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Information about how to apply for RPN registration if you are an internationally educated nurse (IEN) is provided below. This process is for any applicant who:

  1. Is a graduate of a psychiatric nursing education program outside of Canada; and 

  2. Has never been registered to practice as an RPN anywhere within Canada.

 IEN Application stages

Stage 1: Apply to NNAS

All internationally educated RPN applicants who wish to register with BCCNM must first apply to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS). The NNAS collects and reviews your documents and information to prepare a report. The NNAS is responsible for all communications during this stage of the process.

BCCNM uses your NNAS report and copies of the documents you submitted to NNAS to assess your application. Please read the FAQ section on their website for details, including requirements and timeframes.

After your NNAS application is complete, they will send you an email to let you know that you can apply to BCCNM.​

Stage 2: Apply to BCCNM

​After the NNAS notifies you by email that your application and report are complete, you can now apply to BCCNM. 

When you apply with us, we will review your application and your NNAS file. If you told NNAS that you intended to apply to BCCNM, we will have access to your NNAS report and the documents you submitted to them; there is no need for you to resubmit them to us. 

However, we may need additional documents from you. We will let you know by email if we need more information/documents after we have reviewed your BCCNM application and NNAS file.

Note: RPN applicants unable to provide the documents requested by BCCNM for reasons outside their control should contact BCCNM Registration. Financial cost of obtaining evidence is not an acceptable reason. The simplest and fastest assessment route is for applicants who provide requested documentation promptly.

Stage 3: Competency assessment

Important: BCCNM must refer applicants to NCAS before they can register to complete the assessment. 

Based on the outcome of your NNAS report and BCCNM application, you may be required to also undergo a competency assessment of your practice skills. Competency assessments are completed by the Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS). 

The competency assessment is a three-part process that evaluates your skills against competencies required for entry-level practice in B.C. If gaps are identified, it will assist in determining what transitional education is required.

For more information about NCAS assessments, including fees, please visit the NCAS website​

Stage 4: Assessed registration requirements

​Once you have completed the competency assessment, a report will be sent to BCCNM summarizing the details of your assessment and identifying where differences in practice may exist in comparison to a B.C. psychiatric nursing graduate. Coursework may be recommended. Using this report and all of the documentation and information from your application, we will do an assessment and determine your registration requirements.

 Ready to apply?

Stop! Before you start your BCCNM application, you'll need:
  1. ​​NNAS registration number AND an NNAS application number

  2. NNAS advisory report

  3. Your payment information​

​​​​The online application process takes 20-30 minutes.

Choose one option:

Create an on​line account


Sign in to your online a​ccount ​
(use this option if you have already started your online application)​​

 English proficiency

Learn more about the English language proficiency requirement​ and how to meet it.

Document​​ requirements

All documents written in a language other than English are required to be translated by a professional translator showing their signature and seal and must be submitted with a copy of the original document. All documents (verifications, references, transcripts, etc.) must come directly from the translation service to BCCNM. The only exception is an ID document which can be submitted with translation by the applicant.​


Competency Assessment prep courses

BCCNM does not approve any schools or programs claiming to prepare applicants for the RPN competency assessment.​ 

​If competency gaps are identified through the assessment process, you may need to& complete additional education as directed by BCCNM.​​​

 Foreign credentials resources

These resources assist immigrants to enter the workforce in Canada: