Islam Hajras is an internationally educated nurse who arrived in Canada with her four underage children in July 2022, and applied for refugee status. Islam was born and raised in Palestine.

A few months after her arrival, Islam started to search for a job.

“I faced many challenges such as not having Canadian work experience, making a resume and cover letter for each job posting and I didn’t know how to do it according to the Canadian style. I researched looking for help until I found World Skills and CCI.”

Islam registered with CT-IHP (Career Transitions for International Health Professionals). That is when she says, she began to understand the Canadian job market, especially the medical field, and how to get licensed in Canada.

CT-IHP also supported Islam and her children with resources for food, winter clothing, children’s clothing, Permanent Resident card applications, social connections, and housing, among other day-to-day barriers to employment.

Islam found work as a medical office assistant at a local Family Health Team while simultaneously working to get her Ontario nursing license.

“My manager promised to hire me as an RN when I get my licencse.” This is a great incentive for Islam while working a low-paid job and being the sole provider for her family.

“I feel satisfied and happy to work in my field,” Islam says.

About CT-IHP, Islam says: “This program is highly recommended for health professionals. I sent the contact details to my nurse friend to register (. . .) I even contacted colleagues (health professionals) back home, who are afraid to come to Canada. I told them about this program and the amount of help and support I am getting.”

Islam’s advice to other international trained professionals is to “work hard and never give up during the licensing process and be patient as the process takes a long time and we are lucky enough to have Career Transition for International Health Professionals and its professional team who works hard with us to get our licences and be back to practice and make a difference in the Ontario health system.”