Monday, February 4, 2013

Clearing the air about Canada

Since my last couple posts I have gotten a lot of questions regarding my plans for Canada. I think its because it appears I'm making longer term plans for down here. Which I am but without giving up completely on Canada  The thing is this road to Canada isn't going to be a short one nor an easy one. In the mean time I plan to spend my time wisely and "work as unto the Lord". This means help my work to make changes for a long term betterment, get some schooling, invest in my future of my children, get a perminant residency so I don't have to pay immigration every year,  and use my infonavit to buy a house in Mexico,

Last week I received my letter from CARNA that says they accepted my application and I need to go take my test. CARNA is the collage (board) of nursing in Alberta. To be exact here is the email minus personal details.

Dear Amanda                                                                            This e-mail is to advise you on the status of your application for assessment with the College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA). Please keep this email for your records, as it is the only notice you will receive. Under Alberta legislation and regulation an internationally educated applicant is assessed for substantially equivalent competence at the level expected of the Alberta graduate and the registered nurse (RN) in Alberta. On review of your file, it could not be determined that you currently possess the knowledge and skills (competencies) expected of an RN in Alberta. As part of the assessment of your application, you must complete a Substantially Equivalent Competency (SEC) assessment.  Your application cannot proceed until after you have completed the following SEC assessment(s):
General Nursing, Maternal/Newborn Health Nursing, Child Health Nursing, Mental Health Nursing

 The SEC assessment takes place in Alberta, Canada, at one of the IEN Assessment Centres of Mount Royal University, located in the city of Edmonton or the city of Calgary. Your English language proficiency has been met at this time. You have two years from the date of this e-mail to complete the SEC assessment(s)CARNA recommends that you contact the Mount Royal University IEN Assessment Centre as soon as possible to book your assessment(s), as dates are booked well in advance.
 An application is considered lapsed if there is no evidence of progress toward meeting application and/or registration requirements for two (2) years. Applicants with lapsed files must apply for re-assessment by submitting a new application and fee for re-assessment and updated documentation.  Application files will be securely destroyed after six (6) years of inactivity, (four (4) years after the date they are considered lapsed).

 This email is exactly what we were expecting and Im glad I have two years to make it up there. Basically there is no way we can afford to go there and I refuse to let my wonderful sister pay my whole way. (Yes she offered the day I got the email). First I need to study and get myself ready, but that is not the only issue. Also I cant let someone pay a ton of money on something which totally rides on how well I do on this test. Just to show you what Im looking at this is how it is explained on their website. 
What is the SEC Assessment?The SEC assessment uses a variety of methods to assess professional nursing knowledge, skills, values, judgment and critical thinking, and the ability to apply these safely, competently, and ethically in the practice setting. The applicant will be assessed in areas such as:

  • medical, surgical and specialty nursing knowledge and skills across the lifespan
  • anatomy and physiology and pathophysiology knowledge
  • pharmacology and medication administration
  • health history and health assessment knowledge and skills
  • basic and advanced clinical skills as well as use of current technology in nursing practice
  • clinical judgment, problem solving, and critical thinking skills and evidence informed practice
  • knowledge of the Canadian health-care system and current nursing practices
  • professional responsibility and accountability
  • therapeutic communication practices; nurse client interactions and relationships
  • cultural competencies
  • ethical decision making skills
  • regulation of the profession
  • CARNA Nursing Practice Standards and CNA Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses

The different assessment methods utilized in the SEC assessment identify whether an applicant currently possesses the competencies that are required to fulfill the roles and responsibilities of the RN in the Canadian health care system, or if competency gaps exist, and to what extent.
Where can you find more information about the Alberta RN competencies?The expected competencies are found in the CARNA document: Entry to Practice Competencies for the Registered Nurses ProfessionWhat is involved in the SEC Assessment?
The email you received from CARNA identified the type (areas) of SEC assessment you are required to complete.
The SEC assessment will take from two (2) to five (5) days to complete, depending on the areas of assessment required. It involves examinations, clinical judgment interviews, and lab and case management situations designed to provide you opportunities to demonstrate your knowledge, skills and ability to meet the entry to practice competencies expected of RNs in Alberta.

Again to put this in perspective we are not talking about coming strait out of school and  taking a boards exam which is on a computer and lasts 3-6 hours. This is 8 years after nursing school, 2 years without working, and 2 years working as a nurse in Mexico (which is way behind on a lot in nursing.). This assessment consist of having a written test, interviews and skill lab tests. I know after studying I will do ok but again I'm not going to let my sister spend a ton of money and risk that. My current plan is to not stress first of all. I have learned a lot about the benefits of not stressing since I moved down here. Next I am going to get in touch with the place to schedule the appointment and find out how far in advance I can make it. I feel like in about a year we may be in a place where we can save up enough if added to the possible donations from my donate for Canada button to send me up there. Also I'm starting to look more in detail about how much this thing will cost. I think I'm looking at around 3000usd. 
Yikes that is a ton of money for us. What I do know is God is amazing and if he wants us to be in Canada the money will come in at the right time and the appointment will be made at the right time. 

My focus this year is to stay focused and on the things that really matter. Which is what my inspiration board is all about. And just as a reminder the first thing on my board says:" Brothers I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind an straining toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heaven ward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things and if on some point you think differently, that to God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained."
The second and third are my family. These things are my focus. 

My pastor said something that struck me as wonderful the other day. He mentioned helping someone push a car. If you have every pushed a car you know it gets easier as the car gets moving and although its almost impossible to push a car around a corner when its stopped its not to hard if you are already moving. He compared this to how it is with God and doing things with our lives. The moment he said it I felt like its how Im going about things right now. Im just running and waiting on god to push me to one side or the other when its time. I don't plan on sitting still, meaning I'm going to start studying and looking to where the money will come from, and in this I hope God will push me in the direction he wishes. On the other hand its also important to say I also know my hope and strength are in God alone. Meaning if we go or if we stay will not determine my happiness. 

I do request prayers for God to give us wisdom,  peace, and understanding. He has been very plentiful in this with me in the past and I know he will continue. Your prayers and thoughts always help. 

Thanks for reading. 


  1. yikes, that study list would have me cringing too! At least "time" is on your side so you can fully prepare yourself. And if push comes to shove, please count on our family to help get you up there too, even if we have to road trip it with five little girls in the car!!

  2. I started a petition on the White House website- go and sign!
    You can view and sign the petition here:

    Here’s some more information about this petition:

    Reform the waiver process and ease the extreme hardship requirement to allow families to stay together in the US.


  3. This is definitely the best summary of advice for entering Canada that I have seen.

    US Waiver For Canadians