Frequently Asked Questions
NNAS is a non-profit organization whose membership is composed of 18 Nursing Regulatory Bodies across Canada, except those in Quebec and the Territories. NNAS is the first stop for Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) on their journey to practise nursing in Canada.
NNAS provides a streamlined process for IENs’ credentials to be verified and their education compared to Canadian nursing education. From the documents submitted to NNAS, we will issue an Advisory Report that is sent to the Regulatory Bodies chosen by applicants. NNAS issues Advisory Reports for all three nursing professions: Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), and Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPNs).
NNAS has a legal agreement with CGFNS International Inc. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. NNAS will transfer to CGFNS information and documents that you submit to NNAS. CGFNS will review applicants’ documents following the polices set by NNAS. You can view the Assessment Policies here, NNAS Assessment Policies.
No. All IENs must complete the NNAS process before proceeding with their application to a NNAS member Regulatory Body.
No. NNAS does not grant licences to practise nursing in Canada. NNAS does not have a role in making decisions about licences, nor can NNAS advocate on behalf of any applicant. Only Nursing Regulatory Bodies have the authority to decide whether an application is successful. For more information on nursing regulation please refer to Canadian Nurses Association, Regulated Nursing in Canada: The Landscape in 2021.
If you are an Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN) who has completed your nursing education outside of Canada and are seeking registration to practise as a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) ,or Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN) in a Canadian province, (with the exception of Quebec and the Territories), you must first complete the NNAS process.
You are eligible to apply to NNAS if you have:
- completed a post-secondary nursing education program (university or college) outside of Canada
- never been licensed as a nurse in Canada in the profession to which you are applying
Yes. You need to complete the NNAS process if your primary nursing education was completed outside of Canada.
No. NNAS only assesses the education of IENs who completed nursing education outside of Canada. Credits toward a degree or diploma will not be evaluated.
No. NNAS only assesses the documents of IENs who completed nursing education outside of Canada. If you are seeking registration as a midwife in Canada, you should contact the Canadian Midwifery Regulators Council for further instructions.
The Application Process
Go to nnas.ca and select the Apply/Login link, then click Create an Account and follow the instructions. Please review the NNAS Applicant Handbook for further instructions.
If you haven’t submitted and paid for your application yet, log in to your NNAS account to edit your information.
If you have submitted and paid for your application, log in to your NNAS account and click on your application’s blue number. It is located on the dashboard. Make your edits and save. If you need to delete your entry, call us toll free at 1-877-215-9989.
If NNAS has already issued your Advisory Report, you cannot make any changes to your application.
Yes. Once you open a NNAS account, you may apply to more than one province or nursing group.
Yes. As long as your file review has not started, you may contact NNAS to request the change. It may take longer to process your application if you request a change. NNAS may need more information, documents, and proof of education from you.
The number of practice hours required is different for each nursing profession and province. Please refer to the Regulatory Body you are interested in to review their requirements.
There are two ways to check on your application status.
- Log in to your NNAS online account.
- Call NNAS Customer Care toll-free at 1-855-977-1898. If the toll-free number doesn’t work in your area, call 1-215-329-9340. You will be able to speak with a representative in either English or French.
Most applicants to NNAS complete the process within 12 weeks of all documentation being received. Applicants should contact the regulatory body of their choice to find out how long the regulator will take to process their application to become licensed.
Your Main Application Order remains active for 12 months from the date you submit the application. If we do not receive all your required documents within the 12-month period, your application will expire (including requests for Advisory Reports for additional professions and provinces made after you opened your Main Application Order).
If your application expires all the documents you submitted to NNAS will remain secure in your NNAS portal. When you are ready to resume with your NNAS application you can purchase a Reactivation Order to continue with your application.
You cannot change your name online. You must send a letter to NNAS at one of the following two addresses:
Post Office Box 8658
3600 Market Street, Suite 400
Your letter must include:
- The name that is on your NNAS application.
- Your married name, with a notarized, certified true copy of your marriage certificate.
- Any divorce decree (if applicable).
- Any other legal name changes documents (if applicable).
- Your signature.
Note: NNAS will only accept notarized, certified true copies of all identity documents. All notarized copies must include the date of notarization and the signature of the Notary Public or lawyer.
You can submit a written request to NNAS for an appeal to reconsider elements of your evaluation that you believe were misrepresented or under-evaluated. NNAS will review your case and send you a written response. Appeals should be launched within 60 days of the Advisory Report being issued. If your appeal is successful, your fee will be refunded. Click here to learn more about NNAS’s Appeals Procedure.
You may appeal to NNAS if you are unhappy with your NNAS assessment.
NNAS is unable to accept appeals for decisions made by provincial Regulatory Bodies.
Submitting Required Documents
To complete the NNAS process, you are required to submit a set of documents to NNAS. Some of the documents will need to come directly from you, while other documents will have to be sent directly from Third Parties. Third parties include your nursing school(s), your employer(s), and licencing authority(ies).
Your notarized certified true copies of your current identification are the only documents that will be sent directly from you. Everything else needs to be sent by Third Parties
The required documents that need to be sent directly to NNAS by Third Parties include:
- Nursing Education Form: This form must be printed and mailed to your school(s).
- Nursing Practice/Employment Form: This form must be printed and mailed to your nursing employer(s) from the past five years.
- Nursing Registration Form: This form must be printed and mailed to your licensing authority(ies).
You will find the required forms in “Part Forms” on your Dashboard in your Applicant Portal.
No. Transcripts and licenses must be sent directly to NNAS from the authorized Third Parties.
All documents can be sent to either of the following address:
Post Office Box 8658
3600 Market Street, Suite 400
Note: NNAS does not accept faxes.
You can find out if another organization in your country (such as the Ministry of Health) has been authorized to store your school records. If you can’t find this information or are unable to access it, contact NNAS Customer Care at +1 (855) 977-1898 (toll-free in North America) to find out more about our Alternative Assessment Process.
You can find out if another organization in your country (such as the Ministry of Health) has been authorized to store your school records. If you can’t find this information, contact NNAS Customer Care at +1 (855) 977-1898 (toll-free in North America).
All Documents for your NNAS application must be written or translated into English or French. You can have your documents translated one of three ways:
- By an approved institution (for example, your college, university, or licensing authority)
- By a certified translator
- By NNAS (for a fee)
Note: If your identity documents are not in English or French, your original identity documents must be notarized as certified true copies before the translations are done.
No. All documents that are submitted to NNAS become the property of NNAS. Please do not submit any original documents. Only submit certified true copies of your Identity Documents.
Log in to your online account to keep track of your application status. When NNAS receives your documents, your online account will be updated.
Typically, the NNAS Advisory Report is issued within 12 weeks from when NNAS receives all your documents and determines that your file is complete and ready for review.
After your completed application is reviewed, an NNAS Advisory Report will be prepared.
The Advisory Report includes all the documents that have been submitted to NNAS, your curriculum assessment, and copies of any correspondence (emails and letters) you have had with NNAS.
NNAS compares the curriculum submitted by the nursing education program you completed to Canadian Entry to Practice Competencies. This is done using a process called “content analysis”. This process helps us identify the differences and gaps in your education. Your curriculum will be described as being either “Comparable”, “Somewhat Comparable”, or “Not Comparable” to Canadian Entry to Practice Competencies.
Whatever determination you receive on your Advisory Report, you should proceed with your application to the Regulatory Body(ies) you identified. NNAS does not grant licences to practise nursing. NNAS does not have a role in making decisions about licences. Nursing Regulatory Bodies in each province set the registration criteria and use the NNAS Advisory Report to assist them in determining the next steps for IENs applying to their jurisdiction.
Yes. NNAS will send you an email when the Advisory Report is issued. You will then be able to print a copy of your report by visiting your online NNAS account.
There are two important steps to take after the Advisory Report is issued:
- Log in to your online NNAS account and apply for registration/licensure at your chosen regulatory body. NNAS will send both your file and Advisory Report to that Regulatory Body once the Regulatory Body receives your application and fees.
- Contact the Regulatory Body to complete the application process. The Regulatory Body will let you know if you are eligible to write the registration exam or if you need to take additional courses and/or provide more documents.
Note: NNAS will only send Advisory Reports to NNAS’s member Regulatory Bodies.
NNAS cannot comment on the length of time it takes to proceed through the application process with the Regulatory Body. Once you reach the application stage with the Regulatory Body you may be required to do more assessments and/or courses.
The Regulatory Body that you apply to will determine for how long the Advisory Report is valid. Usually, it is valid for two years. NNAS will keep your Advisory Report in your online account for one year from the date it is issued.
You may download your Advisory Report from your NNAS online account for up to one year.
After one year, the report will be available as a read-only document. If you wish to receive a copy in the mail, you will need to submit a request to NNAS and pay a fee
See the Fee Schedule for details.
Your documents will have to be re-evaluated. To do so, you will need to log in to your online NNAS account, select “Re-activation” and pay the additional fee.
See the Fee Schedule for details.
There are two ways to contact NNAS:
- Log in to your online NNAS account at any time to view the status of your application.
- Visit the Contact Us page on the NNAS website. For more detailed information, please refer to the NNAS Applicant Handbook.
If your Advisory Report is not yet complete, contact NNAS to ask any questions.
If your Advisory Report is complete and you have submitted your application to the Regulatory Body of your choice, contact the Regulatory Body to ask any questions.
Yes, once your file and Advisory Report are complete, you may contact the Regulatory Body directly to make an appointment to discuss your application. You may contact NNAS using any of the methods listed on the Contact Us page.
The process begins with the Main Application Order which costs $650USD. Any subsequent costs will depend on the services needed to process your application, and any additional orders you request.
See the Fee Schedule for details.
Note: You will need to contact your regulatory body to determine the fees you must pay after your Advisory Report has been issued and your formal application has been submitted.
No. NNAS has a No Refund of Application Fees Policy.