Crossing Borders and Embracing Opportunities: Thriving as an Internationally Educated Nurse in Senior Care and Hospital Setting
Hear from a recent Conestoga grad on how this graduate certificate program changed her life.
Setting out to practice nursing in a foreign country can be exciting and challenging. For nurses with international education, becoming a certified professional in Canada requires commitment and specialized training. This article is shared by a recent graduate of the Enhanced Practice for Internationally Educated Nurses program who enrolled in the unique two-year graduate certificate program to explore new opportunities and significantly impact the Canadian healthcare system.
Discovering the Enhanced Practice for Internationally Educated Nurses program
As an experienced nurse with a bachelor's degree in nursing from the Philippines, I came to Canada with the motivation to excel in my vocation and continue the path in healthcare.
Nursing has been my passion for as long as I can remember. From the beginning of my journey, I was sure about one thing — I had no intention of leaving the nursing profession behind. I was determined to continue making a difference in patients' lives, even in a new country.
While searching for pathways to bridge this gap, I stumbled upon various programs. Two programs caught my eye:
I wanted to know more about the certifications and practical training available for internationally educated nurses like me. After reading about the program's extensive curriculum and emphasis on elderly care, I was convinced that EPIEN program was the best opportunity to hone my clinical skills and understand the Canadian healthcare practices. Eager to take this significant step forward, I submitted my application, knowing that this program could be the key to unlocking a bright future in my nursing career in Canada.
Practical experience through field placement and special focus on senior care
The Enhanced Practice for Internationally Educated Nurses program was designed to provide us with practical experience through field placements, thus introducing us to various healthcare settings.
Although I learned a lot from each of my field placements, the time I spent working in the senior care was the one that left a lasting impression on me. My humanitarian disposition was significantly nourished by my time working in a facility providing long-term care for elderly patients. Building genuine relationships with them, learning about their experiences, and ensuring they got the best care and respect they deserved brought me a sense of accomplishment. My time at the placement ended temporarily, and it was then that I found my true calling and reinforced my choice to concentrate on providing senior care as I go forward in my professional life.
Wondering what a day in the life of a nursing student looks like? Take a look at Sushma’s day in this video:
Life after graduation
Upon completing the Enhanced Practice program with high distinction, I was eager to use my newfound knowledge and skills. I decided to continue working at the field placement, where I developed a strong affinity for senior care. The facility offered me casual employment, allowing me to make a lasting impact on the lives of the residents I had come to care for deeply.
Six months into my job at the long-term care facility and upon passing my licensure examination, I secured another position at a prominent hospital in Kitchener. I was elated to have the chance to work in a different healthcare setting, one that would challenge and expand my expertise further. To balance both roles effectively, I decided to continue working casual at the senior care facility, allowing me to pick up shifts based on my availability while dedicating my full-time commitment to the hospital.
My journey from an internationally educated nurse to an Enhanced Practice graduate has been transformative. I am grateful for the opportunities that have come my way and for the chance to continue my journey in the nursing profession, positively influencing the lives of those I care for, one patient at a time.
Learn more about the Enhanced Practice for Internationally Educated Nurses program