Information you need to know to work as a Registered Nurse

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

In Alberta, you must be registered with the College of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CRNA) to practice as a Registered Nurse. Protected titles, such as “Registered Nurse,” are granted to each regulated health profession through the legislation in Alberta known as the Health Professions Act (HPA). To use protected titles, such as “Registered Nurse,” individuals must be registered with and regulated by the College of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CRNA).

The Alberta Association of Nurses (AAN) is the professional association of nurses in Alberta. Prior to 2022 both the College and the Association were under the name of College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA).

To understand the difference between an association and a regulatory body refer to this document: Understanding the functions of a Regulator and an Association.

What are the licensure requirements for Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs)?

Licensing bodies compare international education and experience to Canadian standards. You are encouraged to  review the applications process before immigrating to Alberta, Canada. After you arrive you may be eligible for support with your licensing process and to find work related to or in your profession. Please contact Directions for Immigrants to book an appointment with one of our career coaches.

Please note due to recent changes to the accreditation process for Registered Nurses in Alberta this section is currently under construction. To understand the application process with CRNA, refer to Join the Register.  


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 CRNA-approved English Language Tests. This includes: CELBAN and Academic IELTS. To learn more about where to take an English language proficiency test in Alberta, visit CELBAN or visit IELTS Academic.

Note: You will be required to maintain level of English language proficiency throughout the entire application process.

What additional education is available for Internationally Educated Nurses?

The Mount Royal University (MRU) Bridge to Canadian Nursing (BCN) Program is a bridging program for nurses who have been educated outside of Canada. The BCN program provides the support and resources to enhance your professional nursing communication, build your nursing knowledge and nursing practice skills in Canadian health care settings, and strengthen your clinical and ethical reasoning.

To be admitted into a bridging program, applicants must meet application criteria and show proof of verification of eligibility with the College of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CRNA). Applicants also need to be aware of registration deadlines and other potential costs, including preparation materials, travel, etc.

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

Directions for Immigrants offers workplace communication groups to help you integrate into the Canadian work environment. The Clear Communication for Health Professionals (CCHP) workplace communication group is designed to help internationally educated health professionals fine-tune their communication skills with patients, supervisors, and colleagues. You will learn through role-play and scenarios the nuances and expectations of Canadian patients, inter-disciplinary teams, and other healthcare industry participants. Topics include overcoming communication barriers, professional workplace iVisit Clear Communication for Health Professionals for more information.

Directions for Immigrants offers an exam preparation study group to help internationally educated nurses to prepare for the NCLEX-RN examination. Visit the NCLEX-RN exam study group for more information on this service and eligibility criteria.

What are the educational requirements for Registered Nurses in Alberta?

Licensing bodies compare international education and experience to Canadian standards. In Alberta, a baccalaureate degree in nursing is required.

The following post-secondary institutions in Alberta offer degree programs in nursing:

What information resources are available for Registered Nurses in Alberta?

Additional Occupational and Pre-Arrival Information

For more information on occupations, duties and wages, visit: