As an internationally educated professional in the field of nursing, it can be difficult to make sense of all the tools and resources that have been designed to help you make informed decisions about your career in Canada. With this in mind, World Education Services has released a career pathways e-guide, Career Pathways in Nursing: Using Your Foreign Education in Canada, to help you navigate the next steps in your career journey.
Keep reading for five of the best resources we share in the guide, and be sure to download your own copy:
1. The CELBAN Centre
The Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN) is a tool designed to assess your English language skills before you apply for a nursing license in Canada. This assessment is accepted by all nursing regulatory bodies across Canada, and there are test centres easily accessible from all major cities.
When you visit the CELBAN website, you can complete a self-assessment prior to booking your test, which lets you practice listening, reading, and writing tasks, and which gives you an example of how your speaking assessment will be conducted.
On the CELBAN website, you can also access free resources, such as the CELBAN Test-Taking Strategies Booklet and the CELBAN Webinar. The Test-Taking Strategies Booklet provides information about what you can expect on the day of the test, how the test is formatted, and tips and tricks for how to prepare. The CELBAN webinar explains some of the important policies and procedures for taking the test, and gives a broader understanding of the importance of communication in the nursing profession.
2. NCLEX-RN Exam Writing Tips From the Canadian Nurses Association
The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) and the Canadian Nursing Students’ Association jointly developed a list of eight tips to help nursing students write the NCLEX-RN entry exam. The CNA website does provide resources for studying and how to prepare for exam day, but if you are looking for a step-by-step list of how to apply for the exam, then this is the list for you.
This checklist lays out the proper process for everything from applying to a licensing body, to receiving your Authorization to Test (ATT), and then scheduling your exam and receiving your results. Unlike The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) exam process, this list has been specifically modified for students in Canada. As a bonus, be sure to check out the CNA’s nursing jobs and volunteer positions page for links to reputable job sites.
3. CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses’ CoursePark
CARE is a non-profit organization that helps internationally educated nurses find work across the province of Ontario. CARE offers information on professional development, links to online nursing courses that are recognized by nursing regulatory bodies, job shadowing opportunities, and information on language and communication. For under $40.00 (CAN), you can access the CoursePark learning network through CARE.
Developed by nurses, the CoursePark online program includes courses related to nursing regulations, as well as leadership, and includes courses that can help your further your professional development in specialized fields. While CARE is located in Ontario, these courses are all offered online and can be accessed from anywhere.
4. The National Nursing Assessment Service Applicant Handbook
The National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) is a national body of nursing regulatory bodies across Canada. To provide more consistent information, processing timelines, and application standards, the NNAS was developed. Through the NNAS, internationally educated nurses can access the NNAS Applicant Handbook, which provides information about nursing regulatory bodies across Canada, required forms and documents for applicants, the cost of applications and a comprehensive fee schedule, as well as information about accessing your personal advisory report.
5. World Education Services’ SMART GOAL Worksheet
In every career pathways guide, you will find a SMART GOAL worksheet that can be used to write out your own personal career plan. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based.
The first step in using this SMART goal worksheet is to think about what you want to achieve, or your overall goal. Next you will think about the specific who, what, where, why, and when of the main goal you have identified. Measurable refers to quantifying how much time, money, or energy you will be spending on this goal and can include information about the cost of relicensing or how long certain bridging programs might take.
Whether you goal is achievable and relevant are two other pieces of the puzzle that is your career plan. Is your goal realistic, and, is it still relevant to your new life in Canada? The final part of developing your SMART career goal is making sure it is time-based. Ask yourself when you will start working towards this goal, and make a commitment to yourself.
By using the information in the Career Pathways in Nursing e-guide, as well as the resources shared in this article, you can develop a SMART goals template to help you identify your next steps and be on your way to a rewarding career in Canada.