How to become Registered Nurse in Canada – A step by step process


Nursing profession is one of the most looked-after occupations in the world. And now, after Corona Pandemic, the importance of this profession has further grown. Canada is not an exception and there is an ever increasing demand for nurses in the country. As a result, a large number of study abroad aspirants harbor a question that how to become registered nurse in Canada.

Canadian Health care system:

Canada Health care system is very robust in all over the world. There is large number of opportunities for the competent nurses. In order to ensure the quality of services, there is a strong regulatory network. Canadian Health care system has three different types of nurses according to their duties and responsibilities.

  • Registered Nurse (RN)
  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
  • Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN)

In Ontario, LPN is registered practical nurse.

The difference between RN and LPN are based on their education programs and job responsibilities. Whereas RN are those who have four year of degree. And, are responsible for the senior jobs like administering medication, treating patients and managerial tasks. While, the LPN oversee some basic and patient comfort task. Such as, checking blood pressure, sugar level helping patients doing food and dress.


Requirement to work as registered nurse in Canada:

Before moving further we need to understand the Canadian nursing system and what requirements to work in Canada as registered nurse are. There are two ways by which a candidate can be a nurse in Canada.

First, is by taking a direct admission in one of the colleges or universities in Canada and opting for the graduate nursing courses. This is a four year undergraduate program (BSN) and the benefit of taking admission in Canadian institution will help you skip the process of NNAS. National Nursing Assessment service (NNAS) is an agency that assesses the credentials of Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs). And being studied in Canada will save your time, money and efforts as it is only for IENs.

The Canadian health care system is world-renowned and the country has some of the best universities and colleges offering Nursing programs. Some of the universities and colleges are as under:

Top Colleges and universities offering Bachelor of Science in Nursing for being registered nurse in Canada:

The Second way is for those who have completed their Nursing education and registration form the institutions which are not in Canada. For this, a Candidate has to follow the following Steps:


Getting the credentials assesses by NNAS for being registered nurse in Canada:

NNAS, as discussed earlier, is an assessment body that checks and assesses all the necessary documents and certificates including, nursing degree, transcripts, work experience certificate, personal identity documents. As a rule, this process is to assess your qualification equivalent to Canadian education system.

First of all, a candidate should register on the website of NNAS to submit all educational and personal identity documents to get them assessed.

This is about a one year long process and once a candidate gets his/her assessment report, the next process may start. During assessment the NNAS may even advise to take some bridge courses in Canada to suit the job requirements in Canada. For instance, this may be some short-term courses like certificate course in Critical care or in gerontology.

So, if a candidate is planning to move to Canada with nursing degree, should start this process of credential assessment through NNAS at least one year in advance. Eventually, this will help him/her to save a lot of precious time once you land in Canada.


NCLEX (National Council License Exam) for being RN in Canada:

The next important step before starting a job as nurse is passing the licensing tests NCLEX (National Council License Exam). The passing of this exam is a must to start your career as a nurse. In other words, it does not matter whether you have completed your education from Canada or from any other country. It even does not matter if you have four your degree or 3 year diploma, all you need is to pass NCLEX to apply for the job.

Canada is a booming economy and has one of the best health care systems. Therefore, this has kept the demand of nursing professional constantly high. Besides, this is a high paying profession with lot of social respect and plethora of opportunities to climb the administrative ladder.

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