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First Steps Towards Registration as a Nurse in Ontario

Achieving registration as a nurse in Ontario can take from as little as three (3) months to as long as four (4) years depending on many factors.  Most Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) want to move through the registration process as quickly as possible.  Following these steps will help IENs to move quickly and smoothly through the process.

Step 1. Contact the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and get an "Assessment Package"

Contact the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and get an “Assessment Package”.  These packages can be picked up at the CNO office located at:

110 Davenport Avenue
Toronto, ON
Canada  M5R 3P1

Telephone: 416-928-0900
Web Site

Or the CNO will mail out packages on request.  Picking up the package saves about two (2) weeks. Below is a link to the CNO guide for Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs)

Step 2. A forms and B forms

The IEN must complete two (2) sets of forms - A forms and B forms.

The A forms are for the IEN to complete and return to the CNO.

The B forms are to be completed by the IEN's School of Nursing and previous employers. The IEN will need to send the B forms to the School of Nursing where she/he received her/his education and also to her/his previous employers. It is very important that the B forms are returned from the IEN's School of Nursing and previous employers directly to the CNO due to the confidential nature of the information on the completed B forms. If the B forms are sent to the IEN and the IEN sends or takes them to the CNO, the B forms will not be accepted and the IEN will have to start over again.

For help with Step 2, contact:

The CNO 416-928-0900 or 1-800-387-5526 and go to Customer Service


The ACCESS Centre for Internationally Educated Health Professionals
Web Site:

Step 2 may take from two (2) months up to six (6) months or longer depending on how quickly the A and B forms are completed and returned to the CNO.

Step 3: CNO Completes the Assessment and sends each IEN a "Letter of Direction"

Once the CNO has received all of the A and B forms and completed their assessment, each IEN will receive a "Letter of Direction". This letter will be unique for each IEN, providing the results of her/his assessment. Some IENs will be eligible to write the Canadian Nursing Registration Examination (CNRE). IENs who are not eligible to write the CNRE will be given information regarding what they need to achieve to become eligible. Resources to assist these IENs will be included in the Letter of Direction. The EARN Project will be one option/resource for some IENs. See: The EARN Process and Who can Participate in EARN

*At the EARN Project, we strongly recommend that every IEN, regardless of the results of the CNO assessment, complete a course that provides information and insight in to the legal/ethical frameworks of nursing in Ontario and that focuses on how these frameworks impact on, and are integrated into, nursing practice.