Helping others Re-establish their Nursing Careers




Ila came to Canada in 2009 and previously was working as an ICU Nurse within the Post Natal Unit in India and Dubai for over 6 years. Her fiancé at the time was a chef in Banff, so she moved to Canada in 2009. Her first impression at the airport was that she didn’t understand the Canadian accent, and felt very intimidated at the thought of working with local Canadians in the big hospitals. After a few months, she discovered everyone was very nice, even bus drivers were willing to help her. One thing that stuck out to her was that bus transfers are available and convenient, as they aren’t available back in India. She started to make more of an effort to look at the positive side of things.

During her first year living in Banff, she looked up nursing requirements and bridging processes through CARNA. Looking at these lengthy requirements was very confusing, and made her feel discouraged. After 6 months of gathering documents, she went through a 5 day nursing skills assessment at MRU through CARNA. Months later she received the results.  Ila ended up having to take multiple classes to upgrade her technical skills (spanning a duration ~1.5 years). At first she felt frustrated that all of her experience back home wasn’t completely recognized and transferrable. But after starting her bridging courses through MRU, she recognized the importance of refreshing her technical skills as well as developing a great support network of classmates who were going through a similar process.

Ila recognized that she had a 2 year work experience gap after she had moved from India, and although back at home a gap that big would have meant her career would be lost. But CARNA gave her an opportunity to enter back into her own profession, as well as helped her find her nursing practicum at Rocky View Hospital.

In 2011, Ila became a full-fledged Registered Nurse (RN). She ended up working at Rockyview for another year and later moved on to South Health Campus working as a part time nurse. She currently also started teaching part time at MRU since 2015, leading the Bridge to Canadian nursing program for internationally trained nurses. Ila decided to take on this role as she was impressed with the nursing accreditation process that she went through, and now would like to use her own experience to help other internationally trained nurses obtain their nursing accreditations in Calgary.