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Coming soon: New registration process will remove delays and lower costs for internationally educated nurses

Jan 9, 2023

​On January 31, 2023, BCCNM will pilot a new registration process for internationally educated nurses (IENs) aimed at eliminating months – or even years – from the application journey. In B.C., the streamlined process will reduce barriers and delays by:  

Introducing more options for completing a credential evaluation 

If a nurse is educated outside of Canada, their education needs to be authenticated through a credential evaluation as part of the registration process. Starting on January 31, 2023, IENs can seek a credential evaluation from a growing list of agencies. National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) advisory reports will continue to be accepted but will not be required. Approved agencies will include: 
  • The Canadian branch of World Education Service (WES) 
  • Comparative Education Service (CES) 
  • ICAS International Credential Assessment Service 
  • International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) 
​Credential reviews already completed for immigration purposes will be accepted once upgraded by the credentialling agency. More information on upgrading a credentialling report will be available at the end of January. 

Eliminating many upfront costs 

Application costs are a barrier for applicants hoping to practise nursing in Canada. With support from the Government of British Columbia​, the most significant upfront costs – for the NCAS competency assessment and BCCNM’s application – will be waived during the pilot period*.

An updated approach to assessing English language proficiency 

An evidence-based approach to English-language assessment will include the use of updated language testing benchmarks and will allow IENs to provide alternate forms of evidence to demonstrate language proficiency. 

One stop for assessments 

Currently, the assessments that BCCNM needs to make a registration decision take place at different points in the application process and involve different organizations, forms, and fees. It’s complicated and can cause delays. In the future, the Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS) will assess education, English language proficiency and nursing competency all before BCCNM assesses an application. Having the assessments completed at one time, by one organization, will simplify the process for applicants.

Providing pathways to multiple healthcare roles 

In B.C., internationally educated applicants will continue to have their nursing skills measured against the competencies required for three professions – registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, and health care assistant – so they can enter the healthcare workforce sooner in the role that matches their current nursing competence. 

Are you an internationally educated nurse planning on applying for registration in B.C.?

The new registration process will be available on January 31, 2023. In the meantime, we encourage you to:

Partnering with other Canadian regulators

BCCNM is partnering with the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta, the College of Registered Nurses of Alberta, the Nurses Association of New Brunswick and the Association of Licensed Practical Nurses of New Brunswick on this initiative. Timing and funding will vary by province, and more information will be available on provincial regulatory websites. 

BCCNM is currently engaged in conversations with other regulators to discuss the feasibility of joining the pilot at a future date.

*Based on a signed return-of-service agreement with the Government of British Columbia.​

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