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Nursing grad waiting on licence upset by Ont. looking for health-care workers internationally

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KITCHENER —
A graduate from Conestoga College’s Enhanced Nurse Practice Program said she’s upset about the province looking internationally for health-care workers to help during the third wave.

Mae Azores said there are qualified people in the province who want to help in local hospitals.

Azores is currently waiting for approval for her nursing licence here. She finished the program at Conestoga College last year and has a nursing degree from the Philippines, and also spent four years working in an emergency room in Saudi Arabia.

“I’m part of the resuscitation team, so I believe I am experienced and more equipped to be an RN here,” she said.

Azores has taken on other jobs while waiting for her licence, including customer support for a pizza chain.

“Right now, I’m working as a scheduler for COVID-19 for British Columbia,” she said.

MJ Gallo with Filipino Internationally Education Nurses said there are others like Azores in Ontario.

“You come here, you want to practice and they will say it’s not comparable, regardless of your experiences,” Gallo said.

Gallo added it takes a long time to get a licence to practice in Canada.

A spokesperson from Ontario’s College of Nurses said they are working to expedite registrations and started an emergency assignment class a couple of weeks ago. People need to have completed an RN or RPN program, practiced as an RN or RPN within three years before the date of the application, and have language proficiency in English or French.

“We appreciate that so many want to help respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. For those unable to register with CNO, there are other ways they can support Ontario’s COVID-19 response efforts, including as an Unregulated Health Provider or as a volunteer,” a statement from the CNO read in part. “We continue to be available to respond to employers and to assist in sharing information about any emergency orders issued by the government.”

Azores said she wants the process to move even faster, given the health-care crisis in local hospitals, so that Ontario doesn’t need to ask for help from the U.S. and the Philippines.

“You don’t have to find us, we are already here,” she said.

CTV Kitchener has reached out to the Ministry of Health, but did not receive a response before 5:30 p.m.

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