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 – Did you read The LPN Profession in Alberta?

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 (PDF)

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: Registration Requirements: Actively Engaged.
      2. 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 CLPNA’s Registration Department at 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 CLPNA at, 780-484-8886 or 1-800-661-5877 (toll free in Alberta).

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 March 1, 2020

CLPNA’s Registration Service Standards 

The CLPNA developed these guidelines for service standards to ensure that applicants and the public are aware of the time it takes to complete requests, return messages and to complete registration applications. These standards are what are completed on standard timelines, meaning depending on the need the request will be completed prior to the timelines or may experience a delay if there are questions that require consultation with others.
  1. Phone calls will be returned within 24 hours.
  2. Emails will be returned within 48 hours.
  3. Applications for registration will be entered into the system and reviewed for deficiencies within 5 business days as long as the application fee has been received.
  4. Completed applications will be processed within 10 business days and invoice issued.
  5. Once invoice is paid by the applicant the permit will be issued immediately.