Deputy Minister Visits Fanshawe Bridging Program
On Wednesday, October 28, 2009, Ontario's Deputy Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Chisanga Puta-Chekwe, paid a visit to Fanshawe College. The stop was part of a province-wide tour investigating government-funded bridging projects throughout Ontario.
Ontario Deputy Minister Chisanga Puta-Chekwe visited the health simulation labs at Fanshawe on October 28.
For the approximately 70 percent of adult immigrants with post-secondary training, the transition to Canada from their home countries often requires updating and adapting their international qualifications to meet provincial requirements. The BIEN program, which leads to provincially-recognized certification, began at Fanshawe in 2008, to enable internationally educated nurses to meet the regulatory requirements of the College of Nurses of Ontario.
After meeting with Fanshawe President Howard Rundle, the Deputy Minister then toured the labs used by students of the Bridging for Internationally Educated Nurses (BIEN) project. Several current BIEN students accompanied the Deputy Minister through the health simulation labs on the second floor of D building, along with faculty and staff from the BIEN project team.
Representatives were also on hand from Creating Access to Regulated Employment (CARE) Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses. CARE access centres provide career counselling and support services for immigrants with foreign training in the health sciences.
After the tour, Deputy Minister Puta-Chekwe spent time talking with BIEN students, and hearing first-hand accounts of their experiences. He also discussed his own background in legal and political endeavours all over the world.
"It was exciting to meet the Deputy Minister and have the opportunity to personally share the success of our Bridge to Nursing Credentials project," said Mike Hanwell, Acting Dean of Community Services. "To garner the attention of the Deputy Minister of Citizenship and Immigration speaks volumes to the success of the program and its graduates."