Step 1. Assessment of Eligibility to take Canada’s NCLEX

Assessing organization – National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS). The NNAS verifies credentials for internationally educated nurses, compares them to Canadian standards and provides a secure, centralized electronic repository for education and registration credentials.

Steps to take:

  1.  Open an Internationally Education Nursing (IEN) account
  2. Complete the NNAS application
  3. Provide credit card information or arrange for payment
  4. Submit evidence of identity (current and valid passport, birth certificate, etc).
  5. Complete documentation

Expected outcome: Advisory Report confirms equivalency of your education / qualification according to approved Canadian standards and nursing requirements. NNAS forwards advisory report to SRNA to finalize your application. You have to complete SRNA’s complete additional documentation.

Processing Time: You will receive an acknowledgment of receipt (of your application) by email within two weeks of submitting your application.

Step 2.  Applying with the Saskatchewan Registered Nursing Association

Steps to take:

  1.  SRNA retrieves Advisory Report
  2. Open an IEN online account with SRNA
  3. Proceed to submit and comply with SRNA requirements including documents for your:
  1. Education: Graduation from a basic registered nurse nursing education program at a post-secondary level that included theoretical and clinical experience across the health continuum and includes providing care to clients of all ages, genders in a variety of health settings.
  2. Registration where Educated: You must have been registered in good standing in the jurisdiction where you completed your registered nursing education program.

Note for Philippine applicants: Applicants who wrote the June 2006 licensure examination in the Philippines must provide proof of having successfully completed the special examination, which was authorized by the Philippine Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE), Parts III (3) and V (5). If an applicant has not written the special examination or cannot provide proof of such, they are not considered to be eligible as an applicant for registration.

  1. Registration in Good Standing: You must be registered in good standing in the jurisdiction where you initially  licensed and most recently worked as a registered nurse. This means you need verification indicating you were licensed and not the subject of an investigation or any practice limitations, restrictions or conditions, in that jurisdiction which limits the practice of registered nursing. 
  2. Language Proficiency: English is the primary language used in health care in Saskatchewan. 
  1. IELTS (Academic version) – Speaking, writing – 7.0; Reading – 6.5; Listening 7.5. Overall band score – 7.0.  There are no restriction on re-taking the IELTS.
  2. CELBAN (Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses)- Speaking, reading,- 8.0; Writing 7.0; Listening – 10.

You may retest the speaking component only. Otherwise, if you fail to meet the minimum scores in the other areas, the group components (listening, reading and writing) must be retested.  Be aware that the oldest of the 2 test dates will be used to determine the validity of the test. You may take the CELBAN a maximum of 3 times at 3 month intervals.

  1. Good Character: This means evidence that you have not been convicted of any criminal offence or a finding of guilt for any criminal offence under the Criminal Code (Canada), the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada ), or any similar legislation in any province, territory, state or country or any offence in relation to the practice of nursing or any profession in any jurisdiction.
  2. Employer Reference: a written employer reference is required, attesting to the candidate’s safe practice and compliance with the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of the profession.

Your actual hours of practice in the last five (5) years are considered. This means you must have either:

  1. worked at least 1125 hours of nursing practice; or
  2. graduated from an approved nursing education program; or
  3. completed an approved nursing re-entry program (i.e. Saskatchewan Polytechnic Nursing Re-entry Program or equivalent).

Processing Time: Application document/review is expected to be issued within two to six weeks from the date all fees are paid in full. The complete application and documentation goes to step three – Final decision about your eligibility to take the NCLES.  If documentation is deemed incomplete, you shall receive an email outlining the outstanding documentation.  You have six months to complete and comply.


Step Three: Decision about Eligibility – Expected Outcome

  1. Referral to complete a Substantially Equivalent Competency assessment (SEC) to continue the assessment. You shall be given 12 months to submit an additional assessment fee, Assessment is done by booking with the Saskatchewan Polytechnic (SaskPoly).
  2. An eligibility letter inviting you to write National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN®).  SRNA will share the applications for the National Registered Nursing Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN®) and a graduate nurse licence (NCLEX-RN®). .
  3. An eligibility letter inviting you to complete the process for RN Licensure. SRNA will share the application for RN Licensure.
  4. A recommendation to pursue additional formal education.

Applications validity period - Applications remain valid for one year from the date of your last contact by the applicant with SRNA (usually email). SRNA emphasizes that “any expiry date assigned by the SRNA will supersede this general validity period. Last contact is defined as the provision of documentation/information to support the application process. Regulations and entry requirements are subject to bylaw and policy changes.”

Confused about the best career pathway for you?

Allow us to help you plan your career overseas.

About the Author

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.


IVC and IVC staff are proud members or affiliates of

ICCRC logoIBP logoICEF logoPIER logo
MARA logoCANCHAM logoANZCHAM logoBritish Council logo
a