Effective August 12, 2014, to become a nurse in Canada (except Quebec and Territories), all internationally educated nurse (IEN) applicants must first apply to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) for document evaluation and verification. NNAS will open their website for applications at 11:00am MST (1:00pm EST).
NNAS provides 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, and registered psychiatric nurse.
NNAS is the mandatory first step for any internationally educated nurse (IEN) applicant who:
- is a graduate of a nursing education program outside of Canada; and
- is not currently registered to practice as a nurse anywhere within Canada as a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN).
The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) stopped accepting initial applications from IENs on August 11.
NNAS is a joint project 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.
Benefits to applicants include the ability to:
- Apply to multiple jurisdictions (provinces) within Canada.
- Send documents (e.g., education transcripts) to just one central location, regardless of how many jurisdictions (provinces) an applicant applies to.
- Track the status of an application online.
- Access a toll-free customer care line with service in both English and French.
5 Key Points about NNAS
- NNAS does not make decisions about an applicant’s eligibility for registration. The CLPNA and all other regulatory bodies involved with NNAS will continue to make the final decision on whether to accept or refuse an applicant’s request for registration.
- NNAS conducts the initial review of an application. NNAS will function as the start of an applicant’s journey to registration by accepting the applicant’s initial application and assessing the documents (e.g., education transcripts, identity documents). NNAS will then create an advisory report that the CLPNA will use along with other information to determine whether the applicant can proceed to the next steps in the registration process – steps CLPNA will continue to administer.
- NNAS applies only to those applicants who were educated outside of Canada and have never been registered as a nurse in Canada. Applicants who were educated at an approved nursing program in Canada or are currently registered as a nurse in another Canadian jurisdiction will continue to be assessed by the CLPNA under current registration processes.
- The registration requirements have not changed. Provincial legislation, regulation and policy sets out the requirements that all applicants must meet before they can practice nursing in Alberta.
- NNAS only affects those who submit their applications after August 12, 2014. When NNAS is launched, all new applicants will be directed to the NNAS Website to begin the application process. Applicants who apply to the CLPNA before August 12 will continue to be assessed by the CLPNA; they will not be asked to re-submit their applications to NNAS when its portal goes live.
NNAS 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”. NNAS is funded through the Foreign Credential Recognition Program.
For questions about the registration process for internationally educated nurses, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 780-484-8886, 1-800-661-5877 (toll free in Alberta).