Care to Chat wrap-up: Community dialogue on IEN pathways

On November 10th, BC Care Providers Association hosted an online #CaretoChat panel, attracting over one hundred attendees, to explore the question of how Canada can best engage foreign-trained health care professionals to address our national nursing shortage and aging population.

BCCPA CEO Terry Lake moderated the lively debate, which included health experts Cynthia Johansen, CEO & Registrar of the BC College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM), Michael Sandler, Executive Director of the Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC (NNPBC), and Peter Rekai, BA, JD, Senior Partner at REKAI LLP and Board Chair of the Rekai Centres, a not-for-profit company that runs two long-term care homes in downtown Toronto.

In addition, several voices from the education and immigration community joined the discussion to pose thought-provoking questions to the panel, focused on how Canada can better utilize our international nursing talent. Representatives included Jeremy Sabell, President of Stenberg College; Thea Lopez, Immigrant Women Advisory Committee Member for Pacific Immigrant Resources Society; and Patrick Mackenzie, Executive Director for the Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia.

Discussion revolved around Canada’s ability to create a streamlined pathway for international nurses into rewarding careers in healthcare, while also ensuring that clinicians are competent to practice at the bedside. Potential solutions that were identified included integrated training and education programs, immigration pathways that prioritize foreign healthcare workers, reducing red-tape, and focusing on function literacy for those with English as an additional language.

The session was well received by delegates, with lively discussion in both the chat and Q&A functions during the event. Due to the overwhelming response, the panel was unable to address all the questions posed by attendees, but BCCPA has committed to to working with our panelists to provide written responses presently.


The event also marked the premiere of BCCPA’s  new video to promote improved pathways for internationally educated nurses in Canada.

BCCPA #CaretoChat Tweets

Click below to read our live tweets.

Thank you to our 2021-22 Care to Chat sponsors who make these conversations possible

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