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Nursing Journeys Vol. 11 – Archi Ornelas


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VOL. 11 | Archi Ornelas – NURSING JOURNEYS

“Not many Mexican nurses took this path before me, but that didn’t stand in my way.”

Archi is a Registered Nurse from Guadalajara, Mexico. He had a great job in Mexico, but his dream was to work in Canada.

We asked him why he chose Canada, and he explained that he was looking for a place where his nursing profession is appreciated, respected, and valued. He longed for an improved quality of life and wanted a country that was welcoming and supportive of multiculturalism. A self-proclaimed “outdoors guy”, Archi loves the outdoors, so Canada’s pristine nature was among the many things that attracted him too.

But – the number one reason he wanted to be a nurse in Canada is because of how highly respected nurses are regarded in this country. Nurses have consistently ranked among the topmost respected professions in all of Canada, next to firefighters and doctors. This respect and recognition propelled Archi into choosing Canada over any other country in the world.

During his journey, his family back in Mexico was an incredible source of support. He also quickly gained the support of his fellow classmates at OMNI College, who were all just like him – international nurses training to become successful as nurses in Canada. Because they were all working towards the same goal, even though they were from different countries, they shared a bond unlike any other. They supported each other through every step of their journey, and relied on each other, keeping each other motivated along the way. They all became like a family to each other in Canada.

Becoming a Nurse in Canada can be a very challenging road. The support from his classmates and from his teachers was imperative in helping him get through the process. There are challenges that Archi, and other internationally-educated nurses like him, have to face when striving to reach their goal of becoming Canadian nurses.

When Archi described his particular journey: he said that first of all, leaving everything and everyone behind me in my home country was without a doubt the most life-changing and the most challenging decision of my life”.

The maze of requirements he needed to navigate in order to finally be allowed to take the professional nursing exam in Canada was one of the most stressful situations he has ever experienced. There were even times when things got difficult before getting his license when Archi even questioned whether he had made the right decision. “Being on your own and away from your loved ones is a challenge that not everybody is ready to take. It was a long, tiring, and difficult process, but I’m incredibly happy that now I can say: it was all worth it!”

Archi’s story is a prime example that hard work and determination pay off. One of the many obstacles Archi additionally faced was that before him, there hadn’t yet been many Mexican nurses who had gone through the nurse registration process to Canada. Internationally-educated nurses in Canada more commonly come from other countries, like the Philippines, India, and others. So, it was a particularly long and tiring process to get his Mexican education, licensing, and proof of his work background in Mexico to be accepted by the NNAS (National Nurses Assessment Service). On top of all that, there was a language issue with the paperwork, which made everything slower and more expensive.

But through it all, Archi remained determined and achieved his ultimate goal: he is a Registered Nurse in Canada today. He works full-time in an acute care hospital in the beautiful province of British Columbia.

We asked Archi what his life is like these days. His response: “Stable! I finally found the stability that I was looking for. I have a full-time job in a hospital in a beautiful town surrounded by all kinds of gorgeous landscapes. I am a “runnaholic”. I do a lot of hiking, swimming, kayaking. I enjoy my life on my days off; I am an outdoors guy and having the time and the financial stability thanks to my job gives me the chance to do what I love at work and outside of work too. I love my life in Canada.”

Archi recently moved to Vancouver Island from the mainland where he had already established a good network of friends. Since his move, he is getting acquainted with his new surroundings and starting to meet new people, and building new relationships. He does not have any family in Canada but has formed many forever friendships in Canada. He also reunited with a fellow OMNI classmate with whom he now works together on the same ward in their hospital on Vancouver Island (pictured to the right).

Today he loves his job as an RN. “I like how important my opinion is among the Health Care Team. I enjoy all the responsibilities that I have and the vital role that I play in the care of patients. I feel valued by my employer, and I like how we host constant meetings to improve the needs to achieve the best possible outcomes. I love all the resources available to keep learning and to enhance my knowledge as a nurse.”

“Canada is the country that opened the door for me to do the things that I love in and out of work, to have a better quality of life. I will always be thankful for that.” ~ Archi Ornelas, RN.

Download the full story as a PDF (Vol 11_ArchiOrnelas)

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