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 : info@cna-aiic.ca
http://www.cna-aiic.ca/ 

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

The regulatory body for nursing in each province and territory handles the assessment of qualifications for internationally educated nurses and the scheduling of nurses to write the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination. With special permission, candidates may write the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination in a Canadian province or territory other than the one in which they reside. However, candidates cannot write the exam outside Canada.

You should note that if you are already licensed to practise your occupation in a province or territory of Canada, and later wish to work in a non-regulated occupation, employers may request that you provide them with a formal assessment of your academic credentials.

If that is the case, or if you wish to have your credentials assessed for a purpose other than practising a regulated occupation in Canada, you may consult our Fact Sheet No. 2, "Assessment and recognition of credentials for the purpose of employment in Canada" and contact an academic credential evaluation service. Although evaluation services offer expert advice on how qualifications obtained abroad compare with academic credentials obtained in Canada, their evaluations are advisory only and do not guarantee recognition of your qualifications for employment or certification purposes in Canada. Please note that evaluation services charge a fee for their assessments.

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 inquire@casn.ca.

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

Alberta

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 : carna@nurses.ab.ca
http://www.nurses.ab.ca/ 

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 : info@crnbc.ca
http://www.crnbc.ca/ 

Manitoba

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 : info@crnm.mb.ca
http://www.crnm.mb.ca/ 

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 : nanb@nanb.nb.ca
http://www.nanb.nb.ca/ 

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 : info@arnnl.ca
http://www.arnnl.ca/ 

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 : info@rnantnu.ca
http://www.rnantnu.ca/ 

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 : info@crnns.ca
http://www.crnns.ca/ 

Nunavut

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 : info@rnantnu.ca
http://www.rnantnu.ca/ 

Ontario

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 : cno@cnomail.org
http://www.cno.org/ 

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 : info@arnpei.ca
http://www.arnpei.ca/ 

Quebec

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 : inf@oiiq.org
http://www.oiiq.org/ 

Saskatchewan

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 : info@srna.org
http://www.srna.org/ 
http://www.srna.org/registration/licensure/ien-requirements 

Yukon

Yukon Registered Nurses Association (YRNA)
204-4133-4th Avenue
Whitehorse YT   Y1A 1H8   Canada
Phone : 867-667-4062
Fax : 867-668-5123
Email : admin@yrna.ca
http://www.yrna.ca/ 

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

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