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Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

NNAS offers an easy way for Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) to submit documents that allow them to register as nurses in Canada.

NNAS has a contract with Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) International in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Their role is to:

  • Receive and store all documents submitted by IENs.
  • Ensure they are real.
  • Make sure that they meet Canadian standards.
  • Certify that each nurse’s file has all of the documents needed before they are sent to the Canadian nursing regulatory bodies.

Any IEN who wishes to work as a nurse in Canada must set up an account with NNAS before submitting an application.

  • You are eligible if you:
  • Wish to work as a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or RegisteredPsychiatric Nurse (RPN) in Canada.
  • Have received college or university nursing education outside of Canada.
  • Have never registered to work as a nurse in Canada before.

There are two exceptions. You do not have to set up an account with NNAS if:

  • You have already worked as a nurse in Canada.
  • You completed your nursing education at a Canadian school.

No. In order to work as a nurse in Canada, an IEN must set up an account with NNAS.

The Application Process

What are the steps of the application process?

There are six steps that must be followed in order:

1.     Set up an online account with NNAS.

2.     Complete the online application.

3.     Pay the required fee.

4.     Follow the instructions regarding which documents to submit for verification.

5.     Once you complete your file, NNAS will evaluate it and give you access to an Advisory Report which contains your evaluation. A copy of the report will be sent to the appropriate regulatory body.

6.     Apply to the regulatory body of your choice and pay their application fee from your NNAS online account.

Note: The regulatory body, not NNAS, will determine if you are eligible to register. The regulatory body will also decide if you need additional assessments or will have to take additional courses. The regulatory body makes the final decision about your registration or licensure. If you need to pay additional fees, contact the regulatory body to find out the amount.

If you haven’t submitted your application yet, simply 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. See the Application & Other Fees page for details about additional fees which you would need to pay.

Yes. As long as your file review has not started, you may contact NNAS to request the change. It may however take longer to process your application if you request a change. NNAS may need more information, documents and proof of education from you. If this causes your NNAS file to expire, you may need to pay an extra fee to re-activate it.

The number of hours of required nursing practice is different for each nursing group and province. Find which one applies to you here.

The application process may take up to 12 months to complete. How long it will take depends on:

1.     When NNAS receives all of your required information and acceptable documents.

2.     When you have successfully completed a language proficiency test (if required).

3.     When your documents have been translated (if needed).

Note: Your application will be active for up to 12 months. Once you receive your Advisory Report, you can apply to the regulatory body in the province of your choice. You may require more assessments and courses depending on the regulatory body you choose as they each have their own requirements and timelines for registration. It could take up to another 12 months for a decision to be made.

There are two ways to check on your application status.

1.     Log in to your NNAS online account.

2.     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.

Note: When you learn that your Advisory Report is complete, you can you use your online account to apply to the regulatory body in the province of your choice. For further questions, you can contact that regulatory body directly.

As Above, if your Main Application expires, all additional service orders will expire as well and you will need to purchase a Reactivation Order to continue your file.

See the Fee Schedule for details.

There are two reasons your Main Application order may close:

1.     The Advisory Report is issued.

2.     The order expires.

Note: Once your main order closes, you may purchase a new Advisory Report for either the same or different province/nursing group at the full regular fee.

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.

Required Documents

Each regulatory body requires different documents. Please refer to the Applicant Handbook to confirm which documents are needed by the specific regulatory body that applies to you. Documents that are not required by NNAS for your evaluation will be forwarded to that regulatory body.

Will I require a language proficiency test?

That depends on the information provided in your application form. Depending on the province you’ve applied to, NNAS may determine that you require a language test in either English or French.

The following agencies have been approved by NNAS for language testing:

•       International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

•       Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN)

•       Test d’évaluation du français (TEF)

Note: All scores are obtained from individual tests. Combined test scores are not acceptable. CELBAN, however, allows applicants to take the speaking components of tests separately from the listening, writing, and reading components. The oldest of the two test dates will be used to determine the final score. For more information, please refer to the CELBAN Centre website.

NNAS only accepts language test scores that are forwarded directly from the testing agency. The date of your test scores must be no older than six months prior to the date of your Main Application order. It will be valid for two years. 

You may only submit notarized, certified true copies of current identification documents directly to NNAS. They include:

  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Marriage certificate or other name change affidavit to document a name change
  • Other government issued identification

The following documents must be sent directly from the issuing authority to NNAS:

  • Academic records and transcripts
  • License and registration documents – registration validation
  • Employer verification of your work history

Note: If the issuing authority no longer exists, you must contact the organization that is authorized to store the documents to forward them directly to NNAS. For more detailed information, please refer to the IEN Applicant Handbook.

No. NNAS does not accept transcripts for non-health care courses or degrees.

No. Transcripts and licenses must be sent directly to NNAS from the schools, licensing authorities or organizations authorized to store those documents.

Find out if another organization in your country (such as the Ministry of Health) has been authorized to store your school records. If you either can’t find this information or find it difficult to find (due to refugee status/war/natural disaster in your country), contact NNAS Customer Care.

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.

You will need to get an official translation of  all documents into either English or French. You are responsible for the costs. NNAS is able to translate documents for you and you can find the costs here.

No. All documents that are submitted become the property of NNAS.

Note: Please do not submit any original documents. Submit copies of your passport, driver’s license, marriage certificates or diplomas.

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

Philadelphia, PA                    Philadelphia, PA

19101-8658                          19104

USA                                       USA

Your letter must include:

•       The maiden 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 change 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.

For more detailed information, please refer to the  Applicant Handbook.

Log in to your online account to keep track of your application status. When NNAS receives your documents, your online account will be updated.

For more detailed information, please refer to the Applicant Handbook.

No. Certified documents must be mailed to one of the following two addresses:

Post Office Box 8658            3600 Market Street, Suite 400

Philadelphia, PA                    Philadelphia, PA

19101-8658                           19104

USA                                       USA

Note: Please do not send any documents to the corporate (Toronto) address, this may delay your application.

The Advisory Report

The NNAS Advisory Report includes:

•       An evaluation of your education.

•       Background information about your schools and the dates you attended them.

•       Proof of your license/registration and credential sources.

•       Your employment history. (For more detailed information, please refer to pages 5-7 in the Applicant Handbook.)

The NNAS Advisory Report is issued about two months after your file has been completed. To complete a file, the following documents must be sent to NNAS:

•       Your application.

•       Any required fees.

•       All required documents (For more detailed information, please refer to the Applicant Handbook).

•       Any document translations (if needed).

•       Any language proficiency test results (if needed).

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:

1.     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.

2.     Contact the regulatory body to complete the application process. It 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 Canadian regulatory bodies.

The regulatory body that you apply to will determine 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.

To change provinces:

•       You will need to contact NNAS directly to change where your Advisory Report is sent. However, if your application is in the final review process, you cannot change where the report is sent.

To send your report to more than one regulatory body:

•       You will need to log in to your online NNAS account, select “Add Province” and pay the additional fee.

•       See the Application & Other Fees page 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 our Application & Other Fees page for details.

Note: Unless your regulatory body has more requirements or you are changing nursing groups, you will usually not have to re-submit your information and documents for re-evaluation and pay the relevant fees.

Fees

The cost will depend on the services needed to process your application.

See our Application & Other Fees page 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.

Locate the website for the regulatory body you wish to contact here.

No. NNAS has a no refund policy.

Contacts

You can contact NNAS by:

1.     Logging in to your online NNAS account at any time to view the status of your application.

2.     Visiting the Contact support page for any application enquiries. 

3.     Visiting the Contact Us page for any corporate enquiries.

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.

A list of the regulatory bodies is provided on the about us page – click on the regulatory body you want to contact and you will be taken to their website where you will be able to find contact details for them.

Yes, once your file and Advisory Report are complete, you may contact your regulatory body directly to make an appointment to discuss your application.

You must submit a written request for an appeal to NNAS. Your case will be reviewed and you will be sent a written response.