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Canada launches new scheme to attract overseas nurses

The Canadian government is seeking to attract foreign-trained nurses to apply for Canadian immigration.

The pilot programme in the state of Alberta will involve an offshore assessment programme for internationally educated nurses immigrating to Canada.

The goal of the initiative is to promote the assessment and integration of internationally educated health professionals into the Canadian health workforce.

Under the pilot programme, 36 nurses, who are not currently Canadian residents, will be assessed outside of Canada and their competencies measured against Registered Nurse standards. In the past, internationally educated nurses had to travel to Calgary to take assessment exams.

Canada's Health Minister, Tony Clement, said: "Projects such as this will help to alleviate Canada's nursing shortage, which in turn will lead to improved care and a reduction in wait times. This is a ground-breaking initiative, in which the government of Canada is proud to take part."

Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Diane Finley, said: "Canada has a skills shortage, and skilled immigrants want to contribute to our country by working in the fields for which they've been trained.

"We want to help them do that and one of the best ways is to help them get their credentials assessed before they enter the country so that when they arrive, they can find work faster in their fields."

Canadian Visa Bureau