UST College of Nursing Dean Prof. Rowena L. Escolar Chua, Ph.D., joined the First Filipino Nurses Conventions organized by the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver on March 25, 2022 at the Coast Coal Harbour Vancouver Hotel.
She met her fellow administrators from various British Columbia educational institutions with accredited nursing programs. This convention was in collaboration with the Filipino Network, a network of Filipino social service workers in British Columbia, and Western Community College.
The University of Santo Tomas is one of the few Philippine Centers of Excellence in nursing and one of six that the Consulate reached out to, according to their website.
With the theme “Breaking Barriers to Labour Market Integration in the Healthcare Industry: The Future of Internationally Trained Nurses”, the convention tackled 4 plenary topics: (1) the current state of credentials recognition processes for Internationally-Educated Nurses (IENs) in BC; (2) the lived experiences in nursing licensure procurement; (3) The alternative pathways; and lastly,(4) the way forward being an excellent registered nurse. For the first plenary, the speakers were British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives Chief Executive Officer Cynthia Johansen, Nursing Community Assessment Service Executive Director Rita Parikh, and British Columbia Nurses Union Human Rights Equity and Health Policy Officer Hanif Karim.
The speakers for second plenary includes – Ms. Sherrylyn Vivero, Ms. Hydee McMillan, and Ms. Jennie Arceno. The three are registered nurses in BC who shared their experiences of becoming registered nurses in BC. Alternative pathways for achieving a nursing career in BC were discussed in the third plenary for the IENs. The speakers were Filipino Network Member and Western Community College Director for Employment and Community Programs Mr. Stephen Andrada and Western Community College Healthcare Assistant (HCA) Program Manager and Classroom Instructor on Theory and Skills Lab Ms. Amy de Chavez Lastly, for the fourth plenary, Mr. Andrada was also the speaker. He concluded the plenary discussion by presenting a roadmap that summarizes the previous discussion along with the short, medium, and long-term plans for the better career opportunities of the IENs.
The convention aimed to help Filipino IENs in British Columbia to land great nursing career opportunities. Through the plenary discussions, IENs are shared with information and understanding to cope up with the credentials recognition processes for nurses in BC.
Additionally, information booths were set up at the convention venue through the help of the other few organizations the consulate reached out to for the event. In line with the convention, Dean Escolar Chua met with the heads of the BSN programs of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), University of British Columbia, Douglas College, and Thompson Rivers University.
The convention was attended by a total of 100 Filipino Internationally-Educated Nurses (IENs). The University of Santo Tomas is one of the very few institutions invited by the consulate. Apart from the University, Healthmatch BC, the Langley Community Service Society, FilNet, the Western Community College, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office, and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration in Vancouver engaged in the event.