Information for foreign-trained registered nurses

(3012) Verified: 2011 10 17

Information on requirements to practise

All nursing professions are regulated in Canada. This means that you must be registered with one of the provincial or territorial regulatory bodies to be authorized to practise as a nurse in Canada. When you know where you will settle and work in Canada, you should contact the appropriate provincial/territorial regulatory body (see list below) for more specific information.

In order to obtain the designation Registered Nurse (RN), candidates must apply for registration, have their credentials assessed, and pass the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE) or, for Quebec, l'examen professionnel de l'Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec. The provincial/territorial regulatory bodies register the applicants in their jurisdiction who meet their professional criteria and standards of practice. These regulatory bodies, with the exception of the College of Nurses in Ontario and the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec, are member bodies of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA). The CNA does not regulate individual nurses. However, there is information, tools and resources accessible from the CNA website that may be of assistance to internationally educated nurses seeking to be registered and practise in Canada.

CNA Certification

The CNA, in collaboration with specialist nursing associations, offers voluntary certification in several nursing specialties or areas of nursing practice. Each of these nursing specialties or areas of nursing practice has its own national professional association.

For more information on membership, specialization, and certification, you can contact the CNA at

Canadian Nurses Association (CNA)
50 The Driveway
Ottawa ON   K2P 1E2   Canada
Phone : 613-237-2133
Phone (alternate): 1-800-361-8404
Fax : 613-237-3520
Email : 

Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurses

Psychiatric nursing is regulated as a distinct profession in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Please consult our occupational profile for registered psychiatric nurses for specific information.

Information on assessment of qualifications

In order to apply to work as a registered nurse in a Canadian province or territory (except Quebec), internationally educated nurses must first submit their documents and credentials to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS). 

They may then complete the assessment for eligibility to practise as a registered nurse by applying to the regulatory authority in the province in which they intend to work. Currently, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut do not assess internationally educated nurse applicants for initial registration; all internationally educated registered nurses must first become eligible for registration in a Canadian province before applying for registration in any of the territories.

Information on assessment for immigration purposes, under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is an immigration program administered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the department responsible for immigration to Canada.

CIC has listed this profession as a priority occupation under the FSWP. To apply for immigration to Canada under this program, one of the requirements* is to obtain an “Educational Credential Assessment” (ECA) for immigration purposes from a CIC-designated organization. We invite you to communicate directly with one of the designated organizations to begin this process from outside Canada.

*It is important to note that this requirement is for immigration purposes only. It is separate from the process to obtain a license to practice from the relevant regulatory body listed below. Obtaining a license to practice is not required to apply for immigration.

Other relevant information

The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) accredits university and college nursing programs at the baccalaureate level in Canada, but is not responsible for requirements for entry to practise of this occupation (RN or RPN). It is the nursing regulatory bodies that set the standards for entry to practice and the schools of nursing prepare the learners to graduate nursing with these competencies. For more information on member schools, nursing programs, CASN databases on nursing education and research, CASN standing committees and task forces, standards of excellence for nursing education, you can contact the association through

You may also be interested in the CICIC information pages for:

  1. Practical Nurses
  2. Registered Psychiatric Nurses

Specific Provincial/Territorial Information

toc / tdm List of provincial/territorial regulatory bodies


College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA)
11620 - 168 Street
Edmonton AB   T5M 4A6   Canada
Phone : 780-451-0043
Phone (alternate): 1-800-252-9392
Fax : 780-452-3276
Email : 

British Columbia

College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (CRNBC)
2855 Arbutus Street
Vancouver BC   V6J 3Y8   Canada
Phone : 604-736-7331
Phone (alternate): 1-800-565-6505
Fax : 604-738-2272
Email : 


College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba (CRNM)
890 Pembina Hwy.
Winnipeg MB   R3M 2M8   Canada
Phone : 204-774-3477
Phone (alternate): 1-800-665-2027
Fax : 204-775-6052
Fax (alternate): 1-204-775-7117
Email : 

New Brunswick

Nurses Association of New Brunswick (NANB)
165 Regent Street
Fredericton NB   E3B 7B4   Canada
Phone : 506-458-8731
Phone (alternate): 1-800-442-4417
Fax : 506-459-2838
Email : 

Newfoundland and Labrador

Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador (ARNNL)
55 Military Road
St. John's NL   A1C 2C5   Canada
Phone : 709-753-6040
Phone (alternate): 1-800-563-3200
Fax : 709-753-4940
Email : 

Northwest Territories

Registered Nurses Association of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut (RNANT/NU)
P.O. Box 2757
Yellowknife NT   X1A 2R1   Canada
Phone : 867-873-2745
Fax : 867-873-2336
Email : 

Nova Scotia

College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia (CRNNS)
4005-7071 Bayers Road
Halifax NS   B3L 2C2   Canada
Phone : 902-491-9744
Phone (alternate): 1-800-565-9744
Fax : 902-491-9510
Email : 


Registered Nurses Association of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut (RNANT/NU)
P.O. Box 2757
Yellowknife NT   X1A 2R1   Canada
Phone : 867-873-2745
Fax : 867-873-2336
Email : 


College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO)
101 Davenport Road
Toronto ON   M5R 3P1   Canada
Phone : 416-928-0900
Phone (alternate): 1-800-387-5526
Fax : 416-928-6507
Email : 

Prince Edward Island

Association of Registered Nurses of Prince Edward Island (ARNPEI)
53 Grafton Street
Charlottetown PE   C1A 1K8   Canada
Phone : 902-368-3764
Fax : 902-628-1430
Email : 


Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec (OIIQ)
4200, boul. Dorchester Ouest
Montréal QC   H3Z 1V4   Canada
Phone : 514-935-2501
Phone (alternate): 1-800-363-6048
Fax : 514-935-1799
Email : 


Saskatchewan Registered Nurses' Association (SRNA)
2066 Retallack Street
Regina SK   S4T 7X5   Canada
Phone : (306) 359-4200
Phone (alternate): 1-800-667-9945
Fax : (306) 359-0257
Email : 


Yukon Registered Nurses Association (YRNA)
204-4133-4th Avenue
Whitehorse YT   Y1A 1H8   Canada
Phone : 867-667-4062
Fax : 867-668-5123
Email : 

The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC),
a unit of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC).

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