Nursing Journeys Vol. 6 – Amandeep Dhaliwal
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VOL. 6 | AMANDEEP DHALIWAL – NURSING JOURNEYS
INTERNATIONALLY-EDUCATED NURSES RECOUNT THEIR INDIVIDUAL STORIES ON THEIR ROAD TO BECOMING NURSES IN CANADA
Since Amandeep came to Canada, all of her dreams have come true. She describes her journey as a “rebirth”.
After graduating in India in 2006, nursing was not regarded as a respected profession. She says that “People would ask about what I took after grade 12 and when I said Nursing…it was like end of conversation, they didn’t want to talk to me anymore. A few of my teachers even questioned why I would go for nursing and always said that I should have gone for something else. The workplace in India was different. As a nurse, you just carry orders and never question anything.”
Amandeep wanted to have the opportunity to make a difference. She felt that she needed to get out of India as she didn’t feel that staying would ever give her that opportunity. She decided to come to Canada, where she learned that nurses are not only very well paid, but also respected and treated as important members of the health care team. “The focus of practice here for nurses is much more vast. You can question a physician if you had any doubts or second thoughts about an order that you got. In Canada, you are expected to speak up and give your opinion. It’s amazing.”
She didn’t do a lot of research before leaving her home country. She doesn’t advise anyone to do the same, but she says “I got lucky. I did not research a lot into the options. All I knew was that I have to get out of India to have a better life as a Nurse because in India the private sector doesn’t pay that much for nursing jobs and getting a job in the public sector is almost impossible. I did not have much knowledge about how the whole thing worked – I mean the whole study permit, work permit, permanent residency, immigration, etc— but I got lucky. I was lucky to be a part of OMNI College. They have very good teachers and helpful staff. On top of that I got a post grad work permit because OMNI was selected as part of the pilot program at that time. I applied for permanent residency through the Alberta Provincial Nominee Program, and am now a Canadian citizen”.
But just like others pursuing this same dream, it wasn’t a smooth path for Amandeep. Getting her RN license proved to be extremely challenging. Fortunately she was able to achieve her LPN license first which allowed her to begin working as a nurse in Canada, even though RN was her goal. Lucky for her, LPNs in Canada earn a very high wage as well. So after working just a short period of time as an LPN, she was able to buy a vehicle for her Dad. “It was my happiest moment after I moved to Canada. To see my Dad smile and the spark in his eyes. I don’t think I will ever forget that moment.”
After working as an LPN for some time, she eventually became an RN. Today, she works as a Registered Nurse in the province of Alberta. “I love my job, I have wonderful co-workers. The best thing about being a nurse in Canada is respect. My employer is very understanding and accommodating. They take good care of their employees and their families. I have awesome health/dental and life insurance benefits. I love the team that I work with. They are such an encouraging, supportive bunch, never have I ever felt left out, or alone.”
She met her husband in Canada, and together they have a beautiful son. She owns her own home and enjoys life today as a Canadian citizen. She was successful in sponsoring her parents to Canada on a supervisa, and is working on sponsoring them for permanent residency as well. She says, “I love my job, love my house, I get to experience a lot of happy moments. I went bowling for the first time in Canada, I love to cook here for my family and friends, I travel a lot whenever I can. I have been to Banff, Jasper, Drumheller, also to Victoria, and of course back to Vancouver quite a few times. I even visited Dubai & California recently and have a huge list of places that I want to visit down the road too.”
To Amandeep, she says that coming to Canada was a rebirth. “To me, moving to a new country, getting to know the culture, the food, the local heritage and important festivals, making new friends, getting my first job-driver’s license, my first vehicle, my first house – I was reborn. I have been able to achieve every single dream so far by being in Canada…..this country gave me wings and made sure I knew/learned how to fly.. I love to be a part of such a welcoming and accepting nation.”
Final words from Amandeep – “Canada gives me happiness, a sense of security, a feeling of being accepted and a sense of belongingness. I met my life partner here. I can’t even begin to explain in words how happy and lucky I am to have him in my life. In India, I thought my dreams were just to be able to make ends meet in day to day life, and maybe make things a little bit easier than what my Dad had. But in Canada, I actually started to dream of a far better and happier life. All those dreams have come true.” ~ Amandeep, RN
Download the full story as a PDF (Vol 6_AmandeepDhaliwal)