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N.B. nurses association streamlines international nurse registration

The Nurses Association of New Brunswick says new registration changes will streamline the process for internationally-trained nurses to work in the province that’s facing a shortage of nurses.

Changes announced Monday will allow nurse applicants from 14 countries to have their National Nursing Assessment Service reports submitted more quickly, the nurses association said, and successful applicants will receive registration to work in the province within 14 days.

This will replace the system that currently takes between 12 and 18 months for internationally trained nurses to receive registration to work, the association said, 

Denise LeBlanc-Kwaw, the CEO of the Nurses Association of New Brunswick, said in a statement Monday newly established registration pathways will allow internationally-trained nurses “the opportunity to work, be paid, and maintain their skill level while enabling a strong integration into the provincial health-care system.”

The nurses association will “continue to respond to the public’s need for health care, by assessing our processes, innovating, and finding solutions with our partners, while remaining fair to our applicants,” LeBlanc-Kwaw said.

The 14 countries from which nurses can apply are: United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Hong Kong, India, Philippines, United Arab Emirates, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Morocco and Lebanon.

"We wanted to make sure that we're encouraging recruitment countries where they still have a workforce and offering that possibility to internationally educated nurses to come to our country,” said LeBlanc-Kwaw.

“So we've identified countries where there is no what we call red zones and we're encouraging government to recruit from the 14 countries that we identified."

The nurses association said these countries represent more than 75 per cent of all internationally trained nurses that apply to work in New Brunswick.

On Mar. 30, the New Brunswick Nurses Association expedited its processes for registering nurses from elsewhere in Canada to work in the province.

Association president Julie Weir said at the time that those changes are expected to help address the shortage of nurses working in the province.

“We remain acutely aware of our obligation to the public to ensure we regulate nurses, who have the required education, competencies to work as registered nurses and nurse practitioners,” LeBlanc-Kwaw said.

“We also recognize the important contribution (internationally educated nurses) may play as licensed practical nurses and health care aids to assist our health care system during these most challenging times.”

With files from The Canadian Press.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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