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: If you are not eligible to apply through NNAS

RELATED – About Alberta’s Licensed Practical Nurses

Registration Requirements & Process

The CLPNA is committed to having transparent, objective, impartial, and procedurally fair registration practices. The Declarations & Registration Requirements Policy outlines the declarations and registration requirements for all registration categories. Applicants must ensure that they fulfill all necessary requirements in their application, including meeting requirements of being Actively Engaged in Practice and English Language Proficiency.

DOWNLOAD Policy: Declarations and Registration Requirements

DOWNLOAD Policy: Actively Engaged Requirements and the Continuing Competence Program

DOWNLOAD Policy: English Language Proficiency Standard

Provisional & CPNRE Registration

Provisional Registration allows Internationally Educated Nurses who have been approved by the CLPNA for eligibility to write the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam (CPNRE) to practice (work) as a nurse under supervision while waiting to write the exam.

Registrants with a Provisional Practice Permit are recognized as a Licensed Practical Nurse and may carry out the competencies that they are competent to perform.

Provisional Practice Permits are short-term: all Provisional Registrations expire on December 31 and may be extended up to a maximum of one year from the date it was initially issued, provided that requirements of Actively Engaged in Practice are met. Provisional Registrants are required to extend their permit to a maximum time frame of one year in the fall every year. After one year or if a Provisional Registrant chooses not to extend their permit, the Provisional Registration will not be renewed.

Upon successful completion of the CPNRE, the LPN holding a Provisional Practice Permit is eligible for an Active Practice Permit.

DOWNLOAD Policy: Provisional Registration

RELATED – Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam (CPNRE)

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 see our Frequently Asked Questions webpage:

IEN Frequently Asked Questions – How to Apply

IEN Frequently Asked Questions – Application and Assessment Process

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 www.nnas.ca.
    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 the CLPNA, the 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, the CLPNA will assess your file to determine whether you meet the 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. The CLPNA will notify you if you’ve been approved for registration and/or if further requirements need to be met.

    Start Criminal Record Check


The Verification of Registration form is required to be completed if you are/or have been registered in another jurisdiction:

DOWNLOAD Verification of Registration Form


Questions about the NNAS application process? Contact NNAS’s Customer Care Department at www.nnas.ca/help.

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

*Please note that we are unable to return phone calls to numbers outside of Canada. Email inquiries may be submitted to international@clpna.com.

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 the CLPNA’s registration requirements are advised to contact one of the schools offering an Approved Practical Nurse Program 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 call 1-800-661-5877 (toll-free in Alberta), or 780-484-8886.

OTHER REGISTRATION OPTIONS

RELATED – Fee Schedule

Updated April 22, 2022

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.