours aren't enough to pay for both food and rent.

      If my assumptions are right, then you'll have no problems getting jobs with the BC health authorities, especially if you're willing/able to wait 3-6 months to land a job (yeah, processing time sucks here), and to start as a casual waiting by the phone for last-minute on-call assignments. You may be amongst the lucky youthful Canadian-educated nurses (i.e. nursing education not from BC, but from other provinces) that I've met at a health authority orientation who seem to have no issues at all getting job offers (I may be wrong but my understanding is a few got more than just casual offers, but real "lines" -- i.e. regular part-time or full-time positions) from the health authorities. Added bonus if you're male, as some nurses claim "we'll always need the MUSCLE power". At orientation: we've been told that "there is an acute shortage of nurses", that we're so lucky to enter the industry at the right time -- how much you believe of it is up to you. Given as I've mentioned in my post above, there is a lot of union-bumping-off happening currently. Check out the url below for the article titled "Not Qualified".

      Hope my reply answers some of your questions. Btw, BC's nursing pay sucks compared to Alberta's. In addition, I've heard of the awesome communication devices used by the nurses at Calgary Hospital, you are unlikely to find them in use currently here in BC. Lastly, my nursing friend in Alberta tells me that she's met Internationally Educated Nurses so desperate to get a nursing job (i.e. that crucial 1st step) that they relocated to Alberta to improve their odds.

      Cheers, WD.

    2. p.s. Due to a change in policy that allows residential care facilities to reduce their RN-to-nurses ratio, "some" (read "many") residential care positions may still hire casual RNs but these RNs will not have any long-term regular employment opportunities at those facilities because whenever a RN line becomes available it will be converted into a LPN line instead.

      p.p.s. Hearsay is that the reverse seems to hold true at Acute Care settings.

  2. hi winkingdoll,

    I happen to chance upon your blog when i was searching for singaporean nurses in canda. I hope to get your advice on how i am able to go and work in canada as a nurse. I have 1 year of working experience thou not the 1 full year in one company type, its the 6 mths here and 7 mths there kind of experience and now that i am working in a obgyne field i feel that it can help me get a job overseas. I am not sure if it can thou as it is an outpatient setting so not alot of skills experience. I also previously graduated from a UK university which is not recognized by snb which kinda sucks. But i do really want to get out of singapore and i hope you can give me advise on how i can be able to migrate to canada. thank you

    1. Hi Elly,

      Thanks for visiting and dropping your question.

      You can read my answer to a similar question from another IEN (internationally educated nurse) in the "IEN dreams of migrating to Vancouver" blog entry.

      I'm sorry if the above blog entry does not sound very optimistic. Unfortunately it is a matter of bad timing, Canada has closed its doors for immigration via nursing since May-2013.

      If your ultimate aim is to "get out of Singapore", then maybe you can consider:

      (1) Other ways of migrating to Canada (mentioned in my "IEN dreams of migrating to Vancouver" blog entry above), or read my "Migrating via Student Visa" series; AND/OR

      (2) Consider migrating to other countries, e.g. Australia which generally recognizes UK education.

      Good luck to your emigration dreams!

      Cheers, WD.