One of the most demanded occupations in Canada in recent years is Nursing. Many nurses, worldwide, that are looking for a re-location, seek a job placement as a nurse in Canada, where nurses are known to earn relatively high salaries, in one of the most progressive nations of the world.

Nevertheless, this appealing employment very soon becomes a distant dream, when one discovers all requirements for a nursing position in a hospital. Some nurses soon discover that their nursing diplomas and working experience are not recognized or acknowledged in Canada, without proper completions and exams. Therefore, many nurses start their Canadian dream as nursing aids or as personal support workers.

We have collected some basic information regarding the pathways of becoming a Registered Nurse or a Licenced Practical Nurse in British Columbia and Ontario as outlined hereinafter. 

Please notice that a person’s profile must contain these basic demands in order to be equivalent to the demands in Canada:

Registered Nurse (RN)

RNs usually complete a four-year post-secondary university nursing program to become generalist registered nurses. The program contains theory and clinical instruction in medical and surgical nursing. It includes an in-depth study of concepts, such as:

  • humanities;
  • nursing theory;
  • physical and biological sciences;
  • primary health;
  • professional ethics;
  • social and behavioral sciences and;
  • therapeutic relationships.

The program prepares the RN to give direct care and to take on the role of coordinating care for individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations in a variety of health care settings and with a variety of health professionals. Clinical instruction prepares the RN to take a leadership role when the care requirements become more complex.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)* or Registered Practical Nurse in Ontario

LPNs complete a post-secondary nursing program at the college level that usually takes two years. The program for generalist LPNs contains nursing theory and clinical instruction in both medical and surgical nursing. Their education is based on nursing theory, and they study:

  • physical and biological sciences;
  • professional ethics;
  • psychology and;
  • therapeutic relationships.

LPNs provide and coordinate care for individuals, families, and groups in a variety of settings and with a variety of health professionals. They can work with clients of varying complexity, recognizing when consultation and collaboration with other health professionals are required.

The National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) is a Canadian Not-for-profit organization that offers a streamlined process for IENs to submit their documents and provide them with the tools to apply for Canadian nursing registration.

If you are an Internationally Registered Nurse and you wish to work as a nurse in Canada, you will need to complete an application with NNAS.  You may apply for a licence in a Canadian province of your choice as a Registered Nurse (RN), a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), or a Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN).

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). You are required to meet minimum language test scores (as below). The testing must be current, and the successful results must be no older than six months at the time you apply to NNAS.

Language testing can be conducted by and submitted from the following agencies:

IELTS – International English Language Testing System – The lowest acceptable scores are speaking 7, listening 7.5, reading 6.5, writing 7, and overall 7 (Academic format)

CELBAN – Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses

The lowest acceptable scores are speaking 8, listening 10, reading 8, and writing 7 (Academic format).

Costs are involved as well. Here are some details regarding expenses coming up this path:

Main Application Order – $650 USD 

(additional fees https://www.nnas.ca/application-fees/)

The Main Application Order is the first NNAS application type you will need to purchase. 

You must select one nursing group and one province for the Advisory Report. It will be active for up to 12 months from the date the paid application is submitted. It expires if all required documents are not received by NNAS within that time.

Time :

The application process may take up to 12 months to complete (can take 3-4 months when all the papers are being submitted on time).

How long it will take depends on:

1.     When NNAS receives all of your required information and acceptable documents.

2.     When you have successfully completed a language proficiency test (if required).

3.     When your documents have been translated (if needed).

The NNAS Advisory Report includes :

•   An evaluation of your education.

•   Background information about your schools and the dates you attended them.

•   Proof of your license/registration and credential sources.

•   Your employment history.

Therefore candidates must be ready to submit these documents. 

If you want to register in the BC province:

  1.   Apply to NNAS
  2.  Apply for BCCNM registration 
  3.  English language proficiency

        4.      Competency assessment

        5.      BCCNM assessment

        6.      Registration exam and provisional registration

        7.      Practising registration

Intial fees for registration – 600 $ CAD 

Additional fees (other fees):


LPN – https://www.bccnm.ca/LPN/applications_registration/how_to_apply/Pages/Default.aspx

RN – https://www.bccnm.ca/RN/applications_registration/how_to_apply/Pages/Default.aspx

 REx-PN (LPN) or the NCLEX (RN).


If you want to register in the Ontario province https://www.cno.org/ – while preparing the application, the candidate will have to choose the exam he wants to take and pay the fees. 

Application fees 339$ https://public.cno.org/Account

Additional fees: https://www.cno.org/en/become-a-nurse/application-membership-fees/

 https://www.cno.org/en/learn-about-standards-guidelines/list-of-all-publications/  ENTRY TO PRACTICE / REGISTRATION – this page provides the information for Ontario standards to practice nursing. You can compare it to your certificates and knowledge. 

The website to register for the exam is https://www.ncsbn.org/nclex.htm

As the process of registration is relatively long, and requires English exams and credential assessment, we do recommend looking into other options for Canadian immigration, even if you are already a registered nurse or a practical nurse in your homeland. We offer several programs (that change from time to time), through which you may be able to arrive in Canada with job placement or through different studies.

Doing the nursing registration process will always remain available for you, even after reaching Canada.

Who are we?

“Ok4Canada” is an Immigration Agency, located in Israel, that is managed and organized by an attorney at law Michal Kaplan Hachmon, with over 20 years of experience practicing law. We specialize in Immigration programs to Canada, and work with a certified immigration consultant (RCIC), representing and accompanying potential candidates in the process of immigration. 

Our clients will receive full registration details of our RCIC on the official government Immigration site.

If you are a nurse or a caregiver, and Canada is a dream you want to fulfill, we invite you to take this journey with us. We will personally and professionally escort and guide you throughout this life-changing step, in a way you will feel safe and secure.

To take your free assessment please click here and fill out our questionnaire. Therefore, if you decide to embark on this life-changing journey, check carefully which immigration program is relevant and fitted to your background and personal profile, (including age, studies, work experience, etc.)  and whether your service providers are professionals and reliable, so that you do this life-changing process legally, without losing your money and failing the process.

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