international workforce, Nurses bring new cultures to the prairies
Canada and the prairie provinces have experienced regular shortages
of Registered Nurses and have often recruited internationally for nurses. These
recruitment efforts have contributed quite considerably to the multicultural
nature of our country and of the health work force.
During the 1950s and 1960s a large number of nurses came to Canada
from the Caribbean, from Jamaica, Trinidad, Grenada and other countries.
The nurses found a welcoming environment in the Canadian health system.
Many Caribbean nurses also went to the United Kingdom, which actually
sent a good number of nurses to Canada as well. After the war
Canada recruited many British nurses. The international nature of the
nursing workforce means that nurses from the British Isles still move
here to this day to pursue their careers.
In the 1960s and the 1970s – and up until the present – Canada
has welcomed a large number of nurses from the Philippines. Prior to
the 1960s, there were fewer than 200 Filipino immigrants living in
Canada. By 1973, the Philippines had become the seventh largest source
country of immigration overall. Many of the Filipinos who immigrated
to Canada during this period came as doctors and nurses. Filipino nurses
also migrated in large numbers to the United States, so much so that
there have been complaints about the exodus within the Philippines’ health
The influx of nurses from other countries has contributed greatly
to a multiethnic workforce in the Canadian health care system.