Internationally Educated Nurses

(April 2018 Intake)

How might we better understand the experience of internationally educated nurses (IENs) applying for registered nurse status in NB to improve the process for future IENs navigating the process successfully and gaining employment?

Currently it can take up to 2 years for Internationally Educated Nurses to have their credentials upgraded and recognized in NB. There is a forecasted shortage of nurses over the next 3 years that is expected to be catastrophic. In addition to keeping more of our New Brunswick educated nurses, bringing in nurses from overseas may be an effective way to meet the coming demands of New Brunswick’s healthcare system. This team is looking at ways for international credentials to be recognized in a more expedient fashion. They are looking at the possibility of having immigrant nurses without fully recognized credentials working as personal support workers (PSWs) until they can satisfy the Canadian requirements in order to become a registered nurse (RN) in New Brunswick. This would also satisfy the shortage of personal care support workers.

STATUS: Ongoing

UPDATE: The team is working within the context of a broader nursing recruitment strategy, which will include the lab prototype for bringing in Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs), which has the support of the department of health as a testable idea to help meet labour shortages. The prototype could be incorporated into the overall recruitment strategy.

This team brought together stakeholders all dealing with the nursing shortage. They will be looking at targeting French and English speaking countries that have a greater match with the credentials required within the Canadian system as well as looking to bring in IEN’s sooner to work as personal care workers while getting upgraded to work as RN’s within the nursing system. Jake Arbuckle was able to impact this group’s work by bringing some very specific recruitment issues for healthcare because of his daily interaction with companies looking for a specific healthcare skill sets. Government data indicates that international migration is essential to meeting NB employers’ healthcare recruitment needs over the coming years.


  • Odette Comeau Lavoie - Principal Nursing Advisor - Department of Health; Health Workforce Planning Branch

  • Allison White - Director of Emergency Services - Réseau de santé Vitalité

  • Virgil Guitard - Nursing Consultant - Nurses Association of NB

  • Suzie Durocher-Hendriks - Professor in Nursing - Université de Moncton, Edmundston campus

  • Eric Levesque - Director, Health Workforce Planning - Department of Health

  • Julie Weir - Assistant Director, responsible for clinical and care innovation - New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes

  • Jake Arbuckle - Team Lead, Team Leader - Immigration, Settlement and Multiculturalism - PETL (GNB)

UPDATE (February 2020):

Leadership team:

  • Mark Wies - Assistant Deputy Minister - Health;

  • Rob Kelly - Assistant Deputy Minister - Atlantic Immigration Pilot (Agency), Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour;

  • Jake Arbuckle - Director - Health Workforce Planning (Branch), Health;

  • Odette Comeau Lavoie - Principal Nursing Advisor, - Health Workforce Planning (Branch) Health;

  • Robb Parker – Program Consultant - Health Workforce Planning (Branch), Health.

Working Group:

  • Carolyn Lordon (Nurses Association of New Brunswick); Susanne Duff (Association of New Brunswick’s Licensed Practical Nurses);

  • Julie Weir and Sergio Silva (New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes);

  • Kerry Kennedy and Lisa Robinson (Horizon Health);

  • Isabelle Duguay and Allison White (Vitalité), and

  • Abby David (New Brunswick Multicultural Council).

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