Internationally educated applicants
Alberta welcomes nurses from all over the world. If you completed your nursing education outside of Canada, here's what you need to know to apply to practise in Alberta.
How to apply
- Before you apply to CARNA, apply and pay an assessment fee directly to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS). NNAS will forward their assessment of your application both to you and to CARNA.
Estimated time needed: Variable.
- Once you receive a report from NNAS, create a MyCARNA account to submit your application for assessment and pay the non-refundable fee online.
- Complete the following forms and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. These forms detail your nursing experience and practice hours.
- We will contact you with further instructions. We assess applications individually and in the order that we receive all the required documents. We will determine whether:
- You are eligible to apply for an RN permit
- You are eligible to write the registration examination and apply for a graduate nurse permit so that you can work while preparing for the exam
- Your application is deferred until you complete the Alberta registered nurse assessment program (ARNAP) and/or bridging education (if applicable). A further assessment application with fee to CARNA will be required upon completion of the ARNAP or bridging program.
- You are not eligible to proceed with meeting the registration requirements.
- If you are required to by CARNA, take an Alberta registered nurse assessment program (ARNAP) or complete bridging education, otherwise proceed to the next steps. We'll send you an email with instructions on how to do this. CARNA does not approve or endorse any ARNAP prep courses. It is important to note that if your assessment identifies competency gaps, additional coursework will be identified by CARNA, even if you previously completed a prep course or other coursework.
Estimated time needed: Visit Touchstone Institute to see when the ARNAP is offered.
- If you were required to take the ARNAP, review your results and complete any specified bridging education courses before you proceed.
Estimated time needed: 12 – 15 months to complete bridging courses and add waiting time for available seats. The bridging program is available only at Mount Royal University. Please note that they recently reported a significant waiting time before being accepted to the program due to the high number of applications they receive. If you have questions or concerns about this, please contact Mount Royal University directly.
- Once you have completed any assigned coursework, we will notify you about your next steps. This may include writing the NCLEX exam, applying for a graduate nurse permit, and/or applying for an RN permit.
- Once you have completed any assigned coursework and successfully completed the NCLEX exam, we will notify you when you are eligible for an RN permit. Sign in to your MyCARNA account and complete the jurisprudence course. Then submit the initial RN permit application and pay the registration fee if applicable.
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.