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 .

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

Posted on August 26, 2015 .

Funding Streamlines International Recruitment

Edmonton, Alberta — November 14, 2014

Internationally educated nurses (IENs) will soon have a single entry point when they apply for licensure to practice in Canada. The Honorable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister of Multiculturalism, announced funding through the Foreign Credential Recognition Program to support the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS), a non-profit organization comprised of the 22 member boards of all licensed practical nurse (LPN) (registered practical nurse in Ontario), registered nurse (RN), and registered psychiatric nurse (RPN) regulatory bodies in Canada, with the exception of Quebec and the Territories.

“We have a vision of providing a single web-based portal which allows easy access for international nurse applicants interested in becoming regulated nursing professionals in Canada,” says NNAS board chair Mary-Anne Robinson. “International recruitment is an important factor in maintaining the strong nursing workforce needed to meet the health needs of Canadians now and in the years ahead. The nursing professions appreciate the government’s funding support which will allow us to develop, test and establish a sustainable nursing assessment service in Canada.”

The mandate of NNAS is to improve and streamline the process of assessing the eligibility for registration to practice as a nurse in any Canadian province or territory. A third party vendor, CGFNS International of Philadelphia, was awarded the contract to provide IEN application and assessment services to the NNAS.

International applicants will be able to obtain information from a single bilingual NNAS website and enter a web portal to one harmonized application form. The regulators will gain access to a team of highly qualified assessment experts using a consistent methodology and to a national IEN database for statistical tracking.

“The new web-based portal will speed up the application process for the internationally educated nurses and create a common national approach among the regulatory bodies,” says Robinson. “Each regulatory body ultimately determines whether or not an individual obtains a license to practice in their jurisdiction but the initial steps will be streamlined.”

The new system will start with a pilot phase beginning in August 2014 and it is expected that all nursing regulatory bodies will be using the service early in 2015.

The NNAS became an incorporated, non-profit organization in June 2012. Its membership consists of the member boards of all LPN, RN, and RPN regulatory bodies except Quebec. The Territories currently do not conduct initial assessment of international applicants. NNAS is governed by a 12 member board of directors representing all three regulated nursing groups.

Posted on November 14, 2014 .

Changes are coming to the process for internationally educated nurses applying to be a nurse in Canada.

January 23, 2014

Effective August 12th 2014, in order to apply to be a nurse in Canada, all internationally educated nurses will require their documents and credentials to be submitted to and verified by the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS), before completing the application process with the province where they wish to work.

Once all documents are received and an assessment of international credentials is complete, applicants will be notified by the NNAS. They may then apply to the regulatory body in the province where they wish to work, to complete the assessment for eligibility to practice as nurse.

What will this change mean for internationally educated nurses?

A single online process to begin the application process to any province in Canada (except Quebec).

  • Ability to complete the application online and to pay for the initial assessment online
  • One central location to send documents
  • A centralized credential assessment process
  • Access to a 1-800 customer care telephone number with service in English or French
  • Ability to track the status of the application online through the NNAS website

What if an applicant has already submitted an application for registration / licensure to one of the provincial nursing regulatory colleges or associations?

If a paid application has already been submitted to a nursing regulatory college or association, the application will be assessed under that provincial regulatory body’s current process. The new National Nursing Assessment Service application process will only come into effect on August 12, 2014.

More details will be posted on our website in the coming months.

Posted on January 23, 2014 .