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How To Be A Practicing Registered Nurse In Canada

With the way the Canadian economy is growing, the government has made a law that is open to accept nurses from around the world to come to Canada and start practicing. Canada has accepted over one hundred and fifty thousand nurses from across the globe who are currently practicing as registered nurses.

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The essence of the acceptance of nurses from across the globe is because of the outcome of research that in due time Canada will experience a shortage of nurses and this fact has made the government not to take chances to the outcome of this research.

However there are strategies that have been considered by the Canadian government which one of them is to make provisions for foreign nurses to come over to Canada and work and get their licenses. Although getting this license is not that easy, in this post you will learn the process to become a practicing registered nurse in Canada.

Steps To Take To Become A Practicing Registered Nurse In Canada 


  • Registration requirements
  • Canadian categories and classes of nurses 
  • Courses to take
  • Immigration for nurses
  • Provincial requirement and association research
  • Assessment of credentials 
  • Application for work permit
  • Application for Canadian registered and practicing nurses

Registration requirements

There are requirements and registration you need to undergo before you can become a practicing registered nurse in Canada, the following are:

  1. Certificate of completion of nursing degree program or diploma
  2. Canadian work permit
  3. Proof of language test
  4. Proof of completion of national Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)

Canadian categories And Classes Of Nurses 

You must be in one of the categories of nurses in Canada, however there are two of them in Canada. These two categories of nurses are:

  1. The registered nurses (RN)
  2. The registered practicing nurses (RPN)

In Canada the registered nurses are those that have completed their four years program in the university they studied and have their certification and license, they are tagged to be the RN.

On the other hand the registered practicing nurses(RPN) are the set of nurses who went through a diploma program which is usually two years and are supervised by the registered nurses before their certification.

However it is important to know the category you fall into before that main application process to avoid mistakes along the line.

Courses To Take

You are required to take some courses to enable you to become a registered nurse in Canada, with this course you will have the privilege to practice in any hospital in Canada once you have obtained the right framework. You should also learn to participate in the hospital processes and you take the courses you need.

Immigration For Nurses

This is where the immigration processes fall in, but you have to choose one from the four options nurses have to migrate and they are:

  1. The express entry
  2. The provincial nominee program
  3. The Quebec immigration
  4. Study to migrate program

You have to choose one that will suit your preferred option.

Provincial Requirement And Association Research

The provincial nominee program enables provinces to choose who works in their province, and it is important to know that you must be sure of the province your offer falls into before you can start applying.

You must also have a one year experience to be able to partake in this program.

Assessment Of Credentials

The assessment of credentials will help you know if you are required for the position of the job you are seeking for, it is very important to assess your credentials. 

There are processes to which credentials are assessed and they are:

  • Finding the occupational profile 
  • Compare qualifications
  • Contacting regulatory body 
  • Compilation of document
  • Upgrading skill certificate

 Application For Work Permit

You need the work permit before you can start any job in Canada, any organization or sector must demand for a work permit before you can be given access to work. If you are caught in the act of not having a work permit you might be deported back to your country, however there are different types of work permit and they have their time duration to expire.

Application For Canadian Registered And Practicing Nurses

You must identify with the association of nurses in the province you live in and you are planning to work in, this is a stage where you decide on the best place to settle and work. After the process of taking exams and searching for a job you will have to apply to be a member of your province registered and practising nurses association.


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