Registration Requirements for Internationally Educated Nurses

To practise as a regulated health professional in Ontario, you must be a member of your profession’s regulatory college and hold a certificate of registration. Regulated health professionals are required by law to deliver competent, ethical and professional services, and are accountable to the public through their respective colleges.

The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) is the regulatory body for nursing practice in Ontario.

The CNO regulates nursing to protect the public interest and sets requirements to enter the profession, establishes and enforces standards of nursing practice, and assures the quality of practice of the profession and the continuing competence of nurses.

Ontario Registration Requirements

In Ontario, nursing is categorized in two groups: Registered Nurse (RN) and Registered Practical Nurse (RPN).

There are six classes of registration: General, Extended, Temporary, Special Assignment, Emergency Assignment, and Non-Practicing.

To practise nursing as an RN or RPN in Ontario, internationally educated nurses (IENs) must hold a current General Certificate of Registration with the CNO. To become eligible for General Class Registration, IENs will need to meet the following eight registration requirements:

  1. Proof of Canadian citizenship, Permanent Residency or authorization to work in Canada.
  2. Completion of a nursing program that is equivalent to an Ontario 4-year bachelor’s degree in nursing or a practical nursing diploma.
  3. Evidence of nursing practice in the category for which the IEN is applying within the 3 years prior to issuance of a Certificate of Registration.
  4. Successful completion of the NCLEX-RN for those applying for RN, or the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam (CPNRE) for those applying for RPN.
  5. Successful completion of the RN/RPN Jurisprudence Examination.
  6. Evidence of language proficiency in either English or French.
  7. Report past offences, findings and other specified matters.
  8. Meet College requirements related to health and conduct.

To learn more about the registration requirements, please visit the College of Nurses of Ontario website.


  • Resources for Nurses in Ontario
  • Resources for Internationally Educated Health Professionals in Ontario

How the Access Centre Can Help

Visit Services for Internationally Educated Health Professionals for information about Access Centre services and how to participate.