Search This Blog

Monday, March 3, 2014

Temporary foreign workers in nursing in Alberta

Authors: Alison Taylor, Jason Foster, Carolina Cambre

Collection: Research Materials

This research study explores the effects of Canada’s federally regulated Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) in the nursing occupation by examining a cohort of TFW nurses who came to Edmonton, Alberta, in 2007-2008. Specifically, the study addresses issues of credential assessment, education and training, and opportunities for permanent residence.

The researchers found that the TFW nurses experienced a series of obstacles in credential recognition and residency status. There was a noticeable difference between promises made to the nurses before their arrival and the reality upon arrival regarding residency, employment status, and the level of integration support available.

The process of licensing as a registered nurse was complex and difficult, and concerns were raised about costs, time, cultural bias, and differences in training and scope of practice.

Also, the foreign-trained nurses came to Canada expecting that permanent residency would be made available to them, but the ensuing process was slow and challenging, and little support was offered to them.

The authors suggest that the TFWP, with its lack of accountability and restriction of worker rights, may be ill-suited to address structural labour shortages of the kind experienced in health care. Greater transparency is required, along with attention to cultural bias in recruitment, credential, and residency processes.