Can a RPN work in the USA ??


I'm currently a nursing student right now in Canada and when I'm done and pass my boards I will be a RPN. I've been told we can't work in the U.S and I'm told we can if we get our credentials looked at. Our RN's can for sure I know that because they have a BScn when they graduate. The RPN program is a 2yr program here. I'm not sure which answer is right or where to look. I wasn't sure where to look. It would be Michigan that I would be looking at, as I know every state is different.


57 Posts

Choose a state where you wish to work in the US, then go to the State Board of Practical/Vocational Nurse website, and find out their licensing requirements.


Look at page 1 and item #6.

6. Applicants who were educated in Canada and are currently licensed in Canada with no disciplinary sanctions will be made eligible to take the NCLEX as soon as the following are received:

a. Transcripts of your nursing education sent to our office directly from the school.

b. Current verification of your Canadian license sent directly to this office from the Canadian

licensing agency.


39 Posts

Thank you so much, I will have to do this. I am contemplating applying to the VA hospital once I am done. My bf is a vet and so Idk its just something I feel I would like to do.

loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

I think the stumbling block may be a visa.I think for the TN visa you need your BSN and a Green Card would require that as well.


1 Article; 2,188 Posts

Specializes in Home Care.

Doubtful you'll get a position in a VA hospital without being a US citizen.

JustBeachyNurse, LPN

1 Article; 13,952 Posts

Specializes in Complex pedi to LTC/SA & now a manager. Has 13 years experience.

Moved to nurse registration forum in world nursing. I think you biggest barrier will be obtaining a work visa as LPN is not eligible for TN or many other work visas.

Specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

Not to mention, fewer and fewer practical nursing positions available and an abundant supply of LPNs to fill them.


8,343 Posts

Has 18 years experience.

The OP needs to provide more information. In Western Canada, RPN is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse. An RN who specializes in mental health issues. Ontario is the only provinces that used the term RPN instead of LPN.


39 Posts

Yes I'm in Ontario, so its Registered Practical Nurse. And I say the VA hospital because my bf is American and we will be getting married right after graduation and according to him, military spouses get preferential hiring. I know it goes state by state from what I've looked up so far. I just wasn't sure how to go about doing it is all. And working in the US is something I've always thought about doing.

loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

You would still have to sort out a visa.