Amala Biju is a registered nurse (RN) in the Oncology department at Oak Valley Health. She came to Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH) in November 2021 as a personal support assistant (PSA) in palliative and complex care. Through her passion for patient care, she went on to pursue a career as a registered practical nurse (RPN) before eventually becoming a registered nurse (RN).
“I feel like I am just a representation of how internationally educated nurses struggle to attain their Canadian license,” says Amala. “And I am very glad as well as proud that I started off my nursing career in Canada as a personal support worker (PSW) – my experiences in community, long-term care, and in hospital have provided me with a holistic view of the different ways we as nurses can provide meaningful patient care. This has helped me to be a better person in understanding the Canadian health care sector as well as learn from all these working environments.”
Amala came to Canada as an international student from India in 2019. She completed her post-graduation in health care administration from St. Lawrence College in Kingston, and went on to work as a community PSW and volunteered with Nanny Angel Network.
As the pandemic emerged, she moved to Toronto with her relatives where she completed her PSW course from the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC), worked in a long-term care home, and completed her RPN exam. Even so, being an internationally educated nurse (IEN), there were some requirements missing.
While she worked towards meeting them, she came to Oak Valley Health as a PSA in palliative and complex care. Oak Valley Health supported Amala in transitioning into her nursing career, partnering with the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) in doing the supervised practice experience program (SPEP) for IENs. This allowed Amala to meet the requirements for her RN and RPN registration.
Amala is the first IEN at Oak Valley Health to get registered after completing the SPEP.
“I have been blessed to have such amazing coworkers and a good team,” says Amala. “My colleagues on 3E have made such an impact on my life. And I am excited for all the future opportunities. This journey is never ending and I love what I do!”
Amala enjoys that Oak Valley Health is a place of cultural diversity where she can work with professionals of all different backgrounds and learn from her colleagues everyday.
When Amala is not at work, she enjoys spending time on social media connecting with her family in India. She also enjoys cooking, cleaning, reading, and spending time with her cousins.
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