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June 7, 2023

The CFNU and World Education Services see value in getting internationally educated nurses into the health care workforce

2023 Convention
Media Release

Silas: It’s high time we give IENs the welcome and respect they deserve and act on thoughtful strategies to support their integration in this country.

(CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I.) – June 6, 2023.  The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) and World Education Services (WES) are bringing together three dozen internationally educated nurses (IENs) who are coming from across Canada to attend the CFNU 2023 Biennial Convention in Charlottetown.

“Internationally educated nurses are an important part of our health care system, and they need and deserve respect and support every step of the way. IENs should be part of a sustainable recruitment process for Canada. In Canada, it’s critical that we ethically recruit IENs, and it doesn’t stop at recruitment. Retention is a necessity,” said CFNU President Linda Silas. “IENs have a right to expect access to full and flexible employment, equal pay for equal value, supportive supervision, culturally safe working conditions and professional growth.”

The nurses will provide critical inputs on recent initiatives to ensure widespread and sustainable improvements to systems for recruitment, registration and retention of IENs in the Canadian health care system.

“Canada is home to many IENs who are eager to contribute their skills and experiences to the health care system, and who are needed to address staffing shortages. Provincial measures are emerging across the country to better recruit, register and integrate them into the workforce”, explained WES Managing Director and Deputy Executive Director Shamira Madhany. “Getting these measures right depends on the inputs of IENs, employers, regulators and governments working together to ensure we achieve sustainable systemic solutions.”

Thousands of IENs are seeking to re-enter their careers at a time when Canada’s health care system is facing a crisis in staffing. WES and the CFNU are assessing the impact of various provincial initiatives that can better integrate IENs into the health care workforce.


For more information please contact:

Adella Khan

Communications Specialist, CFNU


Karl Flecker

Associate Director, Policy Advocacy, WES


About the CFNU

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions is the voice of nearly 250,000 frontline nurses and nursing students across the country.

About WES

World Education Services (WES) is a non-profit social enterprise that supports the educational, economic and social inclusion of immigrants, refugees and international students. From evaluating academic credentials to shaping policy, designing programs, and providing philanthropic funding, we partner with a diverse set of organizations, leaders and networks to uplift individuals and drive systems change.