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How To Immigrate To Canada As A Nurse


Canada is one of the most progressive countries where you can work as a nurse without any limitations. Nursing is, in fact, among the most in-demand career choice in this country. There is an ever-growing need for nurses in the country and the numbers are expected to double in the next decade. As a practicing nurse, you will find working opportunities in Canada, typically as a nurse aide, psychiatric nurse, licensed practical nurse, allied primary health practitioner, supervisor, or registered nurse. Plus, earning potential will range from 41,438 dollars for a nurse aide to 128,700 dollars for an experienced registered nurse. Moreover, there are three different kinds of nurses in Canada; RNs, RPNs, and LPNs.

That said, in order to move to Canada and practice your profession, you will have to acquire licensing from the country you currently reside in. Furthermore, you will have to prove your competence, which shows that you’re qualified to work at the same level as an eligible Canadian nurse. With that in mind, let us look at some ways you can immigrate to Canada nurse.

Evaluate your educational credentials

The first step to immigrate to Canada involves analyzing your existing academic credentials to determine whether they meet the standards required by the Canadian government. Not to mention, you cannot skip this step as it is mandatory. Furthermore, your credential will be assessed by the World Educational Services, a Canadian organization that checks and verifies academic credentials. So, whether you’ve completed a masters of nursing online or through a campus-based university, your accomplishment will be put under scrutiny. After that, you will have to get your nursing academic credential recognized in Canada. The NNAS (National Nursing Assessment Service) typically carries out the process where you will be asked to create an online account on their website. Then, the NNAS will convert your existing academic credentials to ones that abide by Canadian standards. This process will usually cost you 650 Canadian dollars and is essential to secure a nursing registration and a Canadian Visa.

Create a profile on NNAS’s website

After your NNAS assessment is finished, the next step is to fill out the NNAs application by creating a profile on their application webpage. During this step, you will have to provide;

  • Proof of identity. It can either be copies of original documents such as your birth certificate, international passport, country identification card, driver’s license, or any other document that proves you’re a citizen of your country.
  • Nursing education form. You will have to download this from the NNAS website. After downloading it, you must sign and send it to the educational institute where you received your nursing education. After that, the completed and signed form needs to be sent to the NNAS by the educational institute itself, along with copies of your transcripts, course syllabi, course descriptions, and academic records.
  • Nursing registration form. You can download this form from the NNAS website, print it, sign it, and send it to the licensing authorities that gave you your license to practice as a nurse in your home country.
  • Nursing employment/practice form. Again, you can download this form from the NNAS website. Then sing and send it to all companies or medical facilities you worked at during the last five years. Plus, your employer will have to send this form directly to the NNAS.
  • IELTS test. You will have to give the IETLS language test and get a good score if you wish to stand a chance to work in Canada. However, if your first language is French or English, you don’t need to give this test.

Once you’ve fulfilled the document requirement mentioned above and sent them to the NNAS, you can then click submit on the application webpage on NNAS’s website. After that, you can select the nursing group and provincial association you’re applying to.

Apply to a nursing medical board

After submitting your application to the NNAS, you will have to apply to the nursing board in your chosen territory or province. When you do, the NNAS will hand over your completed files to the respective regulatory bodies. This will enable them to give you a final decision whether you’re eligible to work as a nurse in Canada or not.

All the territories and provinces you choose will use the NNAS report as a benchmark to evaluate international candidates’ nursing qualifications, experience, and skills with those provided by their respective nursing boards. After that, you’ll be asked to continue your registration process after your selected provincial or territorial body receives the NNAS’s report. Some provinces and their regulatory bodies include;

  • British Columbia (British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals)
  • Saskatchewan (Saskatchewan Registered Nurse Association)
  • Nova Scotia (Nova Scotia College of Nursing)
  • Ontario (College of Nurses of Ontario)
  • Alberta (College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta and College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta)
  • Manitoba (College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba and Practical Nurses College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Manitoba)

Choose an immigration program

After the NNAS and related provincial regulatory bodies have accepted your registration requests and you’ve secured a license, the next step is to select an immigration program that suits you. Typically, nurses can choose from three types of immigration programs if they wish to practice in Canada. These include;

  • PNP (Provincial Nominee Program): A PNP is an immigration program that runs through a partnership between the federal and provincial governments. Every Canadian province operates its PNP with various streams. However, not every PNP will guarantee you Canadian PR (Permanent Residency). Not to mention, if you immigrate through a PNP, you will have to provide proof that you have family residing in Canada.


  • QSW (Quebec Skilled Worker): If you score at least 50 points or more on the Quebec Selection Grid, you will be eligible to enter Canada through the QSW immigration program. Furthermore, you will need to have a particular IETLS to qualify for the QSW immigration program.


  • Express Entry System: If you meet the requirements, you can qualify for the Express Entry System. However, you will have to score at least 67 out of 100 points. Moreover, IETLS score requirements will vary depending on your profile.


Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a never-ending need for nurses worldwide. That said, if you want to immigrate to Canada and practice your nursing profession there, you have to follow a few essential steps before you can pack up your bags and book your flight. So, consider the steps mentioned above and follow them to the T. Doing so will drastically improve your chances of getting accepted into an immigration program of your choice.

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