By: Jeannine Charles

Dana was born in Valcea, located in central-south Romania.

As a child, Dana loved the ambulance lights. Her father passed away suddenly at the age of 11. The ambulance, though called, took so long to come that he passed away in transit to the hospital.

Dana thought that if her father had been transported by an aircraft instead, which bypasses local traffic, he may have survived.

She then decided to pursue nursing and got married. She continued along her career path and worked as a nurse for 17 years, crafting a beautiful life, working as the clinical lead nurse in England for the Windsor Palace, before deciding that she wanted more.

Dana, who loves a challenge, thought, ‘What better way to challenge myself than to move to Canada?’ She took the leap in 2017, and while she knew she would have to start over, and that the process would be long, she didn’t expect the stringent recertification conditions or that her own home country would make the process much longer and harder than it should have been.

So far, the process has taken 3 and a half years. What’s worse is that she was trying to access her files and paperwork in the middle of the global pandemic.

The most frustrating part of Dana’s transition to Canada was the difficulty accessing her old files from Romania, because the Romanian system isn’t fully digital and thus has a backlog of paperwork. The Romanian Government only keeps hard copies of official documents, and they have made it nearly impossible to access these copies if you aren’t there in person.

The red tape surrounding her paperwork has led to a slow-down in her Canadian work experience.

Dana is now working towards being fully accredited as an RN in Canada, and she is also currently in school getting her Masters of Nursing degree. Her ultimate goal is to get her Doctorate of Nursing degree.

In the meantime, she has her sights set on becoming an Air Rescue Nurse (also known as an air ambulance flight nurse), which she is pursuing at her own pace. She’s already started taking flight lessons at the Brampton flight school, in order to have full control of her dream. She can now quickly transport sick people to hospitals to save them. The plight of her own father years ago continues to drive her dream forward. To quote Dana, “My dream is bigger than you will ever know!”

She applied for a Foreign Credential Certification Loan, because flight training isn’t cheap.

A Registered Flight Nurse must be able to work under challenging situations in a dynamic environment—every day of the week. Flight nurses need a high level of clinical training and experience to work on an air ambulance. In addition to the normal requirements of a Registered Nurse, they also need post-grad training in emergency nursing before they take to the skies.

Dana feels that she is qualified for this line of work because she works better under pressure, and can handle high stress situations.

Her first RN certification exam happens in July 2021, and we wish Dana all the best in pursuing her dreams!

Are you internationally educated, and looking to relaunch your career in Canada? Whether you’re thinking of getting back into your original profession, a related field or starting a completely new career path, we are here to help you. 

ACCESS Community Capital Fund’s Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Loans Program provides affordable loans of up to $15,000 to internationally-trained individuals to pay for career-related expenses such as courses, exams, licensing, certification and training. 

 Check out our website to learn more about the Foreign Credential Recognition Loans program and get questions answered by ACCESS staff.