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From France to Salaberry-de-Valleyfield

The Bureau de recrutement international (BRI) of the Integrated Health and Social Services of Montérégie-Ouest (CISSSMO) no longer only has a name and a mission. Now, it has an image since Ludivine Collet, a clinical nurse from France works in the emergency room of the Hôpital du Suroît.


Originally from Brittany but having taken up residence in France for a few years, the 27-year-old woman completed her nursing training in 2016. She practiced her profession for more than two years in infectious diseases and for 6 months in pediatric intensive care. She finally let herself be tempted by the call of adventure and landed at the Montreal-Trudeau airport on January 10th following a series of interviews with the CISSSMO. The initial contact was in 2020 but COVID-19 postponed the plans.

“I hesitated between Australia and Canada, admits Ludivine Collet. I had my interview with the CISSSMO in March 2020 and then there was the pandemic. As Canada stopped immigration at that time, I was without news for more than 18 months even though my agreement was signed. Finally, in April 2021, the BRI contacted me again and the process was set in motion.”

The one who works a night shift at the Hôpital du Suroît claims to have received significant support which ultimately ended up making her cross the Atlantic. “The CISSSMO took good care of me,” she says. I want to publicly thank Annick Leclerc. This woman even took her time to view apartments for me so that I could have a suitable place to stay. I was so well received by my colleagues. Even for the purchase of my car, it was the spouse of a colleague who came with me. At no time did I feel alone. I received several welcome emails when I arrived. In four months, I developed a circle of friends.”

Ludivine Collet admits having strong emotions for Salaberry-de-Valleyfield. “It’s a beautiful, quiet town,” says the clinical nurse. Unlike big cities, it’s not filled with skyscrapers. Also, since I live near the hospital, everything is nearby. I don’t even have to use my car to go to work. I love it here so much that I’m already thinking about applying for permanent residency. At the moment, I am on a work permit which gives me the right to work for 3 years.”

Ms. Collet does not hide it; practicing your profession in Quebec is very different from doing it in France. “First, in France, someone who wants to study nursing must pass three tests and an oral in which the person must discuss their motivations. Subsequently, in Europe, there are no auxiliary nurses or service aids. The stethoscope is also reserved for doctors, but since there is no respiratory therapist, it is the nurses who perform respiratory assessments. Here it is quite different. This is why, when I arrived at the Hôpital du Suroît, I did a 75-day internship so that my diploma would be recognized. Finally, I can confirm that the salary of a nurse in Quebec is double that of France. It’s not only that either.”

Steve Sauvé


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