CARE Membership – Frequently Asked Questions

Internationally Educated Nurses who want to join CARE Centre are invited to attend a CARE information session. At the session, you will receive detailed information about the regulatory environment, CARE Centre programs and services, and how our case management approach can help you on your journey to registration. At the end of the session, you will have the opportunity to speak with a case manager to determine your eligibility for membership. Please visit our Events page for the date and time of an upcoming information session.

What does it cost to join CARE Centre?

The one-time membership fee to join CARE Centre is $150. Extra course and material costs vary depending on your course of study. CARE Centre membership includes a one-year student membership to the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) or the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (RPNAO), an iCelban assessment and a 1 year subscription to Coursepark. Speak to a CARE Centre representative about financial supports available to IENs.

How long does it take to complete the bridging program?

The program length will be different for every individual. It depends on what gaps the College of Nurses asks you to address and which courses and services you decide to participate in. For most people, it will take between 6 and 18 months to complete the program. The program may take additional time depending on requirements of the College of Nurses.

What kind of immigration status do I have to have to join CARE Centre?

To join CARE Centre you must be a permanent resident (Canadian citizen), or a landed immigrant or a Convention refugee. CARE Centre’s mandate allows us to provide services to IENs in the live-in-caregiver program in Ontario, who have applied for PR.

How do I know whether I have an intermediate-level of English?

Your English language skills will be assessed using the Canadian Language Benchmarks. Individuals will be assessed in listening/speaking, reading, and writing. CARE Centre can also refer you to IELTS centres and offers a CELBAN preparation course. If you have CLB 5 or 6, IENs should take CARE Centre’s Language and Communication for Nurses Foundations, which will help you improve your language skills within the context of the nursing workplace. For more information about the College of Nurses of Ontario language fluency requirements, visit www.cno.org. For more information about the CLBA, visit www.language.ca.

In my home country I worked as a nurse and also as a midwife or other health professional. Is CARE Centre right for me?

CARE Centre is an organization that assists internationally educated nurses to obtain their Registered Nurse or Registered Practical Nurse license to practice in Ontario. To join CARE Centre you must have been educated as a nurse in another country. Most CARE Centre members have worked as a nurse in at least one other country, although IENs who have immigrated to Canada directly from school can also be eligible to join. If you are an internationally educated health care professional from another field, please contact Health Force Ontario for assistance. HFO is the marketing and recruitment agency for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care working with over 20 regulated health professions. HFO also offers an Access Centre with many resources and offers alternative career counselling.

What first steps should I take to become registered?

All nurses who were educated outside of Canada and are seeking initial registration/licensure to practice in a Canadian province (with the exception of Quebec and the Territories) as a registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered psychiatric nurse (RPN) must first complete an application to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS). NNAS is a partnership of Canadian nursing regulatory bodies. Its role is to streamline the application process for IENs who want to work in Canada. NNAS offers an easy, direct and secure way to review, verify and store documents that are required by nursing regulatory bodies to support a nurse’s application for registration. Read the IEN applicant guidebook on their website (which is also available in French) http://my.nnas.ca/nnasweb/resources/mounts/reports/ien_resources/nnas_applicant_handbook_english.

The NNAS will:
  • verify credentials for internationally educated nurses;
  • compare these credentials to Canadian standards;
  • review and store all documents required in a secure database;
  • ensure the documents are authentic;
  • ensure that each nurse’s file contains all the documents that the regulatory body requires;
  • evaluate the documents against Canadian standards;
  • send the completed file to the regulatory body or bodies, for further action and decision on eligibility for Canadian nursing registration

For a new NNAS application for any one provincial regulatory body the cost is $650. The Main Application order is the first NNAS application type you will purchase. One nursing group and one province can be selected for an Advisory Report.

Beginning Your Application to the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO)

The registration process with the CNO begins when you open your account with the NNAS. Once NNAS has completed its initial assessment of your credentials, you will then receive instructions on how to apply to the CNO. The CNO will not start your application until they receive the following:

  • a request from you to begin the registration process
  • the fee required to begin the process of applying to register in Ontario
  • a report from NNAS on the information you provided about your nursing education, registration history and work experience.

Once the CNO receives this information, they will review your file and inform you if any further information, assessment, education or training is required before you can write the national registration examination. The CNO regularly refers all IENs to CARE Centre, through their website or by mailing our brochure in hard copy information packages. The various costs of application and registration with the CNO are available on their website: http://www.cno.org/en/become-a-nurse/application-membership-fees/