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Nurses from the north, caring for America

When Canadians Rana Allawnha and her sister Rodanna first began travelling stateside as children, they never dreamed they’d cross the border to save lives as adults. “Our parents owned a convenience store in southwest Detroit,” says Rana. “So, growing up, it wasn’t unusual for us to be in the U.S. every day.”

Today, both sisters retain dual Canadian/American citizenship. Rana is a Registered Nurse at Beaumont Hospital, Dearborn, and a Program Manager (MN, RN-BC) for the hospital’s nursing teams Magnet® journey. Rodanna is a stroke-certified RN in Beaumont’s stroke accredited neurology unit that progressively steps stroke patients down from the ICU to eventual rehabilitation.

Though they take the Ambassador Bridge (or Detroit-Windsor tunnel) at different times, both sisters chose to pursue their nursing careers in the U.S. for the same reason: quality of care. “Beaumont’s nursing protocols, best-practices and robust team make it easier to accomplish your job,” Rodanna says.

Rana is also grateful for investments in technology that help hospital staff better connect with each other and their patients. “Recently, they launched the use of iPhones that are connected to everything related to our patients.”

Beaumont is among the first health systems in the state to provide such innovative mobile technology to its care teams. “You can access your assignments for the day, view patients’ charts, monitor their cardiac rhythm, and broadcast messages to other nurses on-duty,” she adds. “It’s very different and pretty incredible, actually.”

It was a “National Night Out” event hosted in partnership with Beaumont Health and the Dearborn Police that first drew Rodanna to Beaumont. “Mom and I were there to support Rana,” she recalls. “There was a Beaumont hosted stroke education table at event, I thought, how wonderful that a hospital could be such an advocate for the community.”

Another hospital employee at the event helped Rodanna navigate the application process for the job she enjoys to this day. That personalized help exemplified the collaborative culture of Beaumont for her.

“It’s such a good vibe,” she explains. “The Beaumont team is really family oriented. Everyone knows each other. No one’s cliquey. There’s always someone to help you with a question or find your way.”

It’s also a flexible career path that lets you pick and choose, according to Rodanna. “We enjoy continuing education, tuition reimbursement, professional development opportunities, and more.”

She enjoys good work/life balance as well, with a scheduling system that tries to take each nurse’s personal life into account, whether it’s an event, PTO, an important commitment or a specialized shift. “We call it The Dream Schedule,” she says with a smile.

Beaumont’s Chief Nursing Officer, Susan Grant, agrees.

“Our scheduling aims to accommodate each nurse’s personal life. There is no one-size fits all. But, it’s not just about the schedule. Over the last 18 months, we have implemented a number of programs to recognize our nurses for their extraordinary work during the pandemic.”

Despite the pandemic, these Canadian sisters have found their dream jobs in the U.S. When asked to share her personal observations about working across the border, Rana says, “If you’re a Canadian nurse considering a career move to the U.S., just go ahead and do it. I wish I would have made the change sooner.”

Rodanna agrees. “Beaumont really invests in its employees’ professional development and training—particularly in new technologies and tools. I don’t know how today’s health care systems could function at this level without them.”

Calling all Canadians

Beaumont is actively recruiting other Canadian nurses to answer the call.

“Absolutely!”, says Rana. “There’s an internal referral and incentive program. Plus, there’s a dedicated website, , where Canadians interested in Beaumont opportunities can find out about available jobs, resources for obtaining U.S. visas, social security numbers, nursing certifications, licensure and more. Even a Frequently Asked Question section.”