If you are an internationally educated nurse (IEN) and you wish to work as a nurse in Canada (except for Quebec and the Territories), you must complete an application with the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS).
You may apply if
You may apply for a license in the province of your choice to be either:
- A Registered Nurse (RN)
- A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
- Or, a Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN)
NNAS partners Canada’s nursing regulatory bodies and offers a simple and secure way to review and store the documents you are required to submit in order for you to work in Canada.
The role of NNAS in your application process
NNAS has three roles:
- To verify your credentials
- To compare your credentials to Canadian standards
- To provide secure, online storage for your education and registration credential
NNAS has a legal contract with CGFNS International, Inc. (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools) in Pennsylvania; U.S.A. They have five roles:
- To review and store your documents
- To verify that your documents are authentic
- To ensure each nurse’s files have all required documents
- To determine if your documents meet Canadian standards
- To send completed files to the correct regulatory body/bodies so they can make the final decisions about your eligibility to work as a nurse in Canada.
As part of your NNAS application, you must prove that you can listen, speak, read, and write in English or French (depending on the province that you intend to work in).
If your first language is not English or French, you will need to complete language testing and have the results sent directly to NNAS from your approved language testing agency. You are required to meet minimum language test scores. The testing must be current, and the successful results must be no older than six months at the time you apply to NNAS.
If your first language is either English or French, you may not have to complete language testing, but you must meet the following criteria:
- The main language where you live and work is English or French and your nursing education
program of instruction was in English or French. Online and distance education programs
are not accepted.
- You can show evidence that you have safely practiced nursing within the last two years
where services were provided and the main language used was English or French.
For more information on testing agencies, see Step 6: Submit your Language Testing Results as part of the The Application Process of this website.
As you prepare to embrace your welcome to Canada, it is important to know that some things are likely to be done differently than you are accustomed to.
Here are some important links that will help set you on the right path to integrating into Canadian life. Less confusion and realistic expectations when moving to Canada will increase your chances of achieving success.