PH-educated nurse wins appeal to work in Manitoba
A nurse educated in the Philippines and licensed to work in both Ontario and Quebec won an appeal to work in Manitoba, creating an opening for other internationally trained nurses who are having difficulty getting licensed in the province.
Ronna Sigua first applied to the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba for registration in 2013, but the college required her to get more nursing education than what was available through the Bridge to Canadian Nursing Program or the Red River College RN Refresher Program.
In March 2021, Sigua applied again, but the college again required her to undergo a Clinical Competence Assessment as part of the registration process, even though she was already registered to work in Quebec and Ontario where she was registered as a mobility applicant in 2020.
Sigua appealed the college’s decision, contending that she is entitled to be registered in Manitoba as a labor mobility applicant, in which provincial nursing colleges must recognize qualifications from other provinces.
The college insisted it could impose those requirements and that she was required to complete additional training.
But a panel of the Council of the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba sided with Sigua’s appeal on Aug. 11.
It ruled that she was certified to work in the province according to the Labour Mobility Agreement, and the college must register Sigua as a nurse in Manitoba.
The ruling also states that the college must not require applicants, who are in good standing as a registered nurse in another jurisdiction in Canada, to take the Clinical Competence Assessment to be registered as a nurse in Manitoba.
“Of course, Ms. Sigua is pleased she was successful in her appeal,” said Evan Edwards, Sigua’s lawyer, in an emailed statement to CTV News. But he notes that “for her this litigation has been time-consuming, stressful, expensive, and in her opinion, completely unnecessary.”
He also rued that while the college was fighting this case, Manitoba was being deprived of the much-needed services of a number of fully qualified registered nurses.”
Provincial Health Minister Audrey Gordon also ordered the college to “open the door to nurses who are registered in other Canadian provinces but have experienced difficulty being recognized here in Manitoba.”
Gordon said the province is “exploring options to fill nursing vacancies in Manitoba” through various programs and “recruitment process improvements, retention strategies, training spot increases and immigration efforts.”