Highschool Diploma for Nurses in Montreal – Most IENs in Montréal, Québec know that in order to get a full LPN / RN license, they need to prove their proficiency in French language. There are two ways to do it – by successfully passing the OQLF exam or by getting a Québec highschool diploma.
Professional orders like OIIQ and OIIAQ encourage taking the OQLF exam to comply with Bill 101 or The Charter of French Language. The exam is free and it’s designed to determine if you can professionally converse in French.
But according to article 35 of The Charter of French Language (chapitre C-11):
Professional orders may issue licenses only to persons who have official language knowledge appropriate to the practice of their profession.
A person is deemed to have this knowledge if:
(1) she attended, on a full-time basis, at least three years of secondary or post-secondary education taught in French;
(2) has passed the examinations in French as a first language of the fourth or fifth year of secondary school;
(3) as of the 1985-1986 school year, he obtains a secondary school certificate in Québec.
In other cases, a person must obtain a certificate issued by the Office québécois de la langue française or hold a certificate defined as equivalent by government regulation.
According to the no. 3 condition specified above, professional orders like OIIQ and OIIAQ may issue a full license if the applicant obtained a secondary school certificate in Québec on or after the 1985-1986 school year. Hence, getting a highschool diploma is another viable option for IENs to get a full nursing license aside from successfully passing the OQLF exam.
Getting a highschool diploma is good for you if:
- You are having a hard time in successfully passing the OQLF exam.
- You want to have a second option in getting a full license to practice.
Remember that getting a Québec highschool diploma is NOT an option to avoid French because you will need to complete level 5 French As a Second Language to get it. However, the level of French needed to get a Québec highschool diploma is easier than the OQLF exam.
Also read: My Experience in Taking the New OQLF Exam
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Get a Highschool Diploma for Nurses in Montreal
Last 2019, I tried getting a Québec highschool diploma through distance education even though I already booked for an OQLF exam. I just wanted a backup plan in case I fail the exam.
I completed all the required subjects in 4 months. It’s attainable if you are determined to work hard on it.
Here’s how I did it:
- Register at Distance Education for All Learners (DEAL). This program is under the English Montreal School Board. Registration costs $25. Their address is 3711 Rue de Bullion, Montreal, QC.
- Once you are registered, you will be given placement tests to determine your level for each subject. For RNs and LPNs, there are three subjects required – English, Math and French. To get a higschool diploma, you should successfully pass English 5, Math 4 and French 5.
- To get your highschool diploma in the quickest way possible, you should ensure that your placement tests are good enough for you to be placed in English 5, Math 4 and French 5 (the last levels required for a highschool diploma). If you will be placed on a lower level (English 4, for example), it will take you longer to get the diploma because you will need to finish English 4 before proceeding to English 5.
- The placement tests can be completed at home. Once you submit them and they are corrected, you will be informed of your corresponding level for each subject.
- English 5, Math 4 and French 5 have three books each. Each book has three to five assignments. The assignments are separate worksheets that you need to submit before you can schedule for an exam. You don’t need to answer all the exercises in each book but you will need it for reference in answering the assignments.
- Each subject has three progressive exams (one exam for each book). It’s progressive because you cannot proceed to the next book without successfully writing the exam. You should submit the assignments first and once they are satisfactorily graded, you will be allowed to schedule for an exam.
- The exams for each book is similar to the assignments. All the assignments should be answered at home but the exam can only be taken at their exam room with the presence of a teacher.
- After writing the exam, you will receive an email if you successfully passed it. After that you can submit the next assignments for the next book so you can schedule for that book’s exam.
- If you are having difficulties with distance learning, you have the option to enroll a subject at the High School of Montreal Adult Education Center for classroom teaching. Their office is in the same building as DEAL. It costs $95 to register. The schedules for classes are Monday-Friday at 1:00PM-5:00PM for two months or Monday-Wednesday at 5:30PM-9:30PM for three to four months. (Because I’m not good with numbers, I enrolled Math 4 at the High School of Montreal Adult Education Center. I went to classes on weekdays from 1:00PM to 5:00PM for two months. Totally worth it, I finished the Math books and exams easily!)
- After you have passed all the required exams for the three subjects, DEAL and/or the High School of Montreal Adult Education Center will transmit your grades to the Ministry of Education. Once all the grades are complete in the system, you can go to the Ministry of Education to request for a copy of your highschool diploma and submit it to your professional order like OIIQ or OIIAQ.
UPDATE 2022: Placement Tests are no longer given for each subject
DEAL eliminated the need to take placement tests. They are now requiring students to pass an exam successfully for each level until you reach your target level.
Example: The minimum Math level required for a high school diploma is Secondary 4. If you are aiming to complete Secondary 4 Math for this, you need to successfully pass the exams for Secondary 1, 2 and 3 Maths. If you failed the exam for Secondary 3 Math, you will have to start taking DEAL classes at that level until you reach your Secondary 4 Math target.
For more information, check DEAL’s website.
Tips in Getting a Highschool Diploma
- Do your best with the exams. Aim to be placed on the highest level possible.
- After you get the books for the level you are assigned with, start with the assignments right away. All the information you need to answer the assignments are in the book. I didn’t answer the exercises in the book, I just used them for reference.
- Don’t be a perfectionist with the assignments and exams. The aim for this is to pass, not to get a 100% grade. Some of the assignments in English and French may require you to record an audio or a video. Don’t procrastinate in perfecting the recording.
- If possible, do Math 4 with the High School of Montreal Adult Education Center. The Math 4 assignments and exams are hard with DEAL, but somehow the teacher for the 1:00PM-5:00PM schedule in the High School of Montreal Adult Education Center made them easier to handle.
So here are all the details I can share in getting a highschool diploma for nurses in Montreal. I will add more details in the future. But in the meantime, I’m happy to share that the OIIAQ accepted my highschool diploma for a full LPN license!