Disclaimer: To work or accept employment in Alberta, Licensed Practical Nurses must have registration and a valid Practice Permit from the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA), as per the Health Professions Act (HPA) of Alberta.
The term "Internationally Educated Nurse" (IEN) refers to an individual who was educated and registered as a nurse (Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse) in another country.
There are two different assessment processes for IEN’s to become registered in Alberta as an LPN:
- Assessment by CLPNA: Use the IEN Self-Assessment Tool to determine your eligibility for CLPNA Application for Registration.
- Assessment by Alberta schools: If not eligible for CLPNA Application for Registration, follow the process under 'Assessment By Alberta Schools: For Individuals Not Eligible To Apply Directly To CLPNA'.
Use the IEN Self-Assessment Tool
IF ALL OF THE BELOW STATEMENTS are TRUE, use the IEN Self-Assessment Tool to determine if you are likely to meet CLPNA’s registration requirements and eligible to apply for registration as an LPN in Alberta.
Eligible applicants must:
- Have registration as a nurse outside of Canada.
- Have never been registered as an LPN in Canada.
- Have successfully completed a nursing education program outside of Canada.
- Have nursing practice hours in the past four years or have graduated from a nursing education program in the past four years. (In order for worked hours to qualify as nursing practice hours, you must have been registered, hired, and paid as a nurse. Practice hours do not include sick time, vacation or volunteering.)
If you do not meet the above criteria, see below for other registration options:
For further information, contact the International Services Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 780-484-8886.
PREVIOUSLY LICENSED NURSES
Individuals who do not meet CLPNA’s registration requirements (see IEN Self-Assessment Tool) are advised to contact the schools below for the assessment of nursing credentials and/or clinical competence.
Please be advised that anyone who has not practiced as a nurse in the past ten years is required to complete a full Practical Nurse program.
Office of Registrar
10232 106 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 1L6
Website: Practical Nurse Refresher
Bow Valley College
Prospective Student Centre
332-6 Avenue SE
Calgary, Alberta T2G 4S6
Intake: January, April, August
Website: Practical Nurse Diploma for Internationally Educated Nurses
EDUCATED IN A NON-NURSING PROFESSION
Individuals not previously educated in nursing (ie. paramedics, physicians, midwifes, etc), but interested in becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in Alberta, should contact NorQuest College or Bow Valley College to determine if any transfer credit may apply.
IEN Applicants for registration with the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) must provide evidence of language proficiency in English if their first language is not English.
This requirement may be met through successfully completing one of the following tests:
- CELBAN – Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses
- IELTS – International English Language Testing System (Academic Version only)
IEN English Language Testing Standards (PDF)
Following are links to further information useful to IENs coming to Alberta and Canada:
Working in Alberta
Working in Canada
Introduction to Healthcare in Canada
Healthcare systems vary widely around the world. It can be very confusing to arrive in a new country and attempt to work in an environment where the culture and practices are very different from your country.
We strongly recommend that you participate in the following course that will help you understand how Canadian healthcare and health institutions work:
Orientation to the Canadian Health Care System, Culture and Context
University of Toronto
This course is available in both in-class (Toronto) and online.
Job Search Skills
Finding employment can be challenging and frustrating. To find a LPN position, use the following searches:
Immigrant Settlement and Community Agencies
Many agencies offer free English language training or can help you to find courses:
We recommend that Internationally Educated Nurses visit the agencies in their city to find out about the services available to support them in their new communities.