Nurse’s dream of helping during COVID stymied by labyrinthine regulatory system

January 28, 2022

By Vancouver SunCanadian Emma Beaumont graduated in April with a nursing degree from Brigham Young University in Utah, wrote an internationally recognized licensing exam, and came home planning to join the COVID-19 battle.

But her dream has been stymied by Canada’s labyrinthine licensing system.

“I’m typically a very positive and optimistic individual,” Beaumont told me. “I try not to complain about a lot of things, and I realize things take time. But there have definitely been days where you are so tired and exhausted and frustrated with this process.”

On some of those days, she feels demoralized, more like a college dropout than a graduate with her career ahead of her. Her skills are getting rusty while her former classmates have been working and honing them for months.

Beaumont had a year left on her student visa and could have stayed. But the Abbotsford native chose to come home, after passing the U.S. National Council Licensure Examination — the same exam that Canadian nurses take after graduation.

“I felt this desire to come home and join the ranks at home on Canadian soil to help my own country, my own province, my community. … I anticipated this process (of getting licensed) only taking a few months.”Certainly that’s what the Assessment Services website indicates. It says it typically takes 120 days. After filing all the documents on Aug. 5, Beaumont believed that.

She applied for and was offered a job in the orthopaedic trauma unit at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, pending her accreditation coming through. The job is still vacant and Beaumont is still waiting.

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