Internationally Educated Nurses: Applying for Registration

IMPORTANT: To work or accept employment in Alberta, Canada, 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.

All internationally educated nurses (IENs) who wish to work as a Licensed Practical Nurse in Alberta must FIRST apply to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS).

Applying to NNAS is for any internationally educated nurse (IEN) applicant who is a graduate of a nursing education program outside of Canada.

If you do not meet the above criteria, see below “If you are not eligible to apply through NNAS”

RELATED – About Alberta’s Licensed Practical Nurses

Frequently Asked Questions

For more about application timelines, the CLPNA’s English language requirements, the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam (CPNRE), and Criminal Record Checks, please read our Frequently Asked Questions document:

RELATED – IEN Application Frequently Asked Questions (Under Review)

RELATED – Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam (CPNRE)


How to Apply

All internationally educated nurses must follow these steps (in order):

  1. Apply to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS)
    1. Set up an online account with National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) at
    2. Complete the online application.
    3. Pay the required fee.
    4. Follow the instructions about which documents to submit for verification.
    5. Once your file is complete, NNAS will evaluate it and provide you with online access to an Advisory Report, which contains the results of the evaluation. NNAS will also send a copy of this report to the relevant regulatory body.
    6. You can now apply directly to the regulatory body of your choice and pay their application fee. You will be able to do this from your NNAS online account.
  2. Apply to the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA)
    1. Once NNAS has issued your Advisory Report to CLPNA, CLPNA will ask you to complete an Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN) Application for Registration and pay the required fee.
    2. Once your file is complete, CLPNA will assess your file to determine whether you meet CLPNA’s:
      1. Requirements for registration including the Policy: Actively Engaged Requirements for Registration and the Continuing Competence Program
      2. Successful completion of the Jurisprudence Exam.
      3. English Language Testing Standards.
    3. CLPNA will notify you if you’ve been approved for registration and/or if further requirements need to be met.

Questions about the NNAS application process? Contact NNAS’s Customer Care Department at

Questions about the CLPNA’s registration process? Contact the Registration Department or or call 1-800-661-5877 (toll-free in Alberta), or 780-484-8886.

If you are not eligible to apply through NNAS

Those not qualified to apply through NNAS have several options.

If you were previously registered/licensed as a Licensed Practical Nurse (or Registered Practical Nurse) in any jurisdiction/province in Canada, you may apply for registration using another route:

Individuals who do not meet NNAS or CLPNA’s registration requirements are advised to contact the schools below for the assessment of nursing credentials and/or clinical competence. Completion of a Practical Nurse program may be required.

For direction regarding your situation, contact the Registration Department or or call 1-800-661-5877 (toll-free in Alberta), or 780-484-8886.

NorQuest College
Office of Registrar
10232 106 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 1L6
Phone 780-644-6000
Intake: Continuous
Website: Practical Nurse Refresher

Bow Valley College
Prospective Student Centre
332-6 Avenue SE
Calgary, Alberta T2G 4S6
Phone: 403-410-1402
Intake: January, April, August

Updated November 4, 2021

CLPNA’s Registration Service Standards 

The CLPNA would like applicants and the public to be aware of our service standard goals regarding the processing time for requests, messages, and applications. These timelines may be extended if the circumstances require outside consultation.

  1. Phone calls will be returned within one business day.
  2. Emails will be returned within two business days.
  3. Applications received with payment will be reviewed within five business days.
  4. Completed applications will be processed and invoices issued within 10 business days.
  5. For completed applications, a practice permit will be issued immediately upon receipt of payment.