Sonny Francis Aquino came to Canada in 2011 from the Philippines with hopes of practicing as a registered nurse.
The licensing process was long, so he started the paperwork before coming to Canada. Aquino was happy to work as a continuing care assistant in Saskatoon until the process was complete, but wanted to eventually pursue his originally chosen profession. That opportunity came when he learned about Pathways from his wife who had just been hired by Saskatoon Health Region and heard about the project during Welcome Onboard Week.

Sonny Aquino

Sonny Aquino

Pathways: IEHP Support, Bridging & Integration is a five-year project funded by Health Canada in collaboration with Saskatchewan Ministry of Health. It is led provincially by Saskatoon Health Region. The project assists internationally-educated health professionals such as RNs, physical therapists and medical laboratory technologists currently employed within a health region in Saskatchewan by providing information, referrals, resources, language support and training opportunities so they may become licenced and practice their internationally-trained profession or an alternate clinical profession. As of July 2013, more than 400 participants from across the province were registered with the project.

“Saskatoon Health Region recognizes that we have a talent pool of internationally-educated health professionals who are currently employed in our Region and can contribute towards our health human resource needs,” says Allison Laughren, Pathways Project Consultant (North).

”Supporting internationally-educated health professionals is a way to ensure our workforce is representative of the population we serve,” says Amber Clarke, Pathways Project Consultant (South).

Aquino feels fortunate to have found the support of Pathways. “They have the inputs there. They have the resources there. We have the program that seemingly guides us in every step of the way. They are very, very easy to work with and we are so grateful to have them.” He’s now working as a registered nurse at Sherbrooke Community Centre and Lutheran Sunset Home in Saskatoon.

The Pathways project was recently recognized with an Award of Excellence by Profiles in Diversity Journal. Learn more about Pathways at