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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the EARN Project about?
  2. Who is eligible to participate?
  3. I am an internationally trained RPN or Doctor. Am I eligible to apply to the EARN Project?
  4. When will the EARN Project start?
  5. How do I become a participant?
  6. How long will it take to complete my assessment?
  7. Is there a cost to participants?
  8. Can the assessments be completed online or by mail?
  9. What types of assessments does the EARN Project use?
  10. Will I be asked to prepare a portfolio?
  11. Will you be asking to review my educational documents?
  12. How many assessment steps are there?
  13. What types of resources and supports will there be available to me as a participant?
  14. How do I book an appointment?
  15. What are the possible outcomes from my assessment?
  16. What if I don't agree with the results of my assessment?
  17. Is it possible to fail the EARN Project?
  18. What happens if I don't complete the EARN Project?
  19. Once my assessment is complete, does that mean that the CNO automatically considers me equivalent to having a BScN?
  20. Will completing the EARN Project automatically make me an RN in Ontario?
  21. Does the EARN Project assessment apply to areas outside of Ontario?
  22. What are the requirements for registering as an RN in Ontario?
  23. Are there other options to fill the CNO's education requirement?
  1. What is the EARN Project about?
    Equivalency Assessment Recognition of Nursing (EARN) is a process where Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) who have a diploma level education with additional learning gained through working and/or other learning opportunities are assessed for Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) equivalency.

  2. Who is eligible to participate?
    All participants must have been previously assessed by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and received a “Letter of Direction”.  Additionally IENs need to meet the following criteria:
    • Be a registered nurse in a country other than Canada.
    • Have been assessed by the CNO and have a “Letter of Direction”.
    • Must meet the CNO criteria for prior learning assessment including:
      • Meet the pre-2005 entry to practice education requirement of a 3 year nursing education diploma or equivalent.
      • Be assessed by the CNO as meeting safe practice requirements.
      • Have worked as a registered nurse for at least 2 years.
        OR
        Have an additional 2 years education in a human health science field.
      • Have proof of CLBA language levels of 7's or equivalent.

  3. I am an internationally trained RPN or Doctor.  Am I eligible to apply to the EARN Project?
    No.  Only RNs from other jurisdictions are eligible to apply. 

  4. When will the EARN Project start?
    We are accepting participants now. The Project is accepting up to 40 participants.

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  5. How do I become a participant?
    To participate in the EARN Project you must meet with an EARN Advisor to review your eligibility.  To book an appointment with an Advisor, please contact the EARN Project Administrative Assistant at 416-357-2100 extension 21007. 

  6. How long will it take to complete my assessment?
    The timeline for assessments depends on each participant.  The assessment can be completed in as little as two (2) weeks or can stretch out to as much as three (3) months. Participants will make their individual arrangements for assessment with the help of their EARN Project Advisor.

  7. Is there a cost to participants?
    There is no cost for the EARN assessment.

  8. Can the assessments be completed online or by mail?
    No.  All assessments must be completed at York University, Keele campus.

  9. What types of assessments does the EARN Project use?
    The EARN Project uses several types of different assessment tools designed to test nursing knowledge, skill and judgement.  These include:
    • Multiple choice questions;
    • Case studies;
    • Interviews with assessors;
    • Scenarios with follow-up questions;
    • Short answer questions;
    • Simulations;
    • Medication administration calculations.

  10. Will I be asked to prepare a portfolio?
    No. This project does not include portfolio development and assessment.

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  11. Will you be asking to review my educational documents?
    No. The CNO will already have reviewed your educational documents. The project will be directly assessing your knowledge, skills, and judgement in relation to the professional standards and entry-to-practice competencies required to practice as a registered nurse in Ontario.

  12. How many assessment steps are there?
    There are 11 assessments, each lasting 2-4 hours.

  13. What types of resources and support will be available for me as a participant?
    Each participant of the EARN Project will be assigned an advisor to help them prepare for the assessment process.  Advisors offer support, resources and feedback to participants throughout the EARN process.  There is also a website for participants providing in depth information about:
    • Types of assessments and how to prepare for each;
    • Specific information about content and how that will be assessed;
    • Lots of resources to use as you prepare;
    • Practice questions.

    For additional information, please speak with a EARN advisor.

  14. How do I book an appointment?
    To book a first advising appointment, an assessment appointment or to cancel an appointment, call the EARN Project Administrative Assistant at 416-736-2100 x21007.  If you are already assigned a EARN advisor, you can book an appointment by contacting her directly.

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  15. What are the possible outcomes from my assessment?
    You will receive full and comprehensive feedback regarding your strengths in nursing and any knowledge gaps you have will be clearly identified.

    If gaps are identified, an individualized learning plan will be developed for you.  This will help plan the best way for you to get the additional knowledge you need to practice in Ontario.

    Upon your request, the results of your assessment will be forwarded to the CNO for consideration.  This may assist you as you work towards registration in Ontario.

  16. What if I don’t agree with the results of my assessment?
    If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your assessment, you may file an appeal.

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  17. Is it possible to fail the EARN Project?
    No.  It is not a matter of passing or failing.  Completing the EARN assessment will help each IEN to identify areas of strength and any gaps in her/his nursing knowledge, skill and judgement.  Upon completion of the assessment, each IEN will receive information regarding educational resources available to assist in planning her/his life long learning.

  18. What happens if I don’t complete the EARN Project?
    Participants in the EARN Project may withdraw from participation at any time with no consequence.

  19. Once my assessment is complete, does that mean the CNO automatically considers me equivalent to having a BScN?
    No.  The EARN Project uses the assessment outcome to provide you with comprehensive feedback regarding your nursing knowledge, skill and judgement.  You may request that a copy of the results of your assessment be forward to the CNO for their consideration.

  20. Will completing the EARN Project automatically make me an RN in Ontario?
    No.  Every nursing applicant must successfully pass the Canadian Nursing Registration Exam (CRNE) to become registered.  The EARN Assessment may help you be recognized as eligible to write the CRNE. (See question # 22)

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  21. Does the EARN Project assessment apply to areas outside of Ontario?
    No.  The requirements for becoming an RN differ for each province and territory in Canada.  Check with the nursing regulatory body for the province or territory that you would like to work in for specific requirements.

  22. What are the requirements for registering as an RN in Ontario?
    For any Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN), there are seven (7) requirements to become a Registered Nurse (RN) in Ontario.
    • Completion of an acceptable Nursing Education Program. This means a four (4) year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) degree or an equivalent.
    • Be assessed as having “safe practice”. This means that the IEN has practiced as an RN for at least 1125 hours within the last five (5) years.
    • The IEN must be registered or must meet the eligibility requirements to be registered as a nurse in the country where she/he was educated in nursing.
    • Passing the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE).
    • Evidence of fluency in written and spoken English or French.
    • Proof of Canadian Citizenship, Permanent Residency or authorization under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) to engage in the practice of nursing.
    • Good character and suitability to practice.This will include:
      • Information about whether the IEN has ever lost her/his license to practice as a nurse or if the IEN has had restrictions placed upon her/his practice.
      • Information about whether the IEN has been involved in proceedings regarding professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity.
      • Information about any criminal convictions.
      • Information about any physical or mental condition or illness that may affect the IEN's competency to practice.
      • A police check completed by the police department where the IEN is living in Ontario.

  23. Are there other options to fill the CNO’s education requirements?
    There are several options available to IENs.  When the CNO assesses each IEN’s credentials, they send a letter with the results of the credential assessment and information regarding educational options.  There are also two organizations to assist IENs understand what their options are and where they can meet the CNO's educational requirements.  These organizations are:

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