FREDERICTON (GNB) – A successful service that helps match internationally trained nurses with employers is being extended to workers in other regulated professions, including other health professionals.

The existing service for internationally educated nurses (IEN) has been delivered by the Department of Health since 2019 and matched 200 nurses to employers.

The service, which can be accessed through WorkingNB, will expand immediately to include all other regulated health professions. The service for other regulated professions will be ramping up over the coming weeks.

“WorkingNB has considerable labour market expertise that we can use to provide additional support to the many newcomers who are hoping to use the skills they worked so hard to obtain,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. “We know some people have struggled to have their skills recognized here and we are proud to provide a place where they can go for help.”

As part of the service, employment counsellors will conduct a needs assessment, as they would for any client, but will now specifically include recognition of credentials earned outside of Canada as a possible intervention when assessing newcomers. They will incorporate steps into an employment action plan for the client and monitor and support their progress.

The counsellors will also work directly with three navigators who are helping develop materials and resources to assist newcomers to be able to work in their profession. These navigators work directly with stakeholders such as post-secondary institutions and professional associations.

Two of the navigators are already assisting those with credentials related to health care; the third will be dedicated to other professions.

“We are committed to helping health professionals get recognition for the qualifications they earned abroad so they can be a part of providing high-quality care to New Brunswickers,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch.

The recruitment and training of health care professionals is a key part of the provincial health plan, Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action, which aims to develop an integrated health system, ensuring New Brunswickers have access to timelier and improved care.

Including credential navigation services in the employment counselling process is in keeping with the Fair Registration Practices in Regulated Professions Act, which became law in the spring.

Anyone not working in the health-care field can register for the service by contacting WorkingNB, either through its website or at one of its 19 offices across the province.

Internationally educated nurses and other internationally educated health-care professionals can complete the appropriate form online.

Nurses and health-care professionals who have already started the process do not need to reapply and should continue to work with their established contact.