Internationally Educated Nurses: Applying for Registration in Alberta

English: A view from the south of the Universi...
English: A view from the south of the University Hospital complex on the north campus of the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

IMPORTANT: To work or accept employment in Alberta, Canada, Licensed Practical Nurses must have registration and a valid Practice Permit from the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA), as per the Health Professions Act (HPA) of Alberta.
Starting August 12, 2014, all internationally educated nurses (IENs) who wish to work as a Licensed Practical Nurse in Alberta must FIRST apply to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS).
Any applications that CLPNA receives from IENs on or after August 12, 2014 will be returned to applicants with instructions on how to apply through NNAS.

Applying to NNAS is for any internationally educated nurse (IEN) applicant who:

  • is a graduate of a nursing education program outside of Canada; and
  • is not currently registered to practice as a nurse anywhere within Canada as a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN).
If you do not meet the above criteria, see “If you are not eligible to apply through NNAS”
Already applied? Applicants who have already submitted their IEN Application for Registration and paid the required fee to CLPNA on or before August 11, 2014 will be assessed under our former process and will not be required to reapply through NNAS.

Did you read The LPN Profession in Alberta?

How to Apply

Effective August 12, 2014, all internationally educated nurses must follow these steps (in order):
  1. Apply to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS)

    1. Set up an online account with National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) at
    2. Complete the online application.
    3. Pay the required fee.
    4. Follow the instructions about which documents to submit for verification.
    5. Once your file is complete, NNAS will evaluate it and provide you with online access to an Advisory Report, which contains the results of the evaluation. NNAS will also send a copy of this report to the relevant regulatory body.
    6. You can now apply directly to the regulatory body of your choice and pay their application fee. You will be able to do this from your NNAS online account.
  2. Apply to the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA)

    1. After submitting your NNAS Advisory Report to CLPNA, CLPNA will ask you to complete an Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN) Application for Registration and pay the required fee.
    2. Once your file is complete, CLPNA will assess your file to determine whether you meet CLPNA’s:
      1. Registration Requirements for Internationally Educated Nurses (PDF)
      2. English Language Testing Standards
    3. CLPNA will notify you if you’ve been approved for registration and/or if further requirements need to be met.
Questions about the NNAS application process? Contact NNAS’s Customer Care Department at
Questions about the CLPNA’s registration process? Contact CLPNA’s International Services Department at or 780-484-8886.

If you are not eligible to apply through NNAS

Those not qualified to apply through NNAS have several options:
  • If you were previously registered/licensed as an Licensed Practical Nurse (or Registered Practical Nurse) in any jurisdiction/province in Canada, you may apply for registration using another route:
  • Individuals who do not meet NNAS or CLPNA’s registration requirements are advised to contact the schools below for the assessment of nursing credentials and/or clinical competence. Completion of a Practical Nurse program may be required.
Anyone who has not practiced as a nurse in the past ten (10) years is required to complete a full Practical Nurse program.
NorQuest CollegeOffice of Registrar
10232 106 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 1L6
Phone 780-644-6000Intake: Continuous
Website: Practical Nurse Refresher
Bow Valley CollegeProspective Student Centre
332-6 Avenue SE
Calgary, Alberta T2G 4S6
recruiting@bowvalleycollege.caPhone: 403-410-1402Intake: January, April, August
Website: Practical Nurse Diploma for Internationally Educated Nurses


Individuals not previously educated in nursing (ie. paramedics, physicians, midwifes, etc), but interested in becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in Alberta, should contact NorQuest College or Bow Valley College to determine if any transfer credit may apply.


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