US NP to practice in Ontario, Canada


  • Specializes in Cardiac rehab, med-tele, psych, research. Has 4 years experience.

I am a student NP that will be graduating in Aug. 2017. My husband and I moved to Toronto for his work. I plan on taking my boards in the states and then applying to practice in Ontario. I am desperately trying to connect with American NP's that made the transition to Ontario, Canada. Can anyone provide me some guidance? What to expect? I know there are a lot of differences in practice but need to learn more.


119 Posts

Specializes in Forensic Psychiatry.

I'm have dual citizenship (US & CAN) and gotten all of my education in the states and have looked in to going back to Canada as I miss my family and friends. Unfortunately - it's a heck of a process. The first step is to start with the Canadian Provincial body with which you want to apply - for Ontario it's the College of Nurses of Ontario Outside Canada and to get your education reviewed by the NNAS NNAS / SNEI as they need to compare your US RN education to the Canadian requirements. Going through the NNAS requires transcripts, syllabus information/course description from the University you attended looking at course equivalency, references from all nursing boards where you are licensed to practice stating you're in good standing and references from any employers from the past 5 years stating you're in good standing. Then they give you a report stating that your education is either equivalent for the license in which you're applying or that it's deficit. The whole process can be pricey and more often than not the US education is not equivalent. There is a long thread on the NNAS process here

At that point you are then eligible to apply for the province in which you want to be able to practice. Many applicants from the US have had to do some kind of remedial testing in order to be given the go ahead to practice as a RN.

I'm also not entirely sure how different or difficult the process is for is for Non-Citizens of Canada.

All in all it can take about 2 years to get licensed to work in Canada.

In terms of Nurse Practitioner - you'd do an additional application for extended class and see if you've taken an equivalent board certification exam: Outside Ontario.

There are also certain NP specializations in the US that do not have Canadian equivalency: PMHNP (my specialty) or the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner specialties.

I haven't done the process and have pretty much decided that if I want to go back to Canada I'll have to do something else.


10 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac rehab, med-tele, psych, research. Has 4 years experience.

Thank you for your response! I started the NNAS application but stopped because I thought I could skip that step once I am a licensed ARNP (family). Do you know if that is true? I'm unclear if I have to first apply to be a registered nurse before I can do the ARNP application.


119 Posts

Specializes in Forensic Psychiatry.

Honestly, my piece of advice would be to contact the college of nurses in Ontario and ask them. They more than anyone could give you all the details on what is expected to get licensed and practice there as an APRN.


77 Posts

Yes, absolutely, contact the CNO. They will send you a package that will explain everything, and when they are satisfied with your preparation and have the needed paperwork, you will take an open book jurisprudence exam, using the info on the CNO website, to reinforce Ontario specific practice issues. Each province is different.