How You Can Become a Licensed Nurse in Canada (If You are an Internationally Educated Nurse)

Are you an internationally educated nurse (IEN) and do you want to work and live permanently in Canada? First of all, you must know how to become a licensed nurse in Canada. Some information may confuse you and lead you in the wrong direction. Therefore, it is important that you do a lot of research and reading.


How to become a licensed nurse in Canada, according to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS):

  • You can only apply for registration or licensure if you complete your post-secondary education in nursing. Therefore, you are not eligible to apply if you are a holder of a diploma or certificate in nursing in your country. 
  • Do not expect to take a national licensure examination or national registration process because provinces in Canada have their own regulations and requirements.
  • You can’t apply yet to the nursing regulatory body of the province you plan to work in. You have to go to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) first. The NNAS will assess your credentials and give you access to the Advisory Report. It indicates the outcome of the assessment. The designated regulatory body will also receive a copy of this document.
  • Canada has three regulated nursing groups: Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse, and Registered Psychiatric Nurse. LPN is a Registered Practical Nurse in Ontario. You can only have a “nurse” title if you are licensed or regulated by the nursing regulatory body, association or college in the Canadian province where you will work.

Now that you know the steps on how to become a licensed nurse in Canada, go to the website of the NNAS to apply for registration or licensure. Understand and follow the process. Find out if you will need further education and/or evaluation of your knowledge about nursing.

Applying for registration and licensure is only one of the many steps toward your goal of working and becoming a permanent resident in Canada. Try to lighten up your burden so you can still focus and find an expert immigration consultant to help you.

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