Frequently Asked Questions

Internationally Educated Nurses who want to join CARE Centre are invited to attend an online 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.


The one-time membership fee to join CARE Centre is $150. Extra course and material costs vary depending on your individual action plan. 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 (WeRPN), an iCELBAN assessment, a 1 year subscription to CoursePark and unlimited case management support. Speak to a CARE Centre representative about financial supports available to IENs.

The program length will be different for every individual, depending upon gaps identified by the College of Nurses of Ontario, as well as which courses and services individual IENs opt to pursue based on their needs and circumstance.  On average, members take between 6 and 18 months to complete the program. 

To join CARE Centre you must be a permanent resident, Canadian citizen, landed immigrant or Convention refugee. Caregivers who have applied for PR status are also eligible to join CARE Centre.

Your English language skills will be assessed using iCELBAN which is based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks. Individuals will be assessed in listening, speaking, reading and writing. CARE Centre offers a CELBAN preparation course and can refer you to IELTS test centres. For more information about the College of Nurses of Ontario language fluency requirements, visit For more information about the CLBA, visit

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.

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/Registered Practical Nurse (L/RPN) 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.  For more detail, please review the IEN applicant guidebook on their website (which is also available in French)

  • 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.

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 various costs of application and registration with the CNO are available on their website:


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