MI nurse hoping to work in Ontario

by salmaria salmaria (New) New

Hello everyone,

I'm having a dilemma, and I'm wondering if anyone can help me or share their experience.

I live in Windsor, Ontario, and I recently graduated from a registered nurse program at Henry Ford CC in Michigan. I obtained an Associate in Applied Science-Nursing degree. I'm planning to take my NCLEX-RN in a month to become licensed in Michigan. I'm also planning to complete my BSN (RN to BSN program) at Eastern Michigan University within the next 2 years.

I would like to move to the Toronto area after I have completed my BSN. I contacted the College of Nurses of Ontario about the application process. I was informed that even though I will have obtained a BSN, the college will still have to evaluate whether my education is enough, and I might be required to take more courses to meet their standards. I was also informed that this application process could take up to 2 years before I can be approved to take the Canadian boards.

I feel pretty hopeless now after receiving this news. It seems that it's not a guarantee that I will be able to work in Ontario after getting my BSN.

Has anyone else experienced this also? Are there any US educated nurses who were approved to practice in Ontario? Was your education sufficient to meet the requirements of the College of Nurses of Ontario? If my education is not sufficient, where do I go from there?


1 Article; 470 Posts

Just posting to follow this, it's interesting. I don't know about this topic.

Since you have not yet completed your educational plans-----Is there anyway for you to do your RN to BSN in Canada? Would it be easier for you to be accepted as a BSN student(or equivalent) in Canada, compared to being accepted as a nurse? I don't know if Canada has ASN, BSN, etc.

but, maybe being accepted as a student might be easier than what you are describing?

loriangel14, RN

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative. 6,923 Posts

Having your education assessed by the CNO is the normal process for anyone to be licensed in Ontario.Any nurse that is educated outside of the country goes through this.If you are planning on working in Canada, and you already live here why don't you take your BSN here? Why would you get an ASN when you can't work here with it?

Daisy_08, BSN, RN

Has 5 years experience. 597 Posts

Your now an internationally educated nurse. It's no secret it is a long process To be approved to write the CRNE. You should also know Canada requires a bachelors degree to practice as an RN. Why would you go to school in the states, if you wanted to work here? Even if you couldn't get in, do the pre-health, try RPN. Toronto is one of the hardest places for nurses to find jobs, harder for new grades, and any where you go will favor Canadian trained nurses. I would look into any Canadian bridging programs.

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics. 1 Article; 4,767 Posts

As everyone said, you are an internationally educated nurse. Your education will undergo an assessment with the CNO, and once approved, you will need to write and pass the Canadian RN exam. All recent Canadian RNs are required to hold a BSN to practise. The US ASN for recent grads no longer meets Canadian nursing standards. Be prepared that the CNO may request you take an upgrading course or apply for LPN licensure.



121 Posts

Hi Salmaria,

I'm a Canadian and went to school in the states for an Associates degree. I am currently working in the U.S. right now and finishing up the BSN degree.

I strongly suggest getting some work experience in the states while you are doing the BSN degree and waiting to apply to CNO. The Associates degree's in the U.S. usually don't have as much clinical hours as an Ontario grad which may be a problem, however, they will accept work experience if they find your clinical hours to be insufficient. Also, I read your last post about not being able to work in the U.S. without a BSN. Not sure where your friend got that information, but you do not need a BSN. I've had no problems working in the U.S. with an Associate's degree. You can always use OPT on your student visa and that allows you to work for a year.