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​If you completed your nursing education in a country other than Canada and would like to hold nursing registration in British Columbia, you must apply as an internationally educated nurse (IEN). Before applying for registration with BCCNM, you must first apply to theNational Nursing Assessment Service​ (NNAS).

How to apply

​1.​ Apply to NNAS​​​
  • Before applying to BCCNM, you must apply to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS).
  • NNAS will verify your identity and nursing education documents, and evaluate your education based on Canadian standards and compared to current Canadian nursing requirements.
  • NN​AS will present their finding in an advisory report. When you receive this report, you can apply to BCCNM.
2. Apply for BCCNM registration
3. English language proficiency
  • BCCNM will assess your language proficiency​.
  • If you did not complete an approved English language test during the NNAS application process, you may be required to take a language test and submit the results before you move forward in the application process.
  • We may request additional information to determine if your application satisfactorily demonstrates your English language proficiency.
4. Competency assessment
  • After reviewing your application​, we will determine if you need to complete a competency assessment, offered through the Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS).
  • The competency assessment evaluates your nursing skills against the competencies that nurses are required to possess for safe nursing practice in Canada.
  • The assessment includes a computer-based test and a simulation lab assessment.
  • Once completed, BCCNM will use the NCAS assessment report and other components of your application to assess your eligibility for registration. If any knowledge gaps are identified during the assessment, we will tailor a transitional education pathway for you to move forward in the application process.
5. Registration exam and provisional registration​
  • ​​Once you have met all the requirements above, we will send you information about your remaining registration requirements. This will include instructions on how to register for the RPNCE​, the RPN registration exam.
  • If you requested to be considered for provisional registration and it is granted, we will send you another email with instructions on how to pay your registration fee through your BCCNM account. You will appear in the online directory once you are authorized to practice.
  • Please note: you cannot legally practise until you have received an email from BCCNM confirming your provisional registration is granted.
​6. Registration decision/pay registration fee
  • Once you have successfully completed the RPNCE and any other requirements for registration, you will be sent instructions on how to pay your practising registration fee​ (if you do not already hold provisional registration). You will appear in the online directory once you are authorized to practice.
  • If you held provisional registration, your status will automatically be updated to practising registration once you have met all registration requirements.
  • Please note: You cannot legally practise until you have received an email from BCCNM confirming your practising registration is granted.​​

When determining whether you are competent to practise as a nurse in B.C., we review:

  • All relevant nursing practice experience to determine your knowledge, skills, attitudes, critical thinking, and clinical judgement.
  • Results of the NCAS assessment report (if taken).​​​​

​​​​Assessing your application

When we assess your application for registration, we consider the following:

Nursing education
  • We review the NNAS advisory report, which provides information about the comparability of your nursing education to Canadian nursing education programs.
​Good character
Good character refers to a combination of personal qualities and traits, such as ​

  • moral or ethical strength
  • Integrity, candour, empathy and honesty
  • An appreciation of the difference between right and wrong
  • The moral fibre to do that which is right and not to do that which is wrong

When determining whether you are of good character, we review:

  • The circumstances around any previous criminal charges and/or convictions, the results of your criminal record check, and any other information you wish to have considered related to the same, if applicable.
  • The completeness, correctness, and accuracy of the information you provided on the application form or in any communication with BCCNM.
  • Current or previous regulatory history, including any past investigation, resolution, and/or discipline.
  • Information related to current and/or previous employment.
  • Information from an educational institution, if applicable.
  • Any history of unethical or dishonest behaviour
  • A self-reflection of the circumstances, learnings, and growth since the events, or actions taken, that indicate a possible lack of good character.
Fitness to practice nursing
Fitness to practice refers to the absence of any physical or mental ailment, emotional disturbance, or addiction that may impair your ability to practise. When determining whether you are fit to engage in nursing practice, we review:​​
  • Self-disclosure of a physical or mental ailment, an emotional disturbance, or an addiction that could impair your ability to practise.
  • Information from previous employer(s).
  • Information regarding any previous registration cancellation or voluntary relinquishment of registration.
  • Any current or past regulatory investigations.
  • Information regarding any current or previous limits and/or conditions placed on your practice.
  • Information from treating physician(s) or specialist(s) who can provide an opinion as to your current health status, any recommendations for safe entrance into the profession, and your fitness to practise nursing (we only request this information in certain circumstances).
When determining whether you are competent to practise as a nurse in B.C., we review:

  • All relevant nursing practice experience
  • Results of the NCAS assessment report​​
  • Any other experience working in the Canadian health care system
  • Continuing education in nursing
  • Consolidation of knowledge
  • Any periods of non-practice
English language proficiency
If English is not the primary language you use for reading, writing, listening, and speaking, you will be required to demonstrate your English language proficiency. If there is any indication during the assessment of your application your proficiency is not conducive to safe practice, we may require an English language test. When assessing your English language proficiency, BCCNM reviews:

  • Your first language.
  • Language test results (if taken).
  • ​Information from your nursing education institution.
  • Information from your employer(s).
  • Additional evidence of English proficiency (i.e. references from regulated health professionals)