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FAQs: Education Evaluation for Internationally Educated Nurses

Why is the College changing the way applicants’ education is reviewed?

Since the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) was implemented in August 2014, the College has found it provides an objective, fair, practical and efficient first screen of nursing programs.

Based on the NNAS’ evaluation of an applicant’s nursing education, some applicants will become eligible to attempt the registration exam, while others will require further assessment.

If an evaluation of your education identifies competency gaps, further assessment of your nursing knowledge, skill and judgment, plus any nursing practice, will be required. The new method allows the College to see if your past and current practice satisfies any competency gaps that may have been identified. This change addresses applicants who completed the educational requirement years ago and who may not meet the competencies required of a current graduate of an approved Canadian nursing program, but who have relevant practical experience.

As well, RN applicants will have a chance to complete the Internationally Educated Nurses Competency Assessment Program (IENCAP), and RPN applicants will be able to complete the Competency Assessment Supplement (CAS), regardless of whether they have practised as a nurse. 

Who does this change apply to?

The change applies to all applicants who have an open application with the College, as well as all future applicants.

I am a current applicant. How will I be notified if the change affects me?

The College is reviewing all current applications to determine the effect of the changes on them. Each applicant will be notified in writing of any change in their status and next steps.

If an assessment of your education finds that you demonstrate the required nursing knowledge, skill and judgment to meet the nursing education requirement, you will be eligible to write the registration exam.

If an education assessment identifies competency gaps, you may need to complete additional assessment or education. 

For more information, go to Nursing Education.

Will the College assess my previous or current nursing practice?

The College will assess both.

If the College identifies competency gaps in your education, and you have past and/or current practice experience as a nurse, the College will perform a paper-based review of your nursing practice.

You can provide the College with documentation, such as forms that verify nursing practice, and job descriptions of roles and responsibilities.

The College will assess this information to determine if your nursing practice meets any competency gaps. If gaps are met, you will be eligible to write the registration examination. Otherwise, you must complete an additional evaluation.

What if I haven’t practised as a nurse?

If competency gaps are identified in your education, and you don’t have past or current practice as a nurse, you must complete an additional evaluation.

For RN applicants, this evaluation is performed by Touchstone Institute.

RPN applicants use the College’s Competency Assessment Supplement.

When will this change happen? When will the College inform applicants?

The new evaluation took effect on September 22, 2016, when the College’s Council approved it.

Currently, the College is reviewing all open applications to determine how the changes affect them. The College will notify applicants in writing of any change in status and next steps.

Are there extra fees for having my nursing practice reviewed for the nursing education requirement?

The College has no additional fees for having reviewed your practice. However, Touchstone Institute has a fee for its evaluation and the College has a fee for the Competency Assessment Supplement .

For more information go to Application & Membership Fees.

Does this change apply retroactively?

No. The change applies to all open applications since September 22, 2016, when the College’s Council approved it.

Those whose applications have been refused or closed can reapply. Their education will be assessed through the new process.




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Page last reviewed January 29, 2017