Vacancies for nursing jobs in Canada are continuing to grow. With a robust health care system, Canada is an attractive destination for international candidates seeking to grow their nursing career in Canada.
Nurses who are most-highly sought include those with specialist skills in emergency departments or operating rooms, and those who wish to work in a remote or isolated First Nations communities.
However, there are some important points job seekers need to be aware of in order to secure jobs for nurses in Canada.
The first is that your international credentials will need to be assessed, and you’ll need to become licensed to practice in Canada. Secondly, procedures differ from one province or territory to another. This means you’ll need to have a destination in mind as you complete your research.
Applying for nursing jobs in Canada
It is recommended to complete as much of the application and registration process from your home country as is possible. It is generally easier to obtain documents related to your international credentials from your home country, as you avoid unwanted time differences, international calling rates, and other hassle that can arise when dealing with bureaucracy from abroad.
You will need to apply to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) if you were educated abroad and are seeking nursing jobs in Canada (outside of Quebec and the Territories), in one of the below roles:
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
- Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN)
The NNAS will provide an initial assessment of your credentials and match these to comparable Canadian standards. The NNAS have an online handbook you can use to learn more.
You will need to complete an exam to complete the registration process. Outside Quebec, this exam is known as the NCLEX-RN exam, provided by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).
Most provinces and territories will require strong English-language skills in order to practice. In Quebec, knowledge of French is often, though not always, required.
You can learn more by contacting the relevant regulatory for your province or territory.
- College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia
- College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta
- Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association
- College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba
- College of Nurses of Ontario
- Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec
- Nurses Association of New Brunswick
- College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia
- Association of Registered Nurses of Prince Edward Island
- Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador
- Registered Nurses Association of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut
- Yukon Registered Nurses Association
If you’re in Canada and waiting to become a registration to be complete, then you may be able to find live-in caregiver work in the meantime.