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New strategies streamline path to registration for internationally educated nurses in B.C.

Apr 19, 2022

​In May 2022, the BC College of Nurses and Midwives, the Nursing Community Assessment Service​ (NCAS) and the Ministry of Health will launch three initiatives aimed at reducing the time, effort and cost for internationally educated applicants to register as a nurse in British Columbia. ​

One application, one fee, two nursing professions

Starting in May 2022, IENs will submit a single application and pay the current application fee to be assessed for both licensed practical nurse (LPN) and registered nurse (RN) registration. This change will: 
  • Drastically reduce application costs.
  • Simplify the application process 
  • Ensure IENs gain registration sooner in the designation most commensurate with their current competence. 
  • Enable eligible applicants to register as an LPN while they take additional education required to meet RN requirements.​
More information will be available in the coming weeks, and IENs who are already in the BCCNM application process will be contacted directly about their options. 

NCAS triple-track competency assessment

Since nursing education and practice differs around the world, a competency assessment is often required to assess whether an IEN has the competencies required to for safe practice in B.C. The Nursing Community Assessment Service provides that service, and assesses competencies of IENs seeking registration as RNs, LPNs, registered psychiatric nurses and health care assistants.  

In May, NCAS will launch an innovative triple-track process to assess an applicant’s competency for three nursing designations at one time: RN, LPN and health care assistant. The NCAS triple-track will consist of a computer-based assessment and a simulation-lab assessment and will produce three distinct competency reports. NCAS will not be increasing fees for applicants referred to the triple-track. 

Provincial bursaries and navigation support

The Province of British Columbia has announced it will support IENs who wish to work in B.C. by offering approximately $12 million to consolidate the assessment processes, provide bursaries for internationally educated nurses, launch a marketing campaign and provide nurse navigator supports. 

To find out more or express your interest in being contacted about next steps, please visit the Health Match BC website​. The site will be updated frequently in the coming weeks and months.​