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Canada: immigration as a nurse

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Minimum qualifications required to immigrate to Canada as a nurse

To immigrate to Canada as a nurse, you must already have a nurse’s license in your country. Besides, to immigrate to Canada as a nurse, you need to demonstrate that you are qualified at the same level as someone qualified and working as a nurse in Canada.

To accurately assess your equivalence, it is important to first dive deeply into the specifics of how Canada rates internationally qualified nurses against their domestic criteria in a country with individual provinces.

The Nurse title can only be officially awarded to health professionals who are properly licensed or registered by the Nursing Regulatory Authority in a Canadian province. Each province has its own regulatory body and assessment process, and Canada does not have a national nurse registration authority.

There are three different types of nurses:

  • RN Nurses: Registered Nurses

Nurses usually complete a four-year nursing program after graduating from high school to become registered general nurses.


  • RPN Nurses: Registered Psychiatric Nurses

RPNs are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in psychiatric nursing or a general nursing degree followed by a degree or period of study in psychiatric nursing. RPNs must practice in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.


  • LPN Nurses: Licensed Practitioner Nurse

LPNs complete a college-level postsecondary nursing program that usually lasts two years.

How to Immigrate as a Nurse

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Step 1 

As an internationally qualified nurse who wants to immigrate to Canada, your first task will be to ensure that your educational credentials are verified. This is a mandatory step in the immigration process to Canada. Educational achievement must be assessed by World Education Services, an organization duly authorized and licensed by the Government of Canada to conduct education audits and verification.

At this time, we also recommend starting the first important step in gaining recognition for your nursing qualifications in Canada. This process is managed by the Canadian National Nursing Assessment Service, NNAS. The NNAS assessment costs CAD 650 and is the first required step to obtain both your Canadian visa and your nursing registration in Canada.

Step 2

Once your NNAS assessment is underway, it’s time to start developing your Express Entry profile. Express Entry is where the work begins, it is the beginning of your immigration journey, not the end.

At this point, we will suggest that you take an internationally recognized test in English or French (or both, if you are lucky enough to speak those languages!), And we also encourage you to get serious about your job search, though given that you: Soon I’ll get a nurse registration. There are many options for successfully immigrating to Canada as a nurse without a job offer.

Step 3

After your positive NNAS assessment, it is time to apply for the second stage of registration with Nursing Canada by contacting the Nursing Council directly in your chosen province or territory. Each territory will use the NNAS result as a basis for comparing the international medical skills, experience, and qualifications of applicants with the established respective Nursing Councils.

Usually, one of two outcomes occurs at this stage. Either the application will be reviewed and the applicant will be asked to take the provincial final nursing exam leading to full licensing and registration, or the applicant will be asked to complete an interim course of study.

When it comes to matching the skills, qualifications, and experience of internationally qualified nurses immigrating to Canada with the specific requirements of Canadian provinces and territories, we recommend consulting with one of the Canadian Nursing Immigration Experts.

Step 4 

At this point, your immigration project will start to merge. With your registration and nursing licensing, we should see growth in terms of your federal Express Entry Skilled Worker Visa, and we will consider moving forward through a provincial assignment or a fallback job offer if the invitation to apply still hasn’t materialized.

You do not need a formal job offer to immigrate to Canada as a nurse if your Canadian nursing registration is secured. 


Step 5: Invitation to Apply

The penultimate step of your immigration to Canada is getting an invitation to apply for the Express Entry program. You will receive this Invitation based on your expedited entry case, which will either be compelling enough to be selected directly at the federal level, through a provincial nomination, or selected on the basis that you have received a formal offer to work in Canada.

Congratulations, you are about to immigrate as a nurse. Welcome to your new life in Canada. You have up to one year to formally activate your visa.

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