The  NNAS (National Nurses Service Assessment) PROCESS

Canada is a country known for its labor shortage in the nursing and caregiving areas. Hence, many immigration programs address nurses and caregivers worldwide.

nurses who have completed their post-secondary nursing education outside of Canada and wish to obtain a license to practice nursing in Canada will soon discover the need for the NNAS assessment. The same will happen for nurses who wish to locate a job placement, even as a nurse assistant in a nursing home job.

This NNAS tends to stress applicants when first hearing about it.

This article is designed to give you a clear view of this assessment and help you approach it more calmly.


NNAS is a Canadian non-profit organization whose membership is composed of 18 Nursing Regulatory Bodies across Canada. It includes all Nursing Regulatory Bodies in Canada except those in Quebec, Yukon, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories.

NNAS is the first stop Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) make on their journey to practice nursing in Canada.

Since 2014, NNAS has provided a streamlined process for IENs’ credentials to be verified and their education compared to Canadian nursing education. From the information submitted to NNAS by the applicant himself – NNAS will issue an Advisory Report that will be sent to the Regulatory Bodies chosen by applicants.

Nursing in Canada includes three regulated nursing professions. Starting with the NNAS process, you can seek a license to practice as (1) a Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN); (2) a Registered Nurse (RN); or (3) a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).

NNAS issues Advisory Reports for all three nursing professions:

Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPNs).

NNAS does not grant licenses to practice nursing. Nursing Regulatory Bodies in each province set the registration criteria. Therefore, it is important for all applicants to carefully review the licensing requirements of the regulators to where they wish to apply.

The NNAS process ensures a consistent approach to collecting, verifying, and storing documents that Nursing Regulatory Bodies in Canada require. Educational credentials are assessed using standardized tools that all participating Regulatory Bodies have agreed to.

NNAS receives the documents, verifies them, and compiles them into a single document known as an Advisory Report. NNAS will release your Advisory Report to the Regulatory Bodies that you choose. You can download a copy of your NNAS Advisory Report once the Advisory Report is completed.

NNAS is responsible for:

• Receiving and verifying your identity documents

• Receiving and verifying documents about your nursing credentials

• Comparing your credentials to Canadian credentials, which are known as Entry to Practice Competencies

• Collecting and verifying your nursing employment history and your

previous nursing registration and licenses

• Issuing an Advisory Report

Who must apply for the NNAS?

If you are an Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN) who has completed your nursing education outside of Canada and is seeking registration to practice as a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), or Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN) in a Canadian province (with the exception of Quebec and the Territories), you must first complete the NNAS process. You may start this process before or after your immigration to Canada.

Also, many employers such as nursing homes or private companies that supply private nursing services demand this assessment as a verification of your nursing skills, before even interviewing an applicant.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

You are eligible to apply to NNAS if you have:

• Completed a post-secondary nursing education program (university or college) outside of Canada

• Never worked as a licensed nurse in Canada in the profession to which you are applying

What are the requirements for the NNAS?

In order to proceed with the NNAS application process, you are required to provide NNAS with a set of required documents. Some of the documents will need to come directly from you, while other documents will have to be sent directly from Third Parties. Third Parties include your nursing school(s), your employer(s), and licensing authority(ies). Please read the instructions for each requirement carefully.

Your documents must be provided in English or French, depending on the requirements of the Regulatory Bodies to which you are applying. If any of your documents are not available in either English or French, you will need to have them translated at your own expense.  

After opening your application with the NNAS organization, you will be required to supply NNAS with:

• Identification documents

• Nursing school full details

• Details of the regulatory institute that produced your registration certificate as a nurse (if applicable)

• Nursing work experience details (of employers you worked with during the last 5 years)

• English proficiency exam (IELTS) – not mandatory in all provinces

• Fee

Each requirement has specifications on how to submit it. All specifications are united in the applicants’ handbook published by NNAS. Our agency will be able to guide you through all stages of this NNAS process, as a part of our services.

Important criterias for NNAS:

• Number of years studying for your nursing diploma – only applicants that studied over 2 years for their nursing Diploma can apply

• Graduation – undergraduates are not eligible to apply

• Registration in the homeland – Required only where and when you are not eligible to work as a nurse without a registration process in your homeland. If based on your nursing certificate you can work in your homeland as a nurse you can apply.


You will need to be proactive throughout this process.

You will need to provide accurate information.

You will need to be able to follow all requirements provided by NNAS (for example: verify your identification certificates in front of a Notary at law as required, receive TOR from your nursing school institute, get all forms signed, provide translations of documents when needed, etc.’)

What Your NNAS Advisory Report Will Include

After your completed application is reviewed, an NNAS Advisory Report will be prepared. The Advisory Report includes all of the documents that have been submitted to NNAS, your curriculum assessment, and copies of any correspondence (emails and letters) you have had with NNAS. How is the curriculum assessed? NNAS compares the curriculum submitted by the nursing education program you completed to Canadian Entry to Practice Competencies. This is done using a process called “content analysis”. This process helps NNAS identify the differences and gaps in your education. The results of the content analysis will be tabulated and scored (see below).

Your curriculum will be described as being either “Comparable”, “Somewhat Comparable”, or “Not Comparable” to Canadian Entry to Practice Competencies.

Once again: These descriptions and scores do not represent a decision. The Regulatory Bodies to which you apply will review your Advisory Report and make their decisions based on your entire application. NNAS does not determine the equivalency of education. Also, keep in mind that you may be hired by an employer and be able to arrive in Canada on a work permit that is LMIA-based.

The NNAS will be useful for your journey towards a job placement as well as for receiving your equivalency of education for the purpose of becoming a Canadian nurse after arriving in Canada as well.

NNAS can be done independently (here is a link).

Nevertheless, if you feel confused or insecure about how to manage this assessment we can help! once you will start your application with our agency, we will be able to guide you through this process. We usually schedule a zoom meeting in which we share your screen and guide you step by step.

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 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.

Skip to content