Thank you MDM340. My nursing qualifications was a 3 year diploma but i had done further education in the UK e.g ENB courses, Non Medical Prescribing etc. I did not pay for anything myself, it was all continued professional development, paid for by the service i was working for within the NHS. If you can show that you have worked at degree level and/or have plenty of experience in nursing, which i'm sure you have with over 20yrs in nursing, then it is worth submitting your qualifications if you think you have a strong enough case.
The immigration process was quick, about 3 months, but that does depend on your circumstances, i am married to a Canadian. BUT the CNO are slow in my experience, i would say from purely the nursing aspect it has taken about 21/2 years to get to this point for me. I'm sure other peoples were faster depends on your situation i suppose, but i found my CNO case manager my obsticle, and of course the CNO have a lot of people to process, so waiting for answers/mail/ and things to be posted from another country is slow! so i was glad i didn't leave the U.K too soon.
I took my exam on June 6th, (you can only take it in Canada) i was planning to relocate once i had been submitted for the exam so i would not be out of work for long but it didn't work out that way, once i relocated to Canada it has been about a year to get to this point. I also have 2 other friends from diffferent countries who's time frames are very similar. So i would say if you are seriously thinking of it apply sooner rather than later and see where you stand, you do not really need to relocate until everything is set in stone, but once you have passed they will want to know what your residence staus is in Canada, so you will have to have all your "ducks in a row."