Registered Psychiatric Nurse



Who is the licensing body responsible for Registered Psychiatric Nurses in Alberta?

In Alberta, you must be registered with the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta (CRPNA) to practice as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse. Only registered members may call themselves a Registered Psychiatric Nurse. 

What are the licensure requirements for internationally educated Registered Psychiatric Nurses?

Internationally Educated Registered Psychiatric Nurses must 

1. Ensure that their English skills meet the standard set out by the NNAS: The minimum (lowest acceptable) scores for the language tests are: 
  • IELTS: Academic format - speaking 7, listening 7.5, reading 6.5, writing 7, overall 7 
  • CELBAN: speaking 8, listening 10, reading 8, writing 7  
2. Apply to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS). After your account is opened with NNAS, you will be told which documents you will need to provide in order to verify your personal information and past experience 

Original documents and credentials must be sent directly from the educational institution, registering body, and/or employer to NNAS to be verified before applying to CRPNA. Do not send any documents to CRPNA unless they have been specifically requested from you. 

All documents must be written in or translated into English (or French where applicable) by an approved agency, translator or NNAS. The National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) Applicant Handbook provides the official steps to completing the NNAS application. 

3. CRPNA will review your advisory report and assess your next steps toward becoming a Registered Psychiatric Nurse in Alberta.  Click on NNAS Advisory Report Review Form.

4. If further training is required, you will be advised of those requirements by CRPNA. 

5. If no further upgrading and no further assessment is required, you will write CRPNA's Registration Examination.

What are the educational requirements for Registered Psychiatric Nurses in Alberta?

In Alberta, the following post-secondary institutions offer programs specifically related to psychiatric nursing: 

What are the accepted English language proficiency tests and where can I be tested?

Applicants must successfully achieve the required passing score on one of the CRPNA approved English language tests. This includes CELBAN and IELTS.  To learn more about where to take an English language proficiency test in Alberta, visit English Language Proficiency Tests and Locations

What supports are available to support internationally educated health professionals to integrate into the Canadian labour force?

Directions for Immigrants, Clear Communication for Health Professionals 

Developed for health professionals, Clear Communication for Health Professionals is a facilitated study group that focuses on the essence of effective communication in a health care setting. Participants will learn more about Canadian workplace culture, developing effective listening skills and other techniques designed to help you succeed in the workplace. Please visit the Job Success Groups tab on the Study Groups page.

Canadian Culture and Communication for Nurses
A free online program with blended options fro internationally-educated nurses who want to develop their English communication skills. Take part in up to four, 12 week modules, you are placed according to your language level. Visit for more information.

What information resources are available for Registered Psychiatric Nurses in Alberta?


Additional Occupational and Pre-Arrival Information 

For more information on occupations, duties and wages, visit 

PASS (Pre-arrival Support Services for IENs)