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November 7, 2022

Media Releases

College of Registered Nurses implements suite of changes to expedite and modernize internationally educated nurse registration process and support Manitoba health system

November 7, 2022

WINNIPEG – The College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba (the College) is committed to protecting and serving the public interest through quality, effective registered nursing regulation. In line with that commitment, the College is pleased to announce today a number of changes that will modernize and expedite the registration process for internationally educated nurse (IEN) applicants as well as their capacity to contribute effectively to the health system while working towards registration.

Changes to IEN application process and policies

These changes include updates to when applicants must demonstrate they meet certain registration requirements and align with recent process review work undertaken by the College and the other nursing colleges in the province. The changes are further informed by consultations with employers and internationally educated applicants and nurses.

“The College recognizes the significant need for qualified nurses in Manitoba, and the changes announced today represent a significant step forward in streamlining the process for internationally educated applicants to become registered nurses,” said Deb Elias, CEO/Registrar. “I made it a priority in my first 90 days as CEO/Registrar to act on feedback we have received from internationally educated applicants to identify changes that balance the need for public protection with a renewed focus on applicants’ experiences throughout the process. These changes also come after substantial collaboration with government, our partners in nursing regulation and the overall health system.”

The following process and policy changes will be implemented immediately:

  • No proof of immigration status will be required in the application process with the College. This will allow prospective applicants to start their applications sooner while completing the necessary immigration processes to be able to work in Canada.
  • Documents, such as verifications of registration history, will no longer need to be updated/re-validated (if necessary) until an applicant is ready to write the NCLEX-RN exam or to register as an RN. Proof of identity documents will not need to be resubmitted once received.
  • Applicants will only need to meet the English language proficiency requirements either prior to becoming eligible to write the NCLEX-RN exam, or for RN registration. Furthermore, as a result of the language proficiency requirements of the Nurse Re-Entry Program (NREP) at RRC Polytech, applicants who complete the NREP will be deemed proficient for two years after the date of completion of their studies.
  • The College is also working to implement a change in the immediate future to give applicants the option to complete a second clinical competence assessment (CCA) in the event that the results of their first attempt did not align with their expectations.

In addition to these changes, the College is currently working with a national consortium of nursing regulators to review and revise language testing scores to align with the current nature and requirements of registered nursing practice in Canada. Additionally, the review will also examine other measures of language proficiency that could provide objective, valid, and reliable measures of language proficiency. Further information on these changes will be announced as it becomes available.

Creating the framework for IEN applicants and former registered nurses seeking registration in Manitoba to provide needed supports in the health system

The College is also partnering with employers to expand an unregulated job classification to internationally educated nurse applicants and former registered nurses (RNs) who are completing remedial education required to become registered. Currently, only third- and fourth-year nursing students are eligible to work in this role.

This will allow qualified applicants to work in the health system while under the supervision of an RN. The College will use its existing assessment process to refer applicants to employers when they meet eligibility criteria that are being determined in collaboration with employers. This change will create opportunities for more people in the process of becoming an RN to contribute to the health workforce while also growing and refining their knowledge and skills in a safe way.

Over the coming weeks, the College will be seeking feedback on the policy changes required to enable this. The College is striving to have these changes in place for December 2022.

Commitment to public protection and addressing challenges in health care delivery

We are committed to ensuring consistent, proportionate, and transparent standards for registration in Manitoba so that qualified applicants can establish registration in our province in an expeditious and streamlined manner. The changes announced today align with this objective and with public and stakeholder expectations that the College work together with government to address challenges in the nursing workforce.

“Our priority has been, and always will be to put patient safety first. We also understand that these are exceptional times and that innovative solutions are required,” said Elias. “Therefore, we will continue to engage with the public and with stakeholders to look for opportunities for improvement, how the College can contribute to addressing challenges in the nursing workforce, and to always work towards excellence in registered nursing regulation in service of the public interest.”


For more information, please contact:

Martin Lussier
Manager of Communications