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Internationally Educated Nurses – IEN – What happens after August 12, 2014

Internationally Educated Nurses – IEN – What happens after August 12, 2014

Internationally Educated Nurses – IEN – What happens after August 12, 2014

Q&A: National Nursing Assessment Service

The following are questions that applicants may have about the National Nursing Assessment Service, a new way for internationally educated nurses to apply to the College as of August 12, 2014.

Contact the CNOs’ Customer Service Centre if you have other questions about NNAS.


Should I apply to the College before August 12 or should I wait and apply through NNAS?
Applying through NNAS is intended to be a more streamlined process. You will need to choose the application process that best suits your situation.

Before August 12, if you decide to apply to more than one college, then you will need to complete the application process and pay the required fees for each individual college.

After August 12, when NNAS is in place, you will only need to send your documents to one location. Your credentials will be assessed using a common assessment tool endorsed by all regulatory bodies involved in NNAS, and you will pay one fee to set up your account.

How can I determine if I’m qualified to become a nurse in Canada?
Visit the Become a Nurse section of our website for a list of requirements that all applicants must meet if they want to practise in Ontario. Adding NNAS to the application process for internationally educated nurses (IENs) does not change the registration requirements that all IENs must meet before they can be registered.

As of August 12, there will be additional information on the NNAS website to assist you. The College will make the final decision on whether you are eligible to register as a nurse in Ontario.

Why will I have to apply to NNAS and not directly with the College of Nurses of Ontario?
As of August 12, all nursing regulatory bodies in Canada (except Quebec) will require new applications for registration from internationally educated nurses (IENs) to go through NNAS. Applying through NNAS means a consistent approach to collecting, verifying and storing the documents required by all nursing regulatory bodies in Canada. Your educational credentials will be assessed using standardized tools endorsed by all participating regulatory bodies.

Who do I contact to become a nurse in Ontario?
Information on all registration requirements that you must meet before you can practise as a nurse in Ontario can be found at any time on the College’s website at www.cno.org/become-a-nurse.

Until August 12, all questions about applying to become a nurse in Ontario should be directed to the College.

After August 12, you can contact the NNAS directly to begin the process of applying to the College. The NNAS will assess your educational credentials and determine any language proficiency testing that may be required.

Am I eligible to apply to NNAS if I completed my nursing program during my high school education?
Currently, all applicants to the College of Nurses must complete nursing education at a post-secondary level to be eligible to apply. This will not change with the introduction of NNAS.

Applying through NNAS

Will I be able to 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.

Do I have to send two sets of documents if I apply to two jurisdictions?
As of August 12, when you create your account at NNAS you can select the regulatory bodies (like CNO) where you eventually wish to apply. Initially, you may need to fill the form out more than once until the system reaches full functionality, at which point you will only need to complete the form once (exceptions include any information that may be unique to one regulator body over another).

What if I change my mind during the application process and I want to apply to a different province? 
When NNAS is in place, you will be able to change your mind about where you want to apply by submitting a request for a re-evaluation by another college in another province. There may be a fee for this service depending on whether a different assessment tool is required.

If I am currently applying to the College and I want to apply to another regulatory body in another province, will the College forward my documents to the NNAS?
No. If you have an application with the College before August 12 and you decide you want to apply to a college in another province before August 12, then you will need to apply directly to that other college via their own registration process. You can also wait until August 12 and apply to that other College through NNAS.

Can I apply to NNAS if I do not have a work permit?
The NNAS does not address any immigration issues. There is a link to Citizenship and Immigration Canada provided on the NNAS website.

Can I apply to NNAS if I do not have permanent residence in Canada?
The NNAS does not address any immigration issues. There will be a link to Citizenship and Immigration Canada on the NNAS website.

Where will I find the application form to apply to NNAS?
As of August 12, you can find the application form by logging on to www.nnas.ca. You apply by creating an account, 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 and you can then apply to the College using a direct link from the NNAS website.

Sending information to NNAS

Where will I send my application and supporting documents?
Before August 12, send all applications and supporting documents directly to the College. After August 12, your application must be submitted online directly to NNAS. All documents sent in support of your application go directly to NNAS.

If I have new information to provide after I have submitted my application (e.g., new employment information or additional education), how do I provide this new information to NNAS?
If you are within the 12-month period after you have set up your account with NNAS, you should call NNAS to advise them that those documents will be sent via the proper request form. Certain documents may need to be sent to NNAS directly from the third-party source, like a school, or directly from you.

If you have additional documents to submit to NNAS after you have already received a copy of your advisory report, you need to contact NNAS. You may have to pay an additional fee if the documents change the nature of the advisory report.

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 the College. Your documentation will not be sent automatically to the College until you submit an application and pay the required fees.  Once that happens, the College will retrieve your NNAS documents and advisory report.

Can I write the national registration exam as soon as NNAS sends my complete application to the College?
This is a decision that will be made by the College. You will be advised by the College when you are eligible to apply for the exam.

Can I practise as an RN/RPN as soon as my NNAS assessment is complete?
No. Once NNAS has completed its assessment and the College has reviewed an advisory report from NNAS, you will receive a letter from the College that will instruct you in the next steps in the registration process.

Can I apply for temporary registration?
The Temporary Class is for individuals who have met all requirements for the General Class as a Registered Nurse (RN) or Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) except the successful completion of the registration exam. The College will tell you when you have reached the stage in the registration process when you may apply to join the Temporary Class.


What is the application fee for NNAS?
The fee schedule for NNAS services will be posted on the NNAS website.

Is the fee the same if I apply to more than one province or profession?
Additional fees may apply if you choose to have your information collected for more than one college.

Are there any other fees?
The NNAS application fee will not cover other costs related to your application to the College, such as the registration exam and additional assessment of an applicant’s nursing skills, knowledge and judgment (in cases where it’s determined an applicant does not meet the College’s education requirement). The costs of these additional fees are outlined at www.cno.org/fees.

What are my payment options if I don’t have a credit card?
All payments to NNAS must be by credit card.

Can I submit my application today and pay my fee later?
Your application is not considered active until the fee has been paid and received.

Information and privacy

What privacy legislation is NNAS following?
The NNAS is a Canadian organization and is subject to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Canada). Ontario privacy legislation will apply once your file is transferred to the College.

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.

Will NNAS send copies of my transcripts to a third party if I make the request?
Yes, assuming you have signed a third party authorization on your NNAS application form. If not, you will have to contact the College.

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.

Page last reviewed March 13, 2014

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