Welcome to the College of Nurses of Ontario’s guide to registration for international applicants.

This guide explains the process for registering in Ontario and the requirements that all nurses must meet to become a member of the College.

It is intended for anyone who wants to become a Registered Nurse (RN) or Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) in Ontario and meets the following conditions:

  • you are a graduate of a nursing program outside of Canada and
  • you are not currently registered as a nurse in the same category in any part of Canada.
    This means:
    • if you want to become an RN in Ontario, you are not currently registered as an RN in another Canadian jurisdiction
    • if you want to become a RPN in Ontario, you are not currently registered as an RPN, also known as a Licenced Practical Nurse (LPN), in another Canadian jurisdiction.

This guide covers all applicants whose nursing education occurred outside of Canada. This includes Canadian citizens who received their nursing education in another country and are not currently registered as a nurse in Canada.

If you are a graduate of any nursing program in Canada, currently registered to practise as a nurse in Canada or seeking to become a Nurse Practitioner in Ontario, then return to Registration Guides and choose the guide that best describes your situation.  

We have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information in this guide. Contact CNO if you have any questions or discover an error.


“I have a medical degree. Is that accepted as nursing education?”

The College does not accept medical qualifications as a basis for registration. If you were trained as a doctor, midwife, medical technician or any health professional other than a nurse in your home country, then your training will not be taken into consideration, even if that training allowed you to carry out the duties of a nurse in your home country.

Applicants who cannot provide evidence of nursing education will not see their application proceed until they can demonstrate successful completion of a program that meets the nursing education requirement.




To request an accessible version of any document on this page, please contact us.

Page last reviewed January 29, 2021