Nursing Licensure Procedure for Internationally Educated Nurses in 5 Canadian Provinces

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Nursing professionals are globally renowned as a vital element of the healthcare system because they deliver a considerable proportion of healthcare services. In the past years, the increasing importance of nurses has led to a subsequent increase in Canadian national nurse mobility.

Canada is divided into a range of culturally diverse regions, commonly called provinces and each province has a high demand for nurses. The only thing is that the nurses have to be licensed in a province or a territory before they can practice as a professional. In Canada, the nursing profession is run on a self-regulated model which means that the provincial and territorial nursing bodies regulate nursing in Canada.

While ensuring the best interests of the public, these regulated bodies hire competent nurses for their provinces. As such, the requirement for licensure is also established by the provincial and territorial nursing bodies. This means that the applicants have to fulfil different requirements for each province.

If you are a nurse who is planning to immigrate to Canada then you should be aware of the licensure procedure of different provinces. This will not only help you in understanding more about these provinces but it will also help you know what steps you should take to get registered in these provinces.

Here are the nursing licensure procedures for internationally educated nurses in 5 Canadian provinces.

  1. British Columbia:

British Columbia is widely preferred because of its inter-provincial and international migration history. Some of the in-migration factors such as lifestyle, weather, and recreational opportunities make it a preferable place for nursing professionals.

Just as the population grows, more nurses are needed in almost every sector of the healthcare industry. There is a demand for registered nurses throughout British Columbia which is why students are offered nursing scholarships in Canada and professionals are offered the best employment opportunities. In case you wish to gain a nursing license in British Columbia then do the following:

  • To start a British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwife application, you first apply to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS).
  • After the NNAS has successfully reviewed your application, you will need an NNAS registration number, NNAS application number, NNAS advisory report, and your payment information for applying to BCCNM.
  • If you have met all of these requirements, you will be ready to apply for the BCCNM registration.
  • Remember to allow almost 3-5 days after you receive your NNAS report before applying for registration.
  • You either create an online account or sign in to your online account for starting your online application.
  • The authorities will send you a confirmation email after you submit your BCCNM application successfully and complete the payment.
  1. Ontario:

Ontario welcomes internationally educated nurses to study nursing in Canada with open arms. All the nurses, irrespective of their backgrounds should successfully accomplish similar steps as Ontario nursing students such as getting a license by studying for NCLEX or getting registered by the College of Nurses of Ontario. This includes writing the national registered nurse examination as a part of the registration program. 

The registration requirements that nurses are supposed to follow include:

  • Nursing Education: The nurses are required to demonstrate successful completion of a registered nursing course designed to prepare you for the kind of nursing that you wish to practice in Ontario.
  • Evidence of Practice: It is important to show that one has sufficient experience practicing as a nurse. The applicants can automatically meet this requirement by completing a nursing program that is approved by the College.
  • Registration Examination: The nurses are also required to complete the registration examination approved by the College for the kind of nursing that nurses want to practice.
  • Jurisprudence Examination: The applicants must also complete either the RN/RPN Jurisprudence examination or the NP Jurisprudence examination.
  • Proficiency in English or French: An applicant is required to show proficiency in languages like English or French before practicing as a nurse in Ontario.
  • Citizenship, Permanent Residency, or Authorization to Practice Nursing: The applicants are required to provide proof of their citizenship, residency status, or the authorization to practice nursing in Ontario before they can register as a nurse.
  • Past Offence and Findings: The applicants are expected to honestly state if they have been guilty of an offense, refused registration, had any finding related to nursing practice or a different profession against you, or are also involved in any proceedings
  • Health and Conduct: The applicants must declare if they suffer from any kind of physical or mental condition that can affect their ability to practice nursing. In addition, the college should be satisfied that you practice with honesty, integrity, and decency, and in accordance with the law.
  1. Alberta:

Alberta welcomes nurses from all across the world. In case you have completed your nursing education outside Canada then there are some things that you must know for applying to practice in Alberta.

  • Before applying to the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta, you can apply and pay an assessment fee directly to the NNAS so that the NNAS can forward the assessment of your application to you and to CARNA.
  • After receiving a report from NNAS, you can create a new account for submitting your application to be assessed and for paying the non-refundable fee online.
  • You are supposed to complete the currency of practice hours form, and documentation of registered nursing experience/practice form for emailing them to
  • After this, CARNA will contact you for further instructions. Both of your applications will be assessed individually so that the required documents can be ordered. The authorities will determine your eligibility to apply for RN, and eligibility to write the registration exam and apply for a graduate nurse permit. Your application will be deferred until you complete the Alberta registered nurse assessment program or bridging education. A further assessment application with a fee to CARNA will also be required after completion of the ARNAP or bridging program. It will be seen if you are eligible to proceed with meeting the registration requirements or not.
  • Once you have completed the assigned coursework, you will be notified about the next steps. This will include writing the NCLEX exam, applying for a graduate nurse permit, and applying for an RN permit.
  • After you complete your assigned coursework while completing the NCLEX exam successfully, you will be notified to see if you are eligible for an RN permit. You can sign in to your MyCARNA account to complete the Jurisprudence course and the Bill 21 Course. Upon this, you can submit the initial RN permit application and pay the registration fee if it is applicable.
  1. Manitoba:

Each nurse brings a different level of education and responsibility to the healthcare system of Manitoba. The province is focused on preparing nurses to meet the entry-level competencies of their respective professions. Manitoba also supports safe and respectful workplaces while promoting effective collaboration amongst the health care providers in a variety of settings including urban, rural, and remote.

The application process for nursing registration in Manitoba is as the following:

  • Before applying to the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba, all internationally educated nurses should apply through the National Nursing Assessment Service which is an online platform developed by the nursing regulatory bodies all over Canada.
  • NNAS is considered a mandatory first step for any IEN applicant who is a graduate of a nursing education program, has never been registered as a nurse anywhere within Canada, is currently or has been registered as an RN with the regulatory body in the country where they received entry-level RN education.
  • After the NNAS Advisory report gets generated, the applicant is welcome to submit an application directly to the college. The authorities will assess the application to determine if the applicant is eligible for registration as an RN in Manitoba.
  • The fee for the application is paid with a credit card on the phone, with a certified cheque, or with a money order sent through Canada Post. Work does not begin on an application until payment is received. It is advised that the applicant does not include a credit card number on an application because once the application is received, the college will contact to arrange for payment.
  1. Saskatchewan:

The registered nurses are in very high demand in Saskatchewan. For this reason, there are many full-time and part-time opportunities available in rural and urban communities. The highest demand at present is in long-term care facilities, home care, rural health centers, etc. This province is known for offering some of the highest wages and incentives in Canada along with generous relocation packages for difficult to fill in the position.

To complete the application process for registration in Saskatchewan, the following should be done.

  • Complete the NNAS Assessment and receive an advisory report from the National Nursing Assessment Service.
  • Complete the online assessment for RN eligibility with the SRNA
  • Upload a copy of the birth certificate and a government-issued photo ID (a marriage certificate, if applicable).
  • Complete the verification of the original registration and licensure form from the country you obtained for your basic nursing education.
  • Complete the verification of current or the most recent registration and licensure form and send it to the registration body of the province or the country where you have recently registered as an RN.
  • Now complete the consent to get employment verification information and send the required document by email as an attachment to
  • Once your assessment for the RN eligibility gets reviewed successfully, a nursing advisor will be contacting you with the next steps to continue the process.


There is a high demand for nurses in Canada currently. Plus, the flexible immigration policies have made it even more possible for nurses to immigrate to Canada easily. If you are a nurse who aspires to become a global healthcare professional, now is the right time to seize the opportunity and decide which province you want to work in as a nurse.

The provinces that are mentioned above offer a bright future along with a welcoming job market, a good quality of life, and high salaries. Choose one for yourself with careful research and your future should be secured enough.


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