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Nurse Puangkaew

Puangkaew

Puangkaew, the youngest of five children in her family, watched her parents sacrifice financially so that her and her siblings could experience higher education. Puangkaew’s love of helping people led her to become an operating nurse in Thailand. Although the position paid well, Puangkaew wanted to give more back to her elderly parents who had done so much for her.  

She decided to come to Canada through the live-in caregiver program. She arrived in 2008 with minimal English comprehension, but her goal was to learn the language and to get back into her field. Her road to becoming a Registered Nurse in Canada was not as easy as she had hoped. Language was a barrier. Puangkaew started English as a Second Language classes around the time she submitted her credentials to the College of Nurses of Ontario. After two years of study, she was told she only needed to write a qualifying exam.  

She attempted the exam but fell just short of passing. That year, the College of Nurses of Ontario changed their requirements – now she was required to pass the exam and take a refresher course. She applied to Mohawk College’s Bridging for Internationally Educated Nurses certificate program. With the costs of the program looming, and only a minimum wage job barely covering her living expenses, she knew she needed some financial assistance. 

Mohawk College provided her with information about Windmill Microlending and the connection was made. She applied for the loan and used the funds towards school fees and living expenses. With Windmill’s financial support, Puangkaew was able to successfully pass all of the requirements to become a Registered Nurse.  

Puangkaew is currently working as a cardiac surgery nurse at Hamilton General Hospital. Puangkaew came to Canada as a hopeful newcomer and encountered many obstacles, but sheer determination led her back into the operating room as a Canadian citizen.


Every year, Windmill helps hundreds of immigrants by providing loans to help them pay for the licensing or training they need to work in their field in Canada. Now more than ever Canada’s newcomers need our help.

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