The provincial government of New Brunswick has made drawing in internationally trained nurses from abroad their number one priority. In 2019 a Nursing Resource Strategy was put into action as an estimated 4,376 jobs are expected to open up in the province over the next 8 years. As you may assume because demand is high, salaries are high too, and the option for permanent residency is on the table in more ways than one. It would be a very smart move to immigrate to New Brunswick as a nurse.
So let’s take a look at how you can make the move and become a permanent resident, what your quality of life will be like, and what life is like in the beautiful Atlantic province. Keep in mind that while some people may experience delays in the processing of the applications for work permits and/or permanent residency, healthcare workers, and particularly nurses' applications, are being given priority status. So, in this rare circumstance, the COVID-19 pandemic is actually playing in your favor.
Your Immigration Options for New Brunswick as a Nurse
What Comes First
For an internationally trained nurse to practice in New Brunswick, or anywhere else in Canada, they will need to go through recertification as a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). The first step is to have your qualifications assessed, this is known as an Education Credential Assessment (ECA) which you will submit to the provincial body to register as a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse.
If your qualifications meet the requirements, you can take the Canadian Registered Nurse Exam (CRNE) or the Canadian Practical Nurse Exam (CPNE). Once you have successfully passed your exam, you are able to work as a nurse in Canada. The provincial bodies you can register with as a nurse in New Brunswick are:
- Nurses Association of New Brunswick - Registered Nurses
- Association of New Brunswick Licensed Practical Nurses
You can then go ahead and secure a job offer at any care facility in the province. To find a nursing job in New Brunswick, try this job search tool, or any of the other great ones available online.
How to Become a Permanent Resident
Once you have a job offer, you can choose one of three immigration programs to apply for permanent residency in Canada through:
- The Express Entry System - Federal Skilled Worker Program, you actually don’t require a job offer to apply for permanent residency through this program. Applicants are processed on a point-based system, and a job offer or a provincial nomination from the province of New Brunswick adds more points to your score.
- New Brunswick Provincial Nomination Program - apply directly to the provincial government for a provincial nomination. If you are successful (which you should be as qualified nurses are highly in-demand in the province) you are almost certain to be granted permanent residency.
- Atlantic Immigration Pilot - a unique immigration program designed to bring the benefits of economic migration to the eastern region of Canada by offering permanent residency to foreign workers with job offers in one of the four Atlantic provinces. Skilled professionals (nurses), semi-skilled workers, and international graduates are all welcome to apply for permanent residency, all you need is permanent employment.
Working as a Nurse in Canada - What to Expect
One of the best reasons to move to Canada is the quality of life. The average hourly wage for a registered nurse in New Brunswick is $35.46 per hour. Typically at hospitals in Canada, nurses work 4 shifts on, 4 shifts off. Nursing facilities like old age homes are different as shifts are around 8 hours a day, so typically in those situations, you would work 5 on, 3 off. Whichever situation you end up working in, it seems to average out to around 42 hours a week. That means your annual salary would be around $77,445.
The cost of living in New Brunswick is relatively low, especially when compared to the rest of the country. Here are some of the costs associated with living in the Atlantic province.
|Cost of Living per month: New Brunswick, Canada|
|Item||Price in CAD|
|Rent (1 bedroom apartment)||$800|
|Rent (2 bedroom apartment)||$1,100|
|3 Bedroom House (Buying price)||$192,000|
|Groceries (per person, per month)||$297|
|Public Transport (monthly pass)||$65|
|Vehicle (new hatchback)||$23,750|
|Gas/Petrol per gallon||$1.13|
The main places to live in New Brunswick are Saint John, Moncton, and Fredericton. Almost half the province's population lives within these three metropolitan areas. The port city of Saint John has a population of about 130,000 and doesn’t freeze over in the winter due to the tidal currents. Temperatures do however drop as low as negative thirteen degrees, so be sure to prepare for the province's cold winters. Moncton has a population of a little over 155,000 and is a growing center for high-tech and service industries. The main provincial airport is also located in Moncton with local and international routes. Fredericton, slightly smaller than the other two with a population of 110,000, is situated on the beautiful St John river. It is also a university town, with good shopping and recreational facilities, two universities and great schools, making this picturesque city our top choice.
The province, along with the other Atlantic provinces, is experiencing an increasing average age and due to the low migration rate, people are the government's primary concern. Not only are you needed as a nurse, but as a person who will contribute to the economy and positive growth of the region.
Study to Become a Nurse in New Brunswick
Regardless of your age, gender, or financial status, taking the step to return to university or college, or enroll for the first time is never a poor decision, especially when your choice is a degree in nursing at the University of New Brunswick.
The cost of completing a Bachelor of Nursing at the University of New Brunswick for a foreign student is around $42,000 ($10,500 a year, for four years). Keep in mind that you are allowed to work while enrolled as a foreign student in Canada to help support your costs. There are also numerous financial aid programs available and when you start working, you’ll be able to pay off any loans in no time. There is also the benefit of knowing you are almost guaranteed a job after graduation, especially if your qualification is from a University in the province and you get your Post Graduate Work Permit.
What to do Next?
Registered and Licensed Practical Nurses are probably the most in-demand profession in New Brunswick. Once you are registered with the Canadian board of nursing and the provincial body, the sky's the limit. The cost of living is low, the quality of life is high, salaries are even higher. You have three beautiful cities to choose from and countless charming towns in desperate need of your services too. No matter how you shape it, choosing to immigrate to New Brunswick as a nurse is nothing but a very good decision, maybe even life-changing.