Against the backdrop of an acute shortage of nurses, the Admissions Officer, the highly respected André Gariépy, has just issued an urgent progress report whose recommendations must be followed.
In his analysis of the debacle of the recent exams of the Order of Nurses, he proposes preventive measures to respect the rights of applicants to practice the profession.
Commissioner Gariépy raises both formal and substantive problems and has already announced that the investigation he is carrying out will be deepened in a second phase.
The Order hides the truth
For example, the very low success rate announced by the Order of Nurses in September was only 51.4%, which was already quite unusual and shocking.
To quote the survey report: “This is practically the pass rate of candidates taking the exam for the first time. If we consider all the candidates who took the exam on the September 26, 2022 session, the pass rate is closer to 45.4%.”
It starts off badly when the Order’s information doesn’t tell the whole truth.
CEGEP graduates mistreated
For years, the order has advocated general higher education entrance qualifications as an entry point into professional practice. However, it is not up to the Order to decide this, but to the government.
In Quebec, we have been training the vast majority of our nurses at CÉGEP for decades.
Those trained to the university level hold the title of Clinical Nurse.
The nurses we discuss in the report are the cohort so desperately needed in today’s healthcare system.
Of course, if it were about downskilling, no one would agree, and with good reason.
But obviously the Commissioner, at least at this stage of his work, doesn’t see the problem in that.
In analyzing the possible causes of this failure, the Commissioner considers the exam itself as an assessment tool, as well as the question of training in times of pandemic.
He asserts that he is already tending to the conclusion “that candidates have probably suffered prejudice on their way to professional integration”.
The commissioner goes even further and speaks of a dramatic impact on the candidates, for whom this would be the third and last attempt allowed.
The Commissioner’s speed and determination should be noted. He proposes immediate measures and wants us to act immediately.
Pending his final report, the commissioner proposes postponing the next review in March.
He also hopes that no one will be considered a lost candidate for the profession because of a failed exam last September.
I have worked in government for a long time, including almost six years as President of the Office des professions.
I can say that André Gariépy has just broken speed records in the excellent execution of this important and complex mandate.
For that you have to congratulate him and above all listen to him. It is a fundamental issue of justice towards these much-needed future caregivers. They deserve better than being held in a vice by their order.