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BRIDGE Program News: Bridging Program for Internationally Educated Nurses’ Success Stories

June 24, 2015

IMG_0519The 9th Annual Partners in Education and Integration of Internationally Educated Nurses (PIE-IEN) was held in Regina on April 30th and May 1st of this year. One of the highlights at the conference was a presentation from a group of Manitoba nurses with a Red River College connection. Unit Managers Gus Castaneda and Reid Love from the Victoria General Hospital (VGH) partnered with two of their staff who had been through bridging programs here in Manitoba to present how the VGH has actively participated in the development and support of internationally educated nurses over the last 10 years.

The VGH provides clinical placements for students in the BPIEN program at RRC to complete their Level 3 Clinical Practice requirement. Shamaine Ramos, one of the presenters, completed the BPIEN program at RRC and is now a clinical facilitator on one of the units at the VGH for these students. Her husband Niko, an LPN, is a clinical facilitator at the VGH for IENs going through the LPN bridging program at Assiniboine College. The group spoke about how engaged managers can change culture and facilitate IEN acceptance and successful integration onto units and added that it can take several years for this successful integration. The strategies they shared included meeting frequently with students, providing open honest feedback, ensuring safe practice and creating a work environment that appreciates cultural diversity. Shamaine and Niko spoke about how skills learned through bridging education helped them to become active participants on their units, specifically mentioning critical thinking and clinical decision making skills, along with delegation and assertiveness.

Did You Know…
On their road to becoming a nurse in Canada, IENs may spend more than $10,000 meeting various requirements before they reach the point at which they can write the NCLEX?