Tips for Internationally Educated Nurses

What you need to know about becoming a nurse in Ontario.

Ontario welcomes internationally educated nurses (IENs) who willingly want to relocate, and even has a specific government program in place to enable them to practise and excel in the shortest time possible. However all nurses, regardless of background must successfully accomplish the same steps as Ontario nursing students, including:

*Getting licensed or registered by the College of Nurses of Ontario. This entails writing the national registered nurse examination as part of the registration program.

Learn more at Four Steps to Become a Registered Nurse.

The CARE Program

Since 2001, a bridging program called CARE (Creating Access to Regulated Employment for Nurses), has assisted more than 1000 internationally educated nurses from over 140 countries to become registered nurses in Ontario. The program’s facets include supporting language requirements, an alumni networking group of CARE nurses, registered nursing exam preparation assistance, and observational job shadowing.

An evaluation of the initiative revealed that the CARE program doubled the success rate for internationally educated nurses writing the registration exam to 66 per cent from 33 per cent.

International RNs will need to obtain a visa to study or work in Canada. Contact a Canadian embassy or consulate regarding the criteria and procedures. To work in Canada, you may need an offer of employment.