How to Immigrate to Canada as a Nurse: Step-by-Step Guide

Nurse

As a nurse, foreign nationals can apply for jobs in Canada and become permanent residents through several economic immigration programs at the federal and provincial levels, including through Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) or the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.

If their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) profile is high enough, nurses can often qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker program through the Express Entry system.

The Quebec Skilled Worker Program also offers nurses the chance to come to Canada if they score 50 or more points on the province’s selection grid.

Each province in Canada also operates its own PNP that leads to Canadian permanent residence.

The country welcomes registered nurses who hold a university degree in nursing, registered psychiatric nurses who hold a bachelor’s or post-graduate degree in psychiatric nursing, and licensed practical nurses who hold post-secondary diplomas in nursing.

 

Credentials of foreign nurses need to be recognized

The first step for a nurse interested in immigrating to Canada is to have his or her academic credentials evaluated to find out if they meet the standards required for Canadian status.

There are five organizations recognized by the Canadian government to evaluate foreign credentials:

  • World Education Services (WES);
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS);
  • Comparative Education Service (CES);
  • International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS), and;
  • International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES).

Once the candidate has completed the educational and background checks, the next step is to apply to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) to have their nursing qualifications recognized in Canada, a process that costs US$650.

The second step is to create a profile on the NNAS application page. That requires:

  • The submission of two pieces of identity that must be notarized, copies of original documents that have been signed, dated and stamped;
  • Nursing education forms can be downloaded from the website, filled out, and signed, then sent to the school where the nurse trained for that school’s officials to complete and then send directly to NNAS along with academic records or transcripts, course curriculums, and course descriptions;
  • Submission of the nursing registration form to the nursing licensing authority where the nurse is currently registered in his or her home country;
  • the nursing practice/employment form which must be signed and sent to all employers the nurse has had over the past five years for them to complete and send to NNAS, and;
  • IELTS language testing results must be sent directly to NNAS by an approved language testing organization.

 

Foreign Nurses Must Apply To Provincial Regulatory Authorities

After the nurses have completed the required steps and NNAS has received their documents, they can submit their application and choose the nursing group and provincial association to which they wish to apply.

These include:

  • British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals and Midwives;
  • College of Registered Nurses of Alberta;
  • College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta;
  • College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta;
  • Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association;
  • Saskatchewan Association of Licensed Practical Nurses;
  • Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan;
  • College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Manitoba;
  • College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba;
  • College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba;
  • College of Nurses of Ontario;
  • Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers auxiliaires du Québec;
  • Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec;
  • Association of New Brunswick Licensed Practical Nurses;
  • Nurses Association of New Brunswick;
  • Nova Scotia College of Nursing;
  • College of Registered Nurses of Prince Edward Island;
  • College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Prince Edward Island;
  • College of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • Registered Nurses Association of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut;
  • Government of Northwest Territories, Registrar, Professional Licensing, Health and Social Services;
  • Registered Nurses Association of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut;
  • Government of Nunavut, Department of Health;
  • Yukon Registered Nurses Association, and;
  • Government of Yukon, Yukon Department of Community Services.
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