Nursing Journeys Vol. 4 – Chinenye Ugwuoke
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VOL. 4 | CHINENYE UGWUOKE – NURSING JOURNEYS
INTERNATIONALLY-EDUCATED NURSES RECOUNT THEIR INDIVIDUAL STORIES ON THEIR ROAD TO BECOMING NURSES IN CANADA
To build a better life for her family; first, she had to leave.
Chi originally came from Nigeria where she worked as a Registered Nurse.
When she first came to Canada, she had to leave her family behind. It was not easy to be away from them.
Fortunately, that difficult choice she made to separate from them temporarily has proven to have been the right move.
Today – Chi is a Registered Nurse in Canada. Her family has joined her, and they are now all Permanent Residents. They have built strong foundations within their new community in the province of British Columbia. Her children enjoy school and have made a lot of friends.
Chi knew she wanted to come to Canada because she felt it offers a better opportunity for growth in her nursing career as well as in her personal life. She also believes that this country offers a higher level of education for her children. The bonus is that in Canada, education is free for kids all the way until Grade 12.
She decided on Vancouver rather than other parts of the country because of the climate. Coming from Nigeria, she figured that she could adjust better if she chose the city the least cold!
During her studies away from her family, she ended up also finding another form of ‘family’ in Canada.
She explains that “Throughout my journey, my instructor at OMNI, Louise, and the Founder, Ron, became my greatest sources of inspiration and encouragement. Louise gave me endless support. She believed in me and never gave up on me. Ron was there for me like a father. He is such a humble man. He would get to know each of the students individually, and always be there to provide ideas or solutions to our challenges. I will never forget when Ron helped me with his van to move my belongings to a new home – at no cost. He just wanted to help. He is always there to help everyone.”
This feeling of being with ‘family’ helped her get through her studies and the nurse registration process in Canada. She says it was a tough journey, but that it was definitely worth it.
Chi (far left) with fellow IEN classmates during her days studying at OMNI College in Canada
After successfully securing her Canadian nursing license and beginning work as an RN, she obtained her Permanent Residency status through the BC Provincial Nominee Program and she applied through the Express Entry system. It was a smooth and straightforward process. She did not need a post-graduate work permit.
What is Chi’s life like now?
“My whole family is here now, and our lives have changed forever. I can say my life is a lot different and a lot better today. I have been empowered and I have helped my entire family to immigrate here with me.”
She shared that she has felt very welcomed as part of the BC community. She and her family have built friendships through their work, her children’s school, and with other families at their local church.
“Canada has prepared me and given me the opportunity to work and to relate with people from all over the world. I love that it is so diverse and multicultural here.”
During her spare time, she says “I like to hang out with my friends, and I often go to the gym for group activities. I also travel a lot across Canada to see the beautiful country which I now call home.”
“Canada is such a beautiful country where the people are so polite and kind. One of the best parts I love about this country is the fresh unpolluted air that we breathe. We feel so fortunate to be living here in Canada.”
Final words from Chi:
“I came here all alone, with no family, not knowing anyone. But I had always dreamt about living in Canada ever since I was a child. OMNI College helped make that dream a reality.”
~ Chinenye (Chi) Ugwuoke, RN.
Download the full story as a PDF (Vol 4 Chi Ugwuoke)