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Updates to IEN Application Process

Since the fall of 2022, the College has announced a series of major updates to the application processes for internationally educated nurses, including new ways to demonstrate language proficiency, additional flexibility around the clinical competence assessment, and to help offer similar employment opportunities to IENs while they navigate the application process.

The College is committed to ongoing modernization of its application processes to ensure the timely handling of applications for registration as a registered nurse in Manitoba. Following extensive review of its processes, available evidence and consultations with applicants and stakeholders, The College implemented numerous changes delivering on our commitment to ensuring patient safety as well as helping to address the significant health human resource challenges in Manitoba.

How to apply

Steps to apply as an Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN)

  1. Apply through the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS)
  2. Apply/open a file with the College
  3. The College reviews your application file:
    1. Nursing education comparability and Clinical Competence Assessment (CCA) eligibility
    2. Nurse Re-Entry Program (NREP) eligibility
  4. Complete the CCA
  5. Complete any required courses in the NREP at RRC Polytech
  6. The national registered nurse exam (NCLEX-RN) and Graduate Nurse (GN) registration
  7. Registered Nurse (RN) registration

See more: IEN Application Process Infographic

Major updates and initiatives supporting streamlined IEN application process

Updated ways to demonstrate English language proficiency

The ways that an applicant can demonstrate English language proficiency have been significantly updated since the fall of 2022. As a result of a national review of language testing benchmarks, as well as the College’s own review of additional ways to demonstrate language proficiency, there are now 8 different ways that an applicant can meet the requirements for RN registration in Manitoba:In addition to the updated testing scores shown below, applicants can now demonstrate their language proficiency via current or previous LPN or RPN registration in Manitoba, an employer attestation letter, and/or successful completion of required Nurse Re-Entry Program (NREP) courses. Further details on all accepted language proficiency measures and requirements are outlined in our language proficiency policy.

Updated language testing benchmarks

The language testing scores accepted by the College are outlined here, and reflect the results of a national study the College participated in looking at the current language proficiency requirements for competent registered nursing practice in Canada. The results of this study brought about changes to the listening and writing test scores accepted for the IELTS Academic test, as well as the listening scores accepted for the CELBAN test, and in May 2024, introduced the OET:

IELTS Academic CELBAN OET
Reading 6.5 8 C+
Listening 7.5 to 7.0 10 to 9 B
Writing 7.0 to 6.5 7 B
Speaking 7.0 8 C+
Overall 7.0

In addition, as of May 2024, the College now accepts a combination of results from 2 sittings of the same test in order to meet the minimum benchmarks. See our language proficiency policy for more information.

Updates to Nurse Re-Entry Program (NREP) and Clinical Competence Assessment (CCA) eligibility

Option to complete full Nurse Re-Entry Program instead of a CCA

In September 2022, the College made updates to the IEN application process allowing qualified applicants to choose to do the full slate of NREP courses at RRC Polytech in lieu of a CCA, giving flexibility to applicants who may prefer this pathway, while also providing the College with more ways to recognize and value the education and experience that applicants bring to the table.

Option to Complete a Second CCA

The College implemented a further update in February 2023 giving applicants required to undergo a CCA the option to take a second CCA if the results of the initial assessment did not meet expectations. An applicant may undergo a CCA a total of 2 times. As of March 5, 2024, applicants have 6 months to complete the second CCA following the CEO/Registrar’s decision on registration eligibility.

If you previously completed a CCA as part of your registration application requirements, you may be eligible to take this option. Please contact the Registration team to see if the policy change is applicable to you and for information regarding next steps.

Supports for the IENs in Manitoba Project and Philippines recruitment mission

Expedited IEN application process for Philippines recruitment mission

As part of its support for a recruitment mission in the Philippines, led by the Manitoba government , to recruit internationally educated nurses and other healthcare providers, the College developed an expedited registration pathway for applicants who are recruited as part of this initiative. 

Once development of a virtual CCA is complete, applicants will be able to complete a greater portion of the application process while still living abroad. The expedited processes allows the NNAS application and CRNM applications be completed simultaneously so that applicants’ total time in the assessment process is substantially reduced.

Work being done by the College’s partners in education and in government continues to enable availability of NREP courses in a remote learning environment. Further details will be announced as they become available.

Expedited IEN Application Process chart Text: Can be completed while abroad Start 4-6 weeks for CCA report, allows applicant to progress to NREP while gathering documents for NNAS and/or awaiting NNAS report: IEN applies to NNAS NNAS conducts assessment & prepares report The College reviews NNAS Report Or EN applies to the College IEN completes CCA, CCA report is prepared and sent to the College The College reviews the results of the CCA 5-10 days: The College considers how applicant has demonstrated required competencies Significant gaps demonstrated Or Some gaps demonstrated Or Very minimal gaps demonstrated Must be completed in Manitoba Note: Some NREP courses may be able to be completed remotely, with the notable exceptions of a skills lab and clinical practicum IEN completes required NREP courses IE N provides info for final verifications IEN writes and passes NCLEX-RN (if not passed already) Registration

Other key supports for IENs in Manitoba project and Philippines recruitment
Expansion of the Undergraduate Nurse Employee (UNE) role

Throughout the fall of 2022, the College led a process, together with partners in the health system to update the Undergraduate Nurse Employee (UNE) role to allow qualified IEN applicants to begin working in the health system earlier and gain valuable clinical experience.

This culminated in December 2022 with the College’s approval of changes to its rules regarding RN supervision of Undergraduate Nurse Employees (UNEs) to update the definitions of a UNE to include Undergraduate Nurse  students who have the competencies for this role and is currently enrolled in an approved nursing program, or who are currently enrolled in a course of instruction in order to obtain registration as an applicant seeking re-entry to practice/internationally educated applicant.

Ongoing process leadership and commitment to continuous modernization of application processes

In addition to the changes outlined above, the College remains committed to the ongoing modernization and streamlining of its application processes to ensure that qualified applicants can get to work in the timeliest manner possible. The College will continue to make improvements to our processes while never compromising on safety. Our focus will always be on serving and protecting the public interest through a fair, accountable, and transparent approach to registered nursing regulation.