Soon, internationally educated nurses (IENs) will have a single, simple point-of-entry to become assessed for any one of the three categories of professional nursing in Canada – licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, registered psychiatric nurse.
The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) is participating on the board of the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) which is collectively developing a harmonized approach to make the assessment process for IENs quicker and easier starting in 2015.
The service does not impact each provincial regulatory organization’s authority to register or issue practice permits, but merely streamlines the initial steps.
In addition to ease and speed, the service hopes to provide “greater transparency, timeliness and predictability across Canadian jurisdictions, in addition to applying rigorous standards for qualification assessment, in the interest of the public”.
In November, the Honorable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister of Multiculturalism, announced funding for NNAS through the Foreign Credential Recognition Program.
The NNAS is comprised of all 22 licensed practical nurse (LPN) (registered practical nurse in Ontario), registered nurse (RN), and registered psychiatric nurse (RPN) regulatory bodies in Canada, with the exception of Quebec and the Territories.
Significant features of the NNAS include:
- A single national web portal
- A common approach to initial document collections, authentication, and validation
- A consistent competency based assessment of the IEN application file
- A consistent format advisory reports to regulatory bodies to inform eligibility assessments
- A bilingual customer care centre for IEN applicants
- A national IEN database providing enhanced reporting and analysis capabilities
The NNAS is expected to release more information on the service in January.