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FAQs: National Nursing Assessment Service

The following are questions and answers applicants may have about the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS).  

Contact the Customer Service Centre if you have other questions about applying to the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO).


Who uses NNAS?

NNAS is the first step for an Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN) who is considering applying to the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO), and:

  • is a graduate of a nursing education program outside of Canada; and,
  • is not registered to practice as a Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse or Registered Psychiatric Nurse anywhere within Canada. (Note: CNO does not register Registered Psychiatric Nurses.)

How does the process work?

IEN applicants requesting registration with CNO first go through the following steps:

Go to www.nnas.ca to create an online account, complete your forms, and pay your fee(s). Through this account, NNAS will communicate with you and guide you through the process. (You can also contact NNAS using its toll-free number.) Also, NNAS provides an online instruction guide. 

  1. Submit all required documents. NNAS will tell you which documents are needed and who must submit them. This includes documents relating to your identity, nursing education, nursing practice/employment, and nursing registration. 
  2. Receive an NNAS Advisory Report. NNAS will tell you when your file is complete. Through your account, you will be able to access a copy of your Advisory Report. The advisory report includes an overview of your information submitted to NNAS and your curriculum assessment, if applicable. 
  3. Apply to CNO. After you have received your advisory report, you will receive instructions about how to contact CNO with your request to register in Ontario. CNO will not consider you an applicant for registration until you have completed the NNAS process and submitted the required application and fee(s) directly to CNO. 

Why do I have to start my application with NNAS? 

Applying through NNAS ensures a consistent approach to collecting, verifying and storing documents.

Who do I contact to become a nurse in Ontario? 

You can contact CNO’s Customer Service Centre via email.

You can also find information about all registration requirements you must meet before you can practice as a nurse in Ontario on CNO’s website.

I'm an IEN who applied to CNO before NNAS came into effect in 2014. At that time, my application was refused. Now I would like to apply again. Do I have to apply to NNAS first? 


Applying through NNAS

Can I apply to more than one province or category (RN/RPN) at the same time? 

Yes. When you create your account at NNAS, you will be able to select the provinces and/or categories in which you eventually wish to apply. Additional fees may apply if you choose this option.  

What if I change my mind during the application process and I want to apply to a different province? 

You must contact NNAS to request the change and they will advise you whether or not this can be done for a re-evaluation by another nursing regulatory body in another province. This may impact the processing time of your application with NNAS.

Can I apply to NNAS if I do not have a work permit or permanent residence in Canada? 

NNAS does not address any immigration issues. There is a link to Immigration and Citizenship Canada on the NNAS website. 

Where will I find the application form to apply to NNAS? 

You can find the application form by visiting the NNAS website. You apply by creating an account with NNAS, paying the required fees and following the instructions for completing the application form and sending the required documents. You will be notified when the file is complete. You can then apply to CNO using a direct link from the NNAS website.

Completing the process

How will I be notified that I can continue with my application with the college(s) I chose when I applied at NNAS? 

When NNAS informs you that your file is complete, you will be able to retrieve your advisory report from your online account. Instructions will be provided on how to apply to CNO. Your documentation willnot be sent automatically to CNO until you submit an application and pay the required fees. Once that happens, CNO will retrieve your NNAS documents and advisory report.

Can I write the national registration exam as soon as NNAS sends my complete application to CNO?

If you haven’t already completed the registration exam, CNO will assess your NNAS advisory report, along with other documents, and notify you of required next steps (e.g., applying for the exam or completing additional nursing education).

Can I practice as an RN/RPN as soon as my NNAS assessment is complete? 

No. You are not authorized to practice as a nurse in Ontario until you are registered with CNO. Once NNAS has completed its assessment, you can then apply to CNO. Once CNO has reviewed the advisory report from NNAS, you will receive a letter from CNO that will instruct you on your next steps.


What is the application fee for NNAS? 

The fee schedule for NNAS services can be found here on the NNAS website. Note that the NNAS application fee is separate from CNO’s application fee. You will pay the CNO’s application fee directly to CNO before it can accept your application and NNAS advisory report. 

Is the fee the same if I apply to more than one province or category of nursing?

Additional fees may apply if you choose to have your information collected for more than one regulatory body.

Are there any other fees? 

Yes. You may incur other fees in addition to the NNAS application fee. Please refer to the NNAS website for information on other NNAS related fees. Note that the NNAS application fee will not cover other costs related to your application to CNO, such as the CNO application fee, registration or jurisprudence exam fees, and any additional assessments completed by CNO or third parties (e.g. Touchstone Institute evaluation, language proficiency tests, etc.)

Information and privacy

What privacy legislation is NNAS following? 

NNAS is a Canadian organization and is subject to thePersonal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Canada). Ontario privacy legislation will apply once your file is transferred to CNO.

If I previously wrote the exam in another province, will all the other regulatory bodies have knowledge of this information through NNAS? 

No. Only those regulatory bodies that you choose to apply to will have that information. 

Can I provide authorization to a third party to access my information so that they can enquire about my file on my behalf? 

Yes. When you set up an account with NNAS, you will be asked to sign an authorization form that outlines the terms and conditions associated with this.





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Page last reviewed April 27, 2023