I am an RN in California. Can I practice in Canada?

  1. Hello everyone. I really need your help..

    Here is my situation.. I am an RN BSN in California and have over 5 years of experience in the field. I have 2 yrs of ICU experience as well as some travel nursing. I am currently trying to move to Vancouver, Canada, and don't know where to begin. I heard that to be able to work there as a nurse, I need to get Canadian license through some testing. Again?!

    Please if you know anything to make my move as easier as possible, I would be happy to know it. Any type of information would be helpful.

    Thank you for your time,
    It is greatly appreciated.

    Natasha
    Last edit by tasha700 on May 10
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    Contact the agency responsible for nurse licensure in that area. Look them up on the internet and see what is online. That way you will have the most up to date information.
  4. by   Silverdragon102
    Moved to the Nurse Registration forum

    Check out the college of RN for the province you plan on living in as they are the governing Nursing body. All instructions are there. Should also check out the threads on NNAS as NNAS will be a starting point
  5. by   tasha700
    Yes, will do. Thank you! Started with NNAS. Does anyone know if I have to retake NCLEX RN in Canada since I already took the exam in US?
  6. by   Silverdragon102
    Should state on the college's website
  7. by   dishes
    You will not need to re-take the NCLEX exam.
  8. by   dishes
    The NNAS assessment compares the IEN applicant's education to Canadian BScN curricula and to the "Entry to Practice Competencies'. When you submit your application to NNAS, suggest you write a letter to your university asking them to send NNAS a nursing education syllabus that includes an outline and summary of the topics covered in each course including the objectives, learning outcomes hours of study like the example given in the NNAS video. To get some idea of the type of syllabus NNAS wants, look at some Canadian BSN course outlines. If you look at British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) nursing course outlines you will see detailed course descriptions, course learning outcomes, competencies, evaluation criteria.

    Also, ask your university to provide any information that gives details about the RN entry to practice competencies. If the university has a nursing student handbook, preceptor guide, student policy and procedure guide, they may contain information that gives the philosophy of the program, expected outcomes of the nursing program, ask them to include all this information. It's very important that the information your school provides, shows your education covered the competencies for entry-level registered nurse practice.

    Give the university a flash drive and ask them to download everything onto it with your name and NNAS number. The more information that NNAS receives, the better your chances of receiving a favourable advisory report. The flash drive should contain hundreds of pages of curricula related information.
  9. by   dishes
    While you are waiting for NNAS to evaluate your education, suggest you become familiar with the information that is on the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (CRNBC) website. Thoroughly review the document "Competencies in the Context of Entry Level Registered Nurse Practice in British Columbia', also review the professional standards, practice standards, case studies and practice resources. Next go to the Canadian Nurse's Association (CNA) website and review the Code of Ethics.

    Once NNAS notifies you that they have received your school documents, review all the documents and ensure that there are hundreds of pages of curricula and that they include the competencies and the code of ethics.
    Last edit by dishes on May 13
  10. by   tasha700
    Wow. So much of useful information! Special thanks to dishes.
    Any idea how long the whole process will take from the day I apply to NNAS to obtaining Canadian RN license? approximately

    Also, you mentioned that I should ask my school to send NNAS my educational info. You also mentioned that I should give them a flash drive to save all of that. Does it matter how the NNAS get the info (from school or from me?).

    Thanks
    Last edit by tasha700 on May 13
  11. by   dishes
    It may take NNAS 5-12 months to assess your education and produce your advisory report. After you have your advisory report, apply to CRNBC, they may take a couple of months to advise you of their decision, they will advise you whether you need to take a competency assessment. If you need a competency assessment you will need to book it with NCAS, it may take a couple of months to book the NCAS assessment.
    You can use the search tool in the top right hand corner of AN to find threads by IENs who have been through or are going through the licensing process, search for the following threads:
    'NNAS experience'
    'CRNBC-Indian graduate got RN license'
    'NNAS-Canadian citizens with US education/licensure'
    'NNAS & CRNBC-Useful information and commentary for US educated RNs and IENs'
  12. by   dishes
    NNAS must receive all of your education information from your school, not from you. The same goes for your employment information, they must receive it from the employer inside the employer's envelope with proof that it was mailed directly from the employer. NNAS verifies that the information is authentic and came directly from the source. Most healthcare facilities have business envelopes with their return address as well as a postage paid stamp that is stamped through a machine at their healthcare facility. Schools have similar business envelopes and they may also have special seals for their envelopes.

    Having the data loaded onto a flashdrive (with your NNAS number on the data) means it will be less expensive to mail and there is less chance that data will go missing, than if you have the school mail hundreds of pages of curricula.
    Last edit by dishes on May 13
  13. by   tasha700
    All right. Thanks again!
    I'm in the process of sending my info to NNAS, but the whole process takes online (NNAS is not asking me or my employers to mail anything yet). Same for school info (it's just questions that I submit online) and pay 650$ to process my submission. Does this sound right to you?

    Natasha
  14. by   dishes
    Review the NNAS application handbook the information on the nursing practice employment form is on page 9. Read all of the details in the handbook thoroughly and watch the video a few times to make sure you understand NNAS's instructions, otherwise you will be wasting time and your results may be impacted.

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