How Can I Work As A Nurse In Canada?

While registered nurses are still in high demand in Canada, it’s critical to do your homework on nursing jobs and prerequisites before you come and work as a nurse in Canada.

Even in a good job market, it might be difficult to find work in this regulated sector in Canada without the necessary credentials and licensure. Knowing what you’ll need to work as a nurse in Canada before you go will help you save time, money, and effort.

Due to a labor shortage, nursing is one of the most in-demand careers in Canada. This scarcity is projected to continue.

So, if you’re thinking about becoming a registered nurse (RN), learn more about nursing jobs and criteria in Canada. Many of the qualifications may be met if you were trained as a nurse and have prior nursing experience. 

Here you will find information on how to apply for nursing jobs and work as a nurse in Canada.

Read also:  Can Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN) Work In Canada

Job Requirements To Work As A Nurse In Canada 

In Canada’s healthcare system, registered nurses perform a critical role. And the demand for RNs is growing as a result of COVID-19, which created an immediate need for RNs. In addition, the following factors contribute to the demand for RNs in Canada:

  • Vacancies as nurses depart from the job, as well as
  •  Canada’s aging population will necessitate more health services.

As a result, there are more nursing jobs in Canada. Internationally educated nurses (IENs) will play a critical role in bridging the nursing job shortfall as a result of these causes. In addition to hospital nursing professions, RNs can work in a variety of contexts, including:

  • Clinics
  • Community-based organizations
  • Businesses
  • Centers for rehabilitation
  • private residences, and
  • Homes for the elderly.

Job Opportunities For A Nurse In Canada 

RNs’ job prospects in Canada were graded as fair to good in all provinces and territories. This is based on statistics from Canada’s Job Bank as of December 2021.

COVID-19 has also increased the gap between present nurse supply and future needs across Canada. As a result, IENs can anticipate a solid job market.

Researching The Nursing Profession In Canada Before working As A Nurse

Before you arrive in Canada, as with other occupations, you must thoroughly investigate the job market for nursing positions. As a result, you’ll be able to:

  • Recognize what is required (i.e. provincial license)
  • Follow the steps in the application procedure.
  • Obtain the assistance you require.

Working as an RN requires a certificate (or license) in Canada because nursing is a regulated profession. Furthermore, the licensing process can be time-consuming and costly. As a result, it’s a good idea to get ready for this before you come to Canada. You can save time, money, and energy by doing so!

Begin Your Search With The Following NOC Code: 31301: National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code: Licensed Practical Nurses

Using the NOC 31301, you can discover more about the requirements for working as an RN in Canada. The NOC establishes a common language for RNs to describe and comprehend their work.

While the NOC can be used by a variety of organizations, it’s a terrific tool for job seekers like you to learn about:

  • RNs have a variety of titles that can be useful when looking for work.
  • To compare your nursing duties in your native nation to those of RNs, below are the main duties that RNs perform.
  • Job requirements, as well as
  • The need for a license.

Salary Payments 

You can do more research on the Government of Canada Job Bank site once you obtain the NOC. You can learn about earnings, employment possibilities, requirements, and skills in this section. It’s also a good place to look for work.

Before you come to Canada, you should be aware of and comprehend all of this information.

This data can show you where the best career opportunities for RNs are in Canada. It may even have an impact on where you choose to live in Canada.

Salary information is also useful to have. You can get an idea of how much you may expect to earn in different provinces and cities across Canada by looking at typical earnings.

When looking into earnings, it’s also crucial to think about the cost of living in the city where you wish to live.

While average income in some cities may be higher, the cost of living may be higher as well. To ensure your financial success, you must balance each of these criteria. Check out Rentals for Newcomers for up-to-date housing costs in numerous Canadian cities to get a feel of the cost of rental homes.

A Summary of the IEN Application Process

Important: Before you may register as a nurse in Canada, you must first apply to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) and submit the necessary paperwork.

The National Nursing Application Service (NNAS) is a national online application service designed by nursing regulatory organizations across Canada.


Because you can only work in Canada if you have an NNAS account, applying to the NNAS is a must-do initial step.

After you’ve set up your NNAS account, you’ll need to submit all necessary documents and finish your file. Your file will be evaluated by the NNAS, and you will be given access to an Advisory Report.

NNAS’s mission is to:

  • Documents submitted by IENs are received and stored.
  • Check to see if the documents are genuine.
  • Make sure your credentials are up to Canadian standards.
  • Verify that they have all of the required application paperwork.
  • Send an advisory report to the nursing regulatory agencies in your province.

You can use the Advisory Report to apply to any province and nursing group, including:

  • Licensed to practice nursing.
  • Practical Nurse (LPN)
  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.

To help you through the procedure, the NNAS has a step-by-step applicant guidebook.

The NNAS Application Process Is Broken Down Into Six Steps.

1. To begin your application, first create an online account.

2. Directly submit two forms of identification to NNAS (passport, driver’s license, government-issued ID). Your identification must be photocopies of original documents, and you must also meet the following requirements:

  • All copies must be signed and dated
  • Have your ID stamped by a notary to confirm that they have viewed the original paperwork.
  • Provide documents that have been certified translated into English or French by a licensed translation.

3. Fill out a form for each post-secondary school you attended outside of Canada and submit it. Each school must fill out the form and send it to NNAS immediately.

4. Fill out and submit the Nursing Registration Form. You must do the following:

Print the form, sign it, date it, and send it to all nursing licensing boards where you were licensed.

English Or French Language Testing To Work As A Nurse In Canada 

If you need an English or French language test, the following testing agencies are approved:

  • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a system for (IELTS)
  • Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses(CELBAN)
  • Test d’évaluation de français(TEF)

These organizations assess your ability to listen, write, read, and talk. All nursing regulatory bodies in Canada will want confirmation of your language skills.

If English or French is your first language, you may not need to take language tests. You must, however, demonstrate that English or French is the primary language spoken in the area where you live and work. You must also demonstrate that you:

  • Studied nursing in English or French
  • Within the last two years, you have worked as a nurse in a setting where English or French was the primary language.

Canada’s reference on occupations is the National Occupational Classification (NOC). It includes job descriptions, occupational statistics, and information on the labor market. The following is a standard description of the RN role from the NOC:

Registered Nurses (RNs)

They assess, organize, implement, and evaluate client care either alone or in conjunction with others.

They coordinate healthcare, provide nursing services, and assist clients with self-care decisions and activities in all stages of life, including health, illness, accident, and disability.

Read also:  Find Out If You Are Eligible To Migrate To Canada As An Essential Worker Or Graduate

Recognition Of Credentials To Work As A Nurse In Canada 

One of the first things you should do is study the requirements for working as a registered nurse in Canada. To do so, go to the provincial or territorial nursing regulating agency in the province or territory where you plan to settle in Canada.

You can learn about the documentation you’ll need as well as the assessment fees. It’s crucial to complete this step before arriving in Canada so you know how long it will take and how much it will cost.

You can start your application if you have a good understanding of the licensing process and the regulatory body’s requirements.

You’ll also require an education evaluation to check if your native country’s nursing education is comparable to that in Canada. A competency-based assessment may also be necessary to demonstrate your knowledge and skills.

The qualifications of IENs are assessed by the nursing regulatory agencies in each province and territory.

Nurses can also register to take the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE). You may be able to take the CRNE in a province or territory other than your own. The exam, however, cannot be taken outside of Canada.

Employers may seek a formal examination of your academic qualifications, even if you are currently licensed to practice as an RN in Canada. This education evaluation compares your international qualifications to academic credentials earned in Canada.

Major Employers

RNs work in traditional and specialized health care settings as well as in other community settings in Canada. Hospitals, nursing homes, extended-care institutions, community health organizations, health centers, and walk-in clinics are just a few examples.

Nurses can also work for themselves. Because there is a shift toward community-based health care, there may be fewer jobs in hospitals in the future and more in public health.

Registered  nurses can work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Hospitals and clinics that provide acute care
  • Psychiatric treatment for children and adolescents
  • Institutions for long-term mental care
  • Suicide prevention initiatives and crisis teams
  • Programs for substance misuse and addiction


It may be more difficult to find a nursing career in Canada than it is in your own country. As a result, you may require assistance in finding jobs, updating your resume, writing cover letters, and preparing for interviews.

Settlement agencies can be a useful resource in this situation. They can assist you with all of these aspects of your job hunt so that you can get a job in Canada sooner.

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