(Salaberry-De-Salaberry-de-Valleyfield) Launched in February 2022, the Quebec government’s ambitious project to recruit 1,000 nurses internationally is about to materialize. If all goes as planned, the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) plans to initiate phase 4 of its plan next fall and say “mission accomplished”.

According to the most recent data obtained from the MSSS, candidates continue to arrive by the hundreds from Tunisia, Cameroon, Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon or Haiti, to name only a part of the many countries of the Francophonie targeted by the operation.

However, it will still take a few months to see the impact of the program in health establishments. As provided for in the process, healthcare professionals are recruited in their country of origin and hired by a CISSS or a CIUSSS.

These candidates must then undergo a French language proficiency test, and then be assessed by the Ordre desnipes et nurses du Québec (OIIQ) to ensure their adequate level of proficiency. The OIIQ then issues a personalized training prescription for each candidate in order to accelerate their educational path once in Quebec.

Upon their arrival in La Belle Province, these professionals must follow an upgrading program in an educational institution in order to familiarize themselves with the practices in place in the health network. This program lasts approximately one year, after which newcomers must obtain their right to practice by passing the OIIQ entry-to-practice exam.

According to the most recent data obtained from the MSSS, phase 1 of the project had made it possible to welcome 205 people between the months of September and November 2022. These professionals should therefore be able to practice the nursing profession in Quebec towards the end of the next fall.

The candidates selected during phase 2 will then follow, i.e. 240 people welcomed between January and April 2023. Then, another cohort of 202 recruits is expected for phase 3 between next May and July. Finally, Phase 4 currently has an estimated number of 377 people scheduled to begin training in the fall of 2023.

However, two students in the Cégep de Salaberry-de-Valleyfield upgrading program, interviewed by La Presse Canadienne, confirm that the news has found its way to Cameroon, but that it does not scare them.

“It didn’t worry me, I already have family here,” replies Emelda Tabot. I have a cousin who works in health as a nurse, so she told me how it was going. She said, “If I do it, you can do it too.” »

Ms. Tabot, who specializes in elder care, says her cousin never tried to discourage her from coming, on the contrary. “She kind of encouraged me. She was even waiting for me at the airport! “says the one who already enjoys working part-time as a beneficiary attendant in a CHSLD on the sidelines of her studies.

For Étienne Ndzana, who worked in the operating theater at a hospital in Yaoundé, long hours are nothing new.

“We try to read what is happening elsewhere. We got information from social media. We knew that the hours are like that, he mentions. In Cameroon too, we have long working hours. There are services where you cannot leave. »

The man who has about nine years of experience as a nurse seems like an eternal optimist. He describes himself above all as a care enthusiast.

“I think when you love something, you don’t see the time passing. I love medicine and in caring for the human person, in administering care to him, I do not see the time passing. Time doesn’t matter to you, it’s the illness or pain you want to spare that matters a lot more,” he believes.