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Getting the Job - Interviewing Process - Speedometer

The Canadian job market is very competitive and jobs are not easy to find. As well, finding a job in Canada may be very different than in your home country.

You have to be registered to practice as a registered nurse in a province or territory. You must look for jobs in the region where you will be registered. Take your time to research job requirements in that region and develop a plan for finding work.

There are many ways through which you can search for jobs in the education sector.

  • Broaden your search and include alternative careers.
  • Seek out a mentor in the nursing sector – for example, a retired nurse – who would give you valuable insight and advice and probably introduce you to their professional network.
  • Join nursing related job-finding or networking clubs through immigrant-serving agencies.
  • Attend nursing related career/job fairs and regularly the employment sections of your local newspapers.
  • Some nursing colleges or associations may maintain a job bank or suggest a commercial job site. As well, hospitals and other health institutions generally post vacancies on their websites.

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Settlement agencies

Most settlement agencies and other immigrant-serving organizations offer help with finding job vacancies, updating your resume, writing cover letters, preparing for interviews and understanding what Canadian employers are looking for.

Click the link to find immigrant services in your area.

Resume writing

Include a “Summary of Qualifications” or “Areas of Expertise” section at the very top. Have a short introduction or objective statement, and then lead to some bulleted points that highlight your most impressive accomplishments in the industry. This is a great opportunity to cram in some strategic keywords that will help you be noticed in HR software applications.

You can use keywords that are found in the job posting of the nursing job you plan to apply for, or use more generalized terms. Some examples are nurse, RN, registered nurse, critical care, and ER or ED (emergency room or emergency department), medical terminology, patient relations, etc. You can also list several keywords in a white font at the bottom of the resume as well; search engines will pick them up, but employers won’t see the keywords on-screen or when they print the resume.

Include all of your education and training, but don’t go into too much detail. If you just took a nursing bridging program or any other healthcare course in Canada, by all means mention that as one of your strengths.

Make sure you mention your level of interaction with patients. Most nursing professionals are very patient-oriented so it’s important for you to include information regarding the types of patients you’ve worked with in various clinical settings.

Your resume would also show how you consistently meet and exceed expectations, combine cost containment with quality improvement and customer service. You have to be a strategic thinker with a reputation for reaching team goals.

Interview techniques

Nursing interviews can be challenging; mostly they are Competency Based in front of a large panel and for many candidates these can be daunting. However with proper preparation and effective practice you can master the interview and walk away with the job offer.

When you are interviewed for a nursing position, you’ll be asked about your skills and experience, your training, and your interests. Below are some sample questions you might be asked during a job interview.

  • What made you choose nursing as a career?
  • How has your training prepared you for a nursing career?
  • What do you do to keep current with medical findings and practices?
  • What experiences has your training given you to prepare you for working in cardiology/ A&E / (or whatever the job is)?
  • How do you handle stress on the job?
  • How would you deal with a doctor who was rude?
  • How would you handle a patient who constantly complains about pain?
  • How would you handle a family who is displeased with your patient’s care?
  • What would you do if your replacement didn’t arrive?
    How might you educate patients into a healthier way of life

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Informational interviews

While the job outlook looks much better for nurses than many other occupations, landing that next opportunity – especially for newcomers like you – requires extra effort and

  • Make a list of the hospitals, nursing homes, public health agencies, traveling nurse agencies, and others, as desired, that operate in your area.
  • Use your resources including professional organizations and LinkedIn and other networking tools to identify organization insiders, such as nurse recruiters, nurse supervisors, health unit coordinators, and peers at the RN, LPN, CNA or NAR levels to learn about the particular and emerging needs of that organization, at that level, and in that immediate environment.
  • Create  5 – 10 open-ended questions that will yield full and immediately usable information.


Unlike some professions, where a 9-5 schedule is standard, nurses have to juggle 12 hour shifts and being “on call” with their personal lives. This can make it really difficult to attend professional/social functions or other networking opportunities. Therefore, online networking sites give nurses the opportunity to stay connected, get back in touch or simply meet new people, despite those crazy work schedules.outreach.

Informational interviewing can be viewed as a way to put your wonderful empathetic yet professional communication abilities, research skills and time management talents to work for your own benefit.

You are urged to spend time connecting with others to build and maintain a professional yet personal rapport before submitting your resume and cover letter. If you are a nurse based on an isolated rural area, being a part of a social networking site makes it easier to instantly connect with loved ones back home, while simultaneously staying connected with co-workers around the world.

Professionally, online communities are able to offer nurses advice, information, encouragement and career opportunities. By being part of online nursing communities or LinkedIn groups you can interact instantly via group pages, online chat portals, or post questions for others to read and respond via forums.