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Any nurse planning to work in Canada must be deemed as qualified to practice as a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed/Registered Practical Nurse (LPN/RPN). To qualify, an applicant must register with either the Canadian Nurses Association (CAN) or the Canadian Council for Practical Nurse Regulators (CCPNR).
In Canada registration requirements are established by individual provinces and territories. To register with the CNA or CCPNR, nurses must first apply to the nursing regulatory body of the province or territory where they wish to work.
In general, in order to be eligible to register as an RN or LPN, an applicant will need to demonstrate competency to practice. To demonstrate this, an applicant will need to have their education credentials assessed. Once education credentials are deemed equivalent to nursing education programs in Canada, the nursing regulatory body will then address whether other application requirements are met. Additional application requirements generally include criteria such as work experience, good character, language proficiency, screening for criminal history and registration in the jurisdiction where the applicant currently practices.
Once a positive assessment of the application requirements has been met, Canadian provinces and territories, with the exception of Quebec, require that nurses write the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE) or Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam (CPNRE) as part of the registration or licensure process (the province of Quebec maintains its own registration examination). At present, these exams can only be written in Canada. Once an applicant has successfully completed the required examination, the applicant may be eligible to work as a nurse in Canada.