Manitoba offers 100-plus Filipinos jobs in health care during recruitment trip
Read this article for free:
Already have an account? Log in here »
To continue reading, please subscribe:
Monthly Digital Subscription
$4.75 per week*
- Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
- Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
- Access News Break, our award-winning app
- Play interactive puzzles
*Billed as $19.00 plus GST every four weeks. Cancel anytime.
Nurses who are being recruited from the Philippines could arrive in Manitoba as early as this summer, and be allowed to work shortly after they land under changes to licensing rules.
More than 100 Filipinos were offered jobs by representatives of Manitoba health care organizations during the first leg of a five-day recruitment mission to the island nation in Southeast Asia, which began earlier this week, Health Minister Audrey Gordon said Thursday.
Seventy-three people were offered positions as registered nurses, 14 were offered jobs as licensed practical nurses and 45 were given offers to work as health-care aides.
“We want them to be able to move immediately into employment,” Gordon told the Free Press Thursday. “Our nurses here and our health system has asked our government to respond to the demands and the pressures that they’re under and we want to respond immediately.”
Four-hundred applicants were screened prior to the delegation’s arrival. Criteria included experience in hospital or long-term care settings, English language competency and other pre-qualifications. Recruitment stops were scheduled for Manila, Cebu and Iloilo.
Gordon said the majority of applicants are expected to receive a job offer with one of the seven service delivery organizations represented on the recruitment mission.
“I am very heartened,” Gordon said of the recruitment drive to date. “I hope to see many of those individuals who are coming through the recruitment mission here by this summer.”
The nurses will be welcomed through the provincial nominee program, which admits workers whose skills are needed by the Manitoba labour market.
To speed up the entry of internationally educated nurses into the workforce, Gordon said the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba has developed a new, dual pathway to support the Filipino recruits.
“I hope to see many of those individuals who are coming through the recruitment mission here by this summer.”–Health Minister Audrey Gordon
While still overseas, nurses will be able to open a file with the college and begin their application with the National Nursing Assessment Service simultaneously. Several bridging courses that are required for licensure — as determined by a clinical competency assessment — can be completed online and prior to the nurses’ arrival in Manitoba.
Any outstanding coursework will be completed in the province. However, nurses will be able to work in the field as an “undergraduate nurse employee” and under the supervision of a registered nurse until they complete their education and pass their licensing exam.
A regulatory change from December 2022 allowed internationally educated nurses and former nurses enrolled in re-entry programs to work under supervision.
The college said the new process will shave about 12 weeks off the licensing process. Each applicant’s timeline to become licensed will depend, however, on how quickly they can complete the required courses.
“This will help to move the individual through the process much faster,” Gordon said. “We believe that will also help our nurses here in Manitoba and coming from the Philippines.”
College registrar Deb Elias said the Filipino nurses are expected to make meaningful contributions to the health system immediately after arrival and as they become familiar with the Manitoba health system.
“There’s been a significant number of changes,” Elias said. “We do anticipate it will assist people to move through the process quicker and get to work in the health-care system in a more expeditious way.”
She noted the college is changing rules related to English proficiency to increase the number of options available to prove command of the language.
Licensed practical nurses and registered psychiatric nurses, and those who have been registered within the past two years, will automatically be considered proficient.
Applicants who have worked in a clinical setting — for example as a health care aide — can submit a letter of attestation from a co-worker, who is a regulated health professional, as proof of English proficiency.
Elias said it’s difficult to estimate how many more internationally trained nurses who currently live in Manitoba may apply for registration because of the changes. The success of provincial outreach and recruitment programs will be a major factor, she said.
“It’s so applicant-driven. It really depends on their circumstances,” Elias said. “But with recruitment increasing the number of applicants that come to us, it provides them with more opportunities.”
Gordon also praised recent regulatory changes that were made to entice retired nurses back into the workforce. On Thursday, the Free Press reported cash bonuses have not been enough to persuade some retired nurses to return to the job because they said the lengthy re-registration process is a major stumbling block.
Nurses who are up to 100 hours short of practice hours can now return to work under supervision. Former nurses who take the clinical competency assessment, but require re-entry training, can also work under supervision as an undergraduate nurse employee, the college said.
“I am very pleased for retired nurses that they will now be able to access this conditional licence and work under the supervision of a Manitoba employer to accrue their 100 hours,” Gordon said.
Danielle Da Silva
Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.