Frequently Asked Questions

Solutions Nursing

  • The work team: Because leaders are members of the same family, it is easier to get along and make quick decisions. The office staff is recruited with the same rigor and the same principle: we are looking for personalities compatible with our values and with a lot of potential. We are looking for the best.
  • Reaction speed: We carry out quick and efficient follow-ups to facilitate the recruitment process for our candidates. In addition, when receiving the results of our annual survey, we react quickly to satisfy as much as possible the needs of our staff. We continuously push ourselves and we take nothing for granted. We put the bar so high, it is difficult to imitate us or try to overtake us.
  • Our proactivity: We monitor the market continuously to meet present and future needs in remote areas.
  • The respect for our employees and our customers: We listen to the opinions and needs of our employees and customers. By the evaluation questionnaire given annually, each nurse gives their comments and we react. We are also adapting to the changing needs of our customers and partners to provide them with the most satisfying customer experience.
  • For the reliability: We are the agency that stands out the most in remote regions. Our expertise is undoubtedly an asset. We are also recognized as the agency that provides the most qualified personnel through our expanded role training. We have privileged contacts with Northern health organizations since we train their staff in an expanded role.
  • For the support: We do everything in our power to make your Northern experience as pleasant as possible. We offer personalized support to each of our nurses. At Solutions Nursing you are not left to yourselves and we consider the strengths and weaknesses of each one, so that we ensure that each nurse works in the right place and evolves according to their progress.
  • For the training: We offer authentic expanded role training to all our nurses before hiring as well as an on-the-job continuing education program. You are therefore well equipped and well prepared for this new challenge.
  • To prevent unpleasant surprises: At Solutions Nursing, you receive all the necessary information before hiring to avoid misunderstandings and ambiguity. You have access, at all times, to the detailed employee guide to answer your questions. In addition, we are available 24/7 in case of emergencies and / or unforeseen events. We operate according to standards while having a lot of flexibility and “common sense”.
  • Punctuality: A person who is on time for their interview shows seriousness. Make sure you know the route to get to our offices. Plan your time well, traffic is no excuse for being late.
  • Dress code: It is also important to be dressed appropriately, just like any selection interview.
  • Behavior: Be natural and do not overdo it. Respond according to your knowledge and do not invent answers that you do not know. It is better to accept not knowing the answer than to invent. In case histories, do not hesitate to ask for help (therapy guide, another nurse, call to doctor).
  • Preparation: Make sure you are ready for the English test and to answer some questions in English. Allow enough time. Some nurses may take longer, and appointments may be delayed. Make sure you are in good shape. It is best to postpone if you are not in full capacity of your means (e.g. after a night of work, with a bad cold, after an argument with your spouse…).

Yes, Solutions Nursing respects the regulations and makes the provincial and federal deductions. Payroll deductions are as follows:

  • Federal tax
  • Provincial tax
  • Employment Insurance

Group insurance for permanent positions without exemption.

Yes, most of our nurses work exclusively for us. When we hire a person, we make sure we have enough requests to ensure full-time work.

Please note: There are currently more assignment requests than we can fill.

Yes. However, we will have to make sure that these agencies do not serve the regions mentioned in our exclusivity contract. However, we suggest that you do not accept long-term commitments that would harm your work opportunities in the north.

Assignment requests vary by region and sector:

  • In Quebec
    • In clinics: most of the assignments last 4 to 8 weeks. Sometimes there are requests for shorter periods, but it is obvious that the health care organization will prioritize a nurse who has worked there on a regular basis.
    • In the mining sector: assignments are often 2 to 3 weeks but there are few requests since assignments are often long term and highly awarded.
  • In Nunavut: Assignment times are longer due to high transportation costs. Each assignment varies on average between 6 to 8 weeks.

It all depends on the region where you are going to work:

  • In northern Quebec: The orientation varies from one community to another, but it lasts approximately 1 week. In some communities, you will follow a nurse while in others, you will be in surplus and take the time to adapt and ask all your questions. You can also do double duty by following a nurse who goes to the clinic for an emergency.
  • In Nunavut: Because there are fewer resources, there is no formal orientation and each community manages the orientation according to the availability at the time.
  • In the mining sector: You will have an orientation, but this varies from one mine to another.

Before leaving for your first assignment, we will give you all the details regarding the type of orientation you will receive, and we will make sure that you have all the necessary information.

Yes, it is difficult to place nurses for such short periods.

Health organizations rarely offer short-term assignments. If requested, they are often emergencies requiring experienced expanded role nurses.

  • Become an experienced nurse: To become an experienced expanded role nurse, you must work long enough and for fairly long periods. We always recommend starting with an assignment of at least 6 weeks. The reason is quite simple: if you only stay 2 weeks, you will not have time to adapt and familiarize yourself with your workplace. By doing longer assignments, you will be adapted, and you will develop more self-confidence, which will make you want to repeat the experience.

If your desire to work in the North is strong and you have a lot of will and patience, we can suggest you to start working in Northern hospitals. This will eventually allow you to gain some experience. We will then judge whether it is relevant to train you in an expanded role.

  • In northern Quebec: you must have a functional English level, you must be able to understand your patient well and make sure you are understood (both in person and by phone). The notes in the patient’s file can be written in French or in English, so you must be able to read both languages.
  • In Nunavut: English must be at a higher level since all communications will be in English: with patients and the work team. Notes in the file, protocols and calls to the doctor will be in English. You will need to have excellent results at academic IELTS or CELBAN. These tests are not required if English is your mother tongue.

Yes, it is possible to work for us without a contract in the following situations only:

  • Nurse who has experience in an expanded role and who does not require training
  • Nurse who has completed their basic contract and who wishes to continue the assignments with us

We film our interviews for the following reasons:

  • If in doubt to decide, we can listen to an interview again.
  • The interview is often conducted by one person and it is sometimes difficult to record all the responses to the noted case histories.
  • Some health organizations wish to view the interview for long-term assignments.

It depends on the assignment:

  • Clinics and hospitals: When you work in a clinic or in a Northern hospital, you must buy your own food. Since the cost of food is higher, we offer you a cost of living bonus according to the different sectors.
  • Mines: If you work in mines, meals and snacks are provided.

Expanded role training

The job of the nurse in an expanded role is to significantly expand their professional skills and areas of practice. The nurse must learn to work independently while being supervised. They must be able to:

  • Evaluate any type of patient of any age group
  • Provide primary care
  • Use a higher-level questionnaire to compensate for the lack of available technologies
  • Perform a thorough medical examination
  • Perform certain acts usually reserved for other health professionals
  • Answer phone calls when on call
  • Respond to all types of emergencies (pediatric, obstetrical, adults, elderly)
  • Develop an action plan following an in-depth analysis
  • Perform medical evacuations by ambulance or plane, sometimes also with other means of transport (e.g. helicopter, snowmobile, etc.)
  • Treat according to the different therapeutic guides
  • Promote health and develop the teaching side
  • Apply community health programs (vaccination and infant monitoring, prenatal monitoring, women’s health, long-term monitoring, school health, etc.)
  • Etc.

Without question: The result!

The nurses who have followed our training are more efficient quickly. It is for this reason that we also train nurses from different health organizations.

  • Our training is focused on the practice of advanced physical examination
  • Our training is given mainly by a doctor
  • The nurses who have followed our training are better equipped to accurately assess patients
  • We show nurses a precise evaluation structure so that
    • They do not miss serious signs
    • They can orient themselves towards the patient’s problem
    • They can explain the situation objectively when calling the doctor
  • The Quebec Order of Nurses (OIIQ) recommends 12 weeks of pre-employment training to be able to work in an expanded role. Obviously, this would be ideal since the material to be covered is considerable. The problem is that training on such a scale is expensive and health organizations do not have the required budgets.
  • We managed to concentrate the main part in 4 weeks in the classroom and +/- 1 week online. In addition, we have created a reference guide (the Soluguide) which includes several essential and complementary tools for working in an expanded role

It may happen that a person taking the training does not have the potential for the expanded role, despite the rigor of our hiring process. When this situation occurs, we intervene directly with the nurse concerned and the health organization concerned.

  • It is not recommended to work since the training course is demanding and requires a lot of concentration and energy.
  • There is also a lot of study and practice to plan to assimilate the material.

Yes, you will be assessed in several ways:

  • A written exam of +/- 100 questions
  • A scenario
  • An evaluation of certain techniques (Pap test, sutures)
  • A SOAP note
  • Your physical examination
  • The course failure rate is very low, since the nurses are well selected in advance. When we assess a problem during the training, we do not wait until the end of it to notify the nurse and the health organization, we prefer to do so as soon as possible to take the necessary measures.
  • Our team of trainers are very available, it is not uncommon for our doctor to schedule meetings with nurses outside of training hours to help them
  • At Solutions Nursing, we aim for a minimum success rate of 75% for clinic work
  • It is always good to do preparatory readings, especially on subjects that you do not master well (e.g. pediatrics or obstetrics)
  • You can also consult our reference book Soluguide. A preliminary reading will give you a big lead on training
  • We also recommend acknowledging “Better living with your child from pregnancy to 2 years”. You can view it online or get it for free
  • If you have never done vaccination, familiarizing yourself with the “Quebec immunization protocol” would also be an advance for training
  • The Soluguide is not included in the training, it is sold at a cost of $ 84.00 taxable.
  • However, Solutions Nursing gives a free Soluguide to each of its nurses
  • It is at the discretion of the health organization which registers a nurse for the expanded role training course whether to supply the Soluguide or not.

Solutions Nursing is an accredited organization meeting the standards of Emploi Québec. All our trainers have at least 250 hours of training and master their subject

We are affiliated with UQAT (University of Quebec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue) for certain continuing education (eg Training on emergency deliveries). The request for credits is not compulsory and the costs incurred are the responsibility of the nurse

Nurses in training are housed in a hotel or in an Airbnb if they live far from our premises.

Work in the far north

Working as a nurse in an expanded role is not for everyone. It is important to meet these 4 conditions:

  • Have the right motives: Give quality care, take up a professional and/or personal challenge, discover First Nations and Inuit cultures, etc.
  • Have a good clinical judgment, on top of meeting the hiring criteria and being bilingual
  • Be in good physical and mental health: You will work several hours straight and will be far from your relatives
  • Be resourceful and flexible: Doing nursing assignments requires improved adaptation capabilities, plus the North brings its share of surprises!

In the North, there is only full time. Due to the lack of resources, overtime is a common thing. However, there is a difference between working in the clinics and working in the hospitals.

  • Clinics: Clinics are usually open from 9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday. Outside of these hours, nurses must share on call periods.
  • Hospitals: Hospitals have 8-hour or 12-hour shifts, often on rotation. Nurses are on call and may be called in as back up, for example for Medevacs.

When you are on call, you need to always be ready to answer the phone. You usually have a radiotelephone or a cellphone. You can do your usual activities, but you must always stay alert: do not take alcohol or anything that would affect your attention. Sometimes, people call for some Info-Santé type of advice. Expect also to be woken up during the night for an emergency. Learning how to handle a call is part of the expanded role training course.

The larger the community, the busier the hours on call. If you are 2 nurses in a community of 300 inhabitants, even if you are always either 1st or 2nd, calls are rare. However, if you go work in a community with 2,000 inhabitants, even though the team is larger and you are not on call very often, when it is your turn, expect the phone to ring more often.

Our advice: Once your bachelor’s degree is obtained, it is advisable to work on active departments (emergency, intensive care, obstetrics, pediatrics, etc.) to acquire clinical reflexes. A minimum experience of 2 to 3 years full time will be required. Once you have the prerequisites, we invite you to contact us.

If you meet the requirements (studies, experience, language) and if your personal situation allows you to leave serenely for several weeks, start inquiring about the North as much as you can. It would be wise to ask us for an access to our online information session, read more on the subject, talk to nurses who have experienced it and ask them questions. You will soon know if you wish to move forwards.

Of course, the expanded role is the most common position in the North but there are also other types of positions in hospitals or in community health. You will find more details on this page.

No, but you will have to do your bit to study on this subject. Nurses all have their own strengths and weaknesses. You need to work on the weaknesses to be prepared to work in an expanded role. Training will equip you to make up for any shortages you may encounter. Some pediatrics role-playing scenarios will help you prepare.

Yes, we have a few nurses who are vegetarian and have adapted well to the North. It is obvious that they bring a lot of food and this demands more preparation, but it is quite feasible. In « Introduction au travail en régions éloignées », you will learn more on this subject.

No, you are not allowed to bring your pet or to be accompanied (spouse, children…) as you will be staying in a shared transit. In « Introduction au travail en régions éloignées », you will learn more about the transit: what the rules are, what is available and what is not.

No, it is impossible. Given the housing shortage, people living in northern communities wait several months or even years before being allocated housing or a house. Health organizations provide accommodation for all those who work for them, whether their employees or agency staff. In the Far North, there are no houses for sale and no apartments for rent.