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Canadian Immigration & Nursing

o.poole o.poole (New) New

Hi all -

Can any one help?

I am wanting to begin my application into Canada, but unsure of the process or what I need to do in order to do this.

I know I need to apply to NNAS? is this correct?

Also, how do I go about findingg jobs? Do I need to do this before or after nurse licensing?

Thanks ;)

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

Your thread has been moved to our Advice on Immigration forum to elicit some responses from nurses who are knowledgeable about the process. Good luck to you.

So it begins. The every four year, post US presidential election 'I'm moving to Canada' straw of postings

I hear you, Fiona. Although, this may be jumping to a conclusion. It may be prudent to simply ask first.

Hi o.poole, Why are you interested in working in Canada?

I also found a hilariously true article written by a Canadian about Americans wanting to move to Canada because of election results. I feel Canada speaks for all the other Anglo-centric counties, as well.

What Canada Thinks Of You Threatening To Move There

So it begins. The every four year, post US presidential election 'I'm moving to Canada' straw of postings

Well, for certain groups, it may not be a bad idea to consider getting out. Muslims, who may be forced to register like sex offenders. Gays and lesbians, who will definitely have their marriage licenses voided. Any public figure who has openly opposed Trump, I have the feeling he's going to make political prisoners out of them.

We're in for some interesting times. And perhaps Canada will be too. Want to know what it's like to have a huge illegal immigration problem? I think you'll find out soon.

Who has a "huge illegal immigration problem"? Please, elaborate.

Look over this: http://my.nnas.ca/nnasweb/resources/mounts/reports/ien_resources/nnas_applicant_handbook_english

You might get more helpful advice from other international nurses who have gone through the process, but I would not apply for jobs until you are registered (or well on your way) in Canada as active registration is required for every job when you apply. Canadians can apply to other provinces as transferring registration is a reasonably quick process, but because we have strong unions they can't hold a job for you until you are available to work. Jobs need to be posted, closed, and filled as per contract in each province.

I would suggest deciding where in Canada (province or territory) you want to work and see what jobs are there. Some provinces have many jobs, others have almost none. Wages vary by province by a few dollars. BC and Saskatchewan have the best unions, in SK our starting wage is $35.46/hour, all overtime isdouble. Other provinces start around $31/hour. It may be difficult to get a position in a large city without any seniority, but again, this depends on hiring trends. We had a hiring freeze here a few month ago but not any longer. Because unions are provincial you can typically work in smaller centres in health regions outside of major cities to gain seniority. Your hirability will also depend on your skills. Those areas requiring specialised training will be easier to get into because they may have to look outside the union members.

You could contact potential employers to express interest and find out what openings they may have around when you expect to be able to start, but you do not need a job offer to start the application for residency. Individual health authorities may be able to tell you at what stage in the process to apply.

As for where to find jobs, you will get many results by looking at each Health Region's website. You can find out what the health regions names are and what area they cover by googling. Some provinces have many, others few, mostly depending on geographic area and how the provincial government decided to set things up. All postings open to external applicants will be posted there with instructions on how to apply, but all will have as a requirement that you be registered within that province (or be "eligible for registration").

I would check the market before beginning the process to see if the kind of job you want is out there before beginning your application. There are many jobs in Canada, but they may not be what you're looking for, and it is an involved and expensive process.

In addition to getting your registration, you also will need a visa and this is also a lengthy process (from my experience of moving to the UK years ago).

Also look at the Government of Canada website.

Edited by sirI

Hi there -

I just relocated to Canada from the US (not b/c of Trump, my husband is from Vancouver and is going to school here). Anyway, it is a LONG process to get your license here. I started the NNAS review in January, and I still do not have my nursing license. Hopefully it will just be another six weeks, fingers crossed, I'm itching to get back to work! My understanding (from CRNBC) is that I'd need to have an active license before applying for jobs.

If you go to the licensure agency for the province where you want to work, they will have information for International Nurses. The NNAS review is quite slow, they require a copy of the syllabus for every nursing class you took while in school. If you're like me, you don't have any of those papers, and getting them took quite some time. After the NNAS completes your review, then you can apply to the provincial licensure organization (CRNBC for me). It is also a quite expensive process, I think I'm around 1,500 USD out just from applying for my RN license. I'm not trying to be discouraging, I'd just advise that it can take a long time and it isn't a cheap endeavor - might be different based on the province, but that's been my experience so far.

Also, immigrating to Canada is not that easy. I came under Family Sponsorship, not sure what program you would think of immigrating under. Again, a lot of papers, a lot of money and a lot of time. I'd recommend doing a lot of research before starting on this process, both for immigration (check out CIC's website) and for licensure.

Good luck.

@smr21 what were the results of your NNAS advisory report? There are a few NNAS results threads, in which some US educated nurses received comparable, some received somewhat comparable and some received not comparable to a Canadian entry to practice education.

My report was "somewhat comparable" I did an ABSN option in the US.

@smr21 Does/did CRNBC require you to undergo further competency testing such as SEC or NCAS?

No request for further testing so far

No request for further testing so far

Does that mean you are waiting for CRNBC to respond to your application or that they have responded? I am curious if there are differences between provincial regulatory bodies. Ontario applicants with somewhat comparable NNAS results are required to undergo further competency testing, which in Ontario is the IENCAP.

CRNBC has responded to my application. They said I am eligible to have my NCLEX-RN results recognized, so I had the board of nursing from the US contact them. Now I'm waiting for background check results. I imagine that since I passed the NCLEX, I wouldn't have to take another exam, but the process isn't exactly clear, so I'm not holding my breath

smr21 I hope that it does mean CRNBC will issue you a license after they verify your NCLEX and your background checks.

Thanks! I hope so too, I miss nursing!

Does that mean you are waiting for CRNBC to respond to your application or that they have responded?


I'm interested as well. In Ontario you would have to undergo further assessment. Where did you get your ABSN from?

Please keep us updated smr21 Good luck!!!

OK, so update - I got my nursing license!! No further assessment needed! RN_Pro, I did my ABSN at Western Carolina University.

For anyone who's interested, here's a synopsis of my process...

Dec 2015 - started the NNAS process. Some requirements were easy - my state BON had to fill out a form, as did my employer (although I'm a relatively new nurse, so I've only had one employer. If that wasn't the case, I would have had to get in contact with prior employers which would have been tricky). The hard part was the paperwork from my school of nursing. I met with the director of my program mid-December. The NNAS requires copies of syllabi from every nursing course I took...I didn't keep any of that stuff after I graduated, so getting copies took some time.

February 2016 - Sent off my all my NNAS paperwork - phew!

March 2016 - heard from NNAS that since I sent the paperwork from my nursing school myself (dropping it off at Fed Ex or wherever) it couldn't be accepted. It had to be sent in something official looking from my nursing school. Fortunately, I could put all the syllabi on a jump drive, saving a lot of paper, time and money!

May 2016 - got my NNAS assessment, "somewhat comparable" Applied to CRNBC

July 2016 - Got first email from CRNBC, paid various application fees, totaling around 600 USD (I think...)

August 2016 - another email from CRNBC, asking for some paperwork and permission to do a background check.

December 2016 - approved for licensure in BC, paid dues to CRNBC and am now registered! Time to start the job hunt!

Hope this helps - applying for licensure in Canada as an IEN is *not* an easy process, if it wasn't for my husband going to school there (he's a dual citizen, but from Vancouver) I don't think I would have done this. If you're thinking of applying for licensure as an IEN, just be prepared for a long and expensive process. Worked out well for me (phew!) but I was pretty anxious for a lot of that time.

August 2016 - another email from CRNBC, asking for some paperwork and permission to do a background check.

Wow huge congrats @smr21 !!!! This is a difficult and expensive process, glad you were able to make it through. I don't think there are very many who have yet through the NNAS process so, great!

When CRNBC asked for more paperwork as quoted above, what did they ask for? Current job descriptions, or ?

Also, what type of information did you send in to NNAS about your clinical hours? How were clinical hours outlined/shown to NNAS? I think for a lot of US applicants their clinical hours somehow aren't being captured/recognized in their entirety.

One more question: were all of your categories on the NNAS Advisory Report "somewhat comparable" or was there a bit of a blend?

I appreciate you outlining your timeline for all of us here. Gives us some hope! Wishing you well for the new year.


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