Canada’s National Nursing Assessment Service applauds government’s commitment to health care in the 2016 federal budget

Toronto, ON – March 24, 2016

The National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) congratulates Finance Minister Bill Morneau on the release of his first budget and applauds the government’s commitment to working with Canada’s provinces and territories on a new health accord.

In order to address the health care challenges identified in the budget, it will be critical to provide an adequate supply of highly competent and qualified nurses and ensure their ease of mobility across Canada. NNAS is pleased that the government has announced an increase to the number of permanent resident admissions in 2016.

“Higher admission targets for new residents and increased funding for settlement programs will enable a larger number of qualified internationally educated nurses (IENs) to become registered in Canada,” says Siu Mee Cheng, NNAS Executive Director. “The programs will provide much‐needed skills training and language courses to facilitate a successful transition into the Canadian economy and society.”

NNAS also commends Budget 2016 for including a commitment to work collaboratively with provinces and territories to provide timely, reliable and comprehensive labour market information to equip Canadians with the tools to access a broad range of employment opportunities. This information will help IENs make more informed decisions about the best opportunities to pursue and where they may find those opportunities as they begin their registration journey.

NNAS is committed to the continuous improvement and expansion of services provided to support IENs and its 21 nursing regulatory body members across Canada. It strives for transparency, timeliness and harmonization across its member jurisdictions while applying rigorous standards for assessing qualifications and protecting the public.

About NNAS

The National Nursing Assessment Service was created in 2012 by 21 Canadian nursing regulatory bodies working with the provincial and federal governments, to create a harmonized process to collect the requisite documentation and to assess education credentials of internationally educated nurses in order to support Canadian nursing registration. Its membership consists of the 21 licensed practical nurse, registered nurse and registered psychiatric nurse regulatory bodies in Canada, except Quebec and the territories. NNAS is governed by a 12‐member board of directors representing the three regulated nursing groups. Start‐up funding was provided by the regulatory bodies, provincial governments and the Government of Canada. For more information visit www.nnas.ca

Media Contact

Siu Mee Cheng, MHSc., BASc., CHE
Executive Director, National Nursing Assessment Service
1‐877‐215‐9989 ext. 4 or smcheng@nnas.ca

Posted on March 24, 2016 .

NNAS Ends Statement 2015-2016

NNAS exists so that:

Nursing Regulatory Bodies have a harmonized regulatory approach to licensure in Canada of internationally educated nurses at a cost that demonstrates wise stewardship.

  1. Nursing Regulatory bodies have access to a shared single initial assessment for IENs that is consistent, fair, defensible, transparent, timely and affordable:
    1. There are favourable conditions for increasing standardization and consistency for remedial education.
    2. IENs have the necessary information and supports to make informed decisions on their licensure journey.
  2. Provincial Nursing Regulatory Bodies have a national platform for ongoing collaboration of common issues and interest related to harmonization:
    1. There is a repository of nursing licensure data in Canada that supports good regulatory practice and health human resource planning (decision-making, planning, policy development, etc).
Posted on February 29, 2016 .

NNAS Supports Court Ruling in Favour of APEGA

Regulator's Registration Requirements Upheld

Toronto, ON – February 23, 2016

The National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) is pleased with the recent court decision in Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) v Mihaly, 2016 ABQB 61. The court did not find that the APEGA was in violation of the Human Rights Code for its approach to assessing education requirements of internationally educated engineers and upheld the regulator’s registration requirements.

The NNAS has followed this case with interest as the not-for-profit, pan-Canadian organization that provides education credential assessment services for its 21 Regulatory Body organizational members from across nine provincial jurisdictions. The assessment services include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and registered psychiatric nurses.

The NNAS understands, and is experienced in dealing with the complexity associated with assessing education credentials based on evidence. It assesses international nursing education programs against Canadian standards that are evidence-based and based on the information and documentation provided by internationally educated nurses (IENs). Assessments, based on this approach, do not draw conclusions or make inferences about the quality of the IEN’s nursing program and education, but simply make a conclusion about the program’s comparability to the Canadian standards NNAS uses, based on the information provided by the IEN.

Our organization strives for transparency, timeliness and predictability across jurisdictions and most importantly, we apply rigorous standards for assessing qualifications and protecting the public.

About NNAS

The National Nursing Assessment Service was created in 2012 by Canadian nursing regulators working with the provincial and federal governments, to create a streamlined process for IENs to submit their documents for Canadian nursing registration. Its membership consists of the 21 licensed practical nurse, registered nurse and registered psychiatric nurse regulatory bodies in Canada, except Quebec and the territories. NNAS is governed by a 12-member board of directors representing the three regulated nursing groups. It was funded by the regulatory bodies and provincial governments, with subsequent and by the Government of Canada’s Foreign Credential Recognition Program. 

Posted on February 23, 2016 .

NNAS Inviting interest to volunteer at NNAS

NNAS is seeking a creative, energetic communications and public relations volunteer intern to support our communications efforts with our members, clients and stakeholders.


Volunteer Communications Intern

The National Nursing Assessment Services is an innovative pan-Canadian not-for-profit that serves to assess the credentials of internationally education nurses to support 21 nursing regulatory bodies in nine Canadian jurisdictions decisions on nursing licensure. NNAS has a number of stakeholders and clients including our 21 nursing regulatory body members, our international nursing clients from over 130 countries around the world, government and partners at the provincial and national level. We are seeking a creative, energetic communications and public relations volunteer intern to support our communications efforts with our members, clients and stakeholders.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Developing and maintaining media contact lists
  • Monitoring and tracking our media vehicles – building our social medial following, expanding our reach nationally and internationally, tracking our social media presence
  • Performing basic website page updates and revisions (loading pages, and new content, etc.,)
  • Assisting in a communications strategy which includes role of social media to support organizational mandate
  • Organizing clips/media coverage on related nursing and licensure issues at the provincial, national and international level
  • Liaise with other communication leads from amongst our membership to coordinate communication efforts
  • Developing and collating content and distributing monthly NNAS ebulletin
  • Perform environmental scans of our members to determine any key news events related to practice, policy or legislation which may have an impact on our operations
  • Preparing press materials including press releases and fact sheets
  • Assisting with research for presentations and events, communications materials and other related matters
  • Assisting with event coordination for in-person and on-line webinars and presentations
  • Providing some general administration support as required.
  • Attending team meetings

Basic Requirements:

  • Post-secondary education (in progress or completed) in communications and/or public relations
  • Previous PR agency experience a plus, but not required
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Passionate interest in and understanding of public relations
  • Flexibility and organizational skills required to work on a variety of projects in one day
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office
  • Experiencing in website management or revision

If you are interested in being an important a part of our team, please submit a cover letter and a resume to: ea@nnas.ca. No phone inquiries.

Posted on September 24, 2015 .

Canadian Regulators Launch New Application Process for Internationally Educated Nurses

New process introduces rigorous national standards while speeding up credential recognition

TORONTO, Aug. 26, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) announced the official launch of a new, streamlined process for internationally educated nurses (IENs) applying for licensure to practice in Canada. The NNAS, which is a partnership of Canadian nursing regulatory bodies, now offers a single, national online application process for IENs.

With a mandate to protect the public, nurse regulators had a shared vision of creating an assessment process that was open, fair and consistent, while ensuring that the standards for nursing care in Canada are met. They are the first health regulatory group in Canada to create one common application process for internationally trained professionals.

The new process offers an easy, direct and secure way for IENs to submit their documents for Canadian nursing registration. It allows greater transparency, timeliness and predictability across jurisdictions and most importantly, this service applies rigorous standards for assessing qualifications and protecting the public.

"This initiative came about because of an unprecedented partnership among Canada's nursing regulators, working with the provincial and federal governments," says Mary-Anne Robinson, NNAS Board Chair. "The collaboration and harmonization achieved sets a standard for others to emulate. We truly have something to be proud of."

Whether recent immigrants or Canadians who are educated abroad, internationally trained workers often face a complex and lengthy qualification assessment and recognition system. The process for IENs was no exception and has been described as "a large and complex maze", with a system that was fragmented and confusing. Every regulatory body had its own policies, applications and practices for licensure and registration.

 "IENs now have easy access to a single entry point where they can apply for licensure," says Siu Mee Cheng, NNAS Executive Director. "Although each regulatory body ultimately decides whether or not an individual obtains a license to practice in its jurisdiction, the initial steps are streamlined through a process that is clear, open and transparent."

The official launch of the new, NNAS harmonized application follows a one-year pilot with countless organizations, working groups and individuals contributing to the development, testing and refinement of the service. Providing the application and assessment services to NNAS is the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) International, a company with globally recognized assessment expertise.  

Canadian nursing regulators now have access to a team of highly qualified experts that use a consistent methodology to assess IEN applications and produce advisory reports, as well as access to a national IEN database. During the pilot, NNAS received more than 5,000 IEN applications from 113 countries - the top five being the Philippines, India, United States, Nigeria and the United Kingdom. A survey of IEN applicants found that 93 per cent "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that their overall experience with NNAS was positive.

"Everyone benefits from this new process," says Robinson. "Greater safeguards are in place to protect patient care, the system is designed to be easier and faster for IENs and regulators will have comprehensive information to help them assess candidates."

About NNAS

The National Nursing Assessment Service was created in 2012 by Canadian nursing regulators working with the provincial and federal governments, to create a streamlined process for IENs to submit their documents for Canadian nursing registration. Its membership consists of the 22 member boards of all licensed practical nurse, registered nurse and registered psychiatric nurse regulatory bodies in Canada, except Quebec and the territories. NNAS is governed by a 12-member board of directors representing the three regulated nursing groups.  It was initially funded by the regulatory bodies and provincial governments, with subsequent funding provided by the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition Program. For more information visit www.nnas.ca

Media Contact

Siu Mee Cheng, Executive Director, National Nursing Assessment Service, 1-877-215-9989 ext. 4 or smcheng@nnas.ca

Posted on August 26, 2015 .