Internationally Educated Nurses Find Success In Langara's Post-degree Program
Ramandeep Kaur Gill faced many challenges when she left India to continue her career in Canada. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Dayanand Medical College in Ludhiana, India, Gill practiced as a registered nurse for a year before making the 11,000 kilometer move to Canada.
“I knew there were differences in health care here compared to India,” says Gill. “I wanted to give myself an opportunity to learn the difference.”
Before moving to Canada, Gill was accepted into Langara’s Post-Degree Diploma in Nursing Practice in Canada program. This two year program allows internationally educated nurses to further enhance their knowledge and skills in order to transition into the Canadian healthcare system.
“Internationally educated nurses experience the process for obtaining licensure in Canada as costly, lengthy, and complicated,” says Patricia Woods, former Assistant Chair, International in the Langara School of Nursing. “It’s important for students to know what they’re up against. This program is challenging, and if they want to be successful, they need to work hard.”
Before working as a registered nurse in Canada, all nurses must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) as part of the licensure process. For internationally educated nurses within Canada and the United States, the success rate for the exam is a meagre 32%.
“When we learned about the success rate for NCLEX, we were terrified,” smiles Gill.
Gill credits the supportive faculty and hands-on lab experience with giving her the confidence to succeed. The program also includes 12 weeks of clinical practice. NCLEX preparation is part of each course, as are numerous feedback opportunities that identify areas for students to improve prior to writing NCLEX. Before writing NCLEX, a predictive test is used to estimate each student’s likelihood of passing the exam.
“What makes Ramandeep’s achievement so remarkable is that, as NCLEX is a computer adaptive exam, it took only the minimum number of requisite questions for the scoring algorithm to determine that her score was above the passing standard for the exam,” explains Woods. “The majority of internationally educated nurses have difficulty passing the exam, let alone in the minimum number of questions.”
As the program’s first graduate to be successful on NCLEX, becoming a registered nurse in Canada was worth the effort—and the gamble.
“It was, of course, a big risk, because I was leaving my well-established life and coming to a whole new place where I did not know many people,” says Gill. “But it was worth the risk. In India, registered nurses just follow orders from doctors. In Canada, nurses have more responsibility and play a role in assessing and teaching their patients.”
Now entering the workforce, Gill hopes to practice in an acute setting; providing care to patients and families in ER and trauma centres.
Located in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada, Langara College provides University, Career, and Continuing Studies education to more than 21,000 students annually. With more than 1,700 courses and 130 programs, Langara’s expansive academic breadth and depth allows students of all ages, backgrounds, and life stages to choose their own educational path. Langara is also known as house of teachings, a name given to it by the Musqueam people on whose unceded traditional territory the College is located.