'We look forward to partnering with all regulatory bodies to take advantage of this more efficient process'
Internationally educated nurses (IENS) looking to practice in Canada will benefit from faster processing, thanks to a new expedited credentialing service from the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS).
Under a new service, NNAS advisory reports will now be issued in participating provinces within no more than five days of all documents being received.
The advisory reports compile and authenticate the documentation regulators require from IENs to begin the licensing process. They also show how the applicants' international education compares to Canadian nursing competencies.
NNAS is introducing the development in partnership with the Nurses Association of New Brunswick, the College of Registered Nurses and Midwives of Prince Edward Island (PEI), the College of Registered Nurses of Saskatchewan, and the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Manitoba.
"We are pleased to partner with provincial regulators to make it faster for IENs to have their documents verified and start the licensing process more quickly, while still maintaining important safeguards to protect the integrity of our healthcare system," says Gayle Waxman, executive director, NNAS. “We have the infrastructure to offer timely service to IENs from around the globe and the experience to do so effectively. We look forward to partnering with all regulatory bodies to take advantage of this more efficient process."
Earlier this year, British Columbia started covering application and assessment fees for internationally educated nurses (IENs), saving them a total cost of more than $3,700.
The new, faster process is possible in part because the service will now review only the most essential documentation.
“NNAS recognizes the urgent need to get more IENs licensed and registered in Canada faster as we face a shortage of health care professionals,” Gayle Waxman, CEO of the National Nursing Assessment Service, told CTVNews.ca in an email Wednesday. “By providing a simple, fast and safe service that better recognizes the value of IENs, NNAS can play a role in supporting the system to address shortages.”
NNAS is the starting point for IENS hoping to come to Canada and practice medicine in all regions except for Quebec and the territories, according to a CTV News report.
It is through the NNAS that nurses apply to a specific province of their choice. NNAS reviews and verifies their documents, compares them to Canadian credentials and standards, and puts together an advisory report containing the proper information.
Overall, 75 per cent of nurses intend on leaving the industry in the next 12 months, according to a Blu Ivy Group report released in December 2022.