Canadian RN applicants
This section is for RNs who are or were registered in a Canadian jurisdiction outside Alberta and are applying to register in Alberta for the first time.
Applicants who received their nursing education outside of Canada, and are registered in another Canadian province or territory
CARNA has a rigorous process for assessing the substantial equivalency of your education and nursing experience. If you have been assessed and obtained RN registration in another Canadian jurisdiction where the process is not similar to CARNA’s, you must practise as an RN in that jurisdiction for at least 1,125 hours within the last five years before you will be eligible to register with CARNA.
Applicants who have not practised for 1,125 hours in Canada will be required to apply for assessment as an Internationally Educated Nurse. They may then be required to undergo a competence assessment and/or additional training to be eligible for registration in Alberta. The authority for this comes from the Registered Nurse Profession Regulation of the Health Professions Act, Section 10(1)(c) and 10.1(1)(b).
How to apply
Phase 1: Apply for Canadian assessment
For the quickest processing time, complete all steps in Phase 1 on the same day.
- Meet the currency of practice requirement. In your assessment application, you
need to report within the previous five CARNA membership years (October 1 to September 30):
- A total of 1,125 hours of RN practice satisfactory to the Registrar, or
- Successful completion of a degree or nursing program satisfactory to the Registrar
- Note: Currency of practice is one of the requirements for initial and ongoing registration with CARNA.
- Create a MyCARNA account.
- Submit your application and pay the non-refundable assessment fee from your MyCARNA account. If you leave MyCARNA, you can return to the application by logging into your account and clicking "Apply for Registration". You will receive further instructions by email.
- If you don't meet the English language proficiency requirement, complete an approved English language test and provide us with the results.
- Email email@example.com or mail us clear scans or photocopies of: one piece of government-issued photo identification and one other piece of government-issued identification. If applicable, any name change documents will be required (such
as a government-issued marriage certificate). Keep in mind:
- We do not accept faxed documents. They are often unclear and cause delays in processing your application.
- Your complete legal name and date of birth must show on your identification and must be consistent on all identification provided.
- Marriage certificates and SIN cards are not counted as pieces of identification.
- Complete the Verification of Registration form and send it to the jurisdiction from which you are requesting verification of registration. This form provides verification from the Canadian jurisdiction where you are currently (or were most recently) registered, and each jurisdiction where you were registered in the past five years as an RN or as another regulated professional such as an LPN or paramedic.
- Arrange for your current or most recent employer to complete the employer reference form and send directly to us.
Phase 2: Apply for an RN practice permit
For the quickest processing time, request that all parties in this phase send their documents to CARNA as early as possible.
- Once we notify you that you can proceed with Phase 2, contact your local police to obtain a Police Information Check, and submit it to us as soon as possible. These checks can take several weeks to obtain and we must receive it before we issue your first practice permit in Alberta. Please note: we do not accept online criminal record checks and the Police Information Check you provide must be less than six months old. You can submit this in person, or by email, fax or mail. *In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, some local police departments in Alberta have temporarily changed their process surrounding all criminal record checks. CARNA is offering new applicants an alternative interim solution to complete this requirement of your application. You must email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in taking advantage of this service. This service, MyBackCheck.com is online and the results are sent directly to CARNA.*
- Sign in to MyCARNA and complete the jurisprudence course and Bill 21 course - Protecting Patients from Sexual Abuse or Misconduct. Then submit the initial RN permit application and pay the registration fee if applicable.
How long will the application process take?
Processing times depend on several factors including the volume of applications we receive. For this reason, we are unable to provide an exact timeline. We review complete applications in the order they are received.
To avoid delays, please be sure to submit a complete application including payment and all required documents.
We try our best to process applications in a timely manner as we know it's important to you.
What to expect after you've applied
CARNA will email you:
- If we have questions about any of the information or documents you've provided.
- To let you know that we’ve reviewed your assessment application and you’re ready for Phase 2.
- When your registration and permit are approved. You may only practise in Alberta, including orientation, once you've received this notification.
It may take us longer to give you a decision on your application if you:
- Are an internationally educated nurse (IEN).
- Are involved in a disciplinary matter with another regulatory body.
- Have inaccurate or missing information.
- Are returning to practice and completed a nursing refresher program in another jurisdiction.
- Do not meet all registration requirements.
- Were previously deemed ineligible by CARNA or another jurisdiction.