Hi! My name is Je Abarra and I’m an Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN) new in Canada.

I finished my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing last 2011 in Philippines. After graduation, I worked as a Private Duty Nurse for one year, as a Staff Nurse for two years and as an Infection Control Officer for two years.

Last 2016, I moved to Montreal, Quebec as an immigrant. I know it’s not easy to become a nurse here. From there, I started my long journey in getting a license to practice as a nurse in Canada.

I first worked in a food factory for one year. During that time, I had an open application with NNAS. I lived briefly in Alberta before moving to Quebec, hence, the reason why I have an ongoing NNAS file. Instead of just dumping my NNAS file, I changed the registered province (RB) from Alberta to Ontario because: 

  • Ontario is near Quebec. If things go well, it will be easier for me to move to Ontario than to Alberta.
  • The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) has easier process for nursing registration.

While working in the food factory, I got the authorization to take CPNRE and become a Registered Practical Nurse. I successfully passed the exam and waived the English proficiency requirement.

While I’m processing the exclusion of English proficiency requirement to get my RPN license from CNO, I decided to try getting an LPN license here in Quebec.

I submitted requirements to  Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers auxiliaires du Québec (OIIAQ) and took the diagnostic exam. They advised me to take a 6-month bridging program for LPNs in Pearson Adult Career Center to familiarize myself with the Quebec healthcare system. The bridging program is composed of 3-month classroom teaching and 3-month hospital internship.

By the time I finished the bridging program here in Quebec, I also got my RPN license from Ontario. So instead of taking the licensure exam for LPNs in Quebec, I just applied for license reciprocity with OIIAQ. After two months, they confirmed my RPN license from Ontario and OIIAQ issued me a license to practice here in Quebec.

Currently, McGill University Health Center (MUHC) hired me as an LPN phlebotomist at Montreal General Hospital.

It took me more than two years to go back to the healthcare workforce again. My journey is not yet finished, as I’m looking for ways to get my RN license. In the meantime, I’m very happy to start working as an LPN.

By the way, I’m also blogging at nurselist.ca *wink*