Review of registration process for internationally educated nurses
CARNA initiated an external review to evaluate its current registration process for international educated nurses (IEN).
To meet the recommendations from Field Law, CARNA took the following actions.
|Update the webpage to further clarify the IEN registration process and provide additional information about the time and cost associated with various steps in the process and the process as a whole.|
The application and registration process for internationally educated nurses (IENs) is outlined in detail on CARNA’s website. As you will see throughout our responses to the 15 recommendations, we are working to improve our processes.
Prepare additional resources on the IEN registration process, such as a flowchart and a brochure or pamphlet.
A flowchart is being developed that will outline the steps that IENs must complete, in what order, including associated costs for assessment and registration as an RN in Alberta.
|Checklist be re-evaluated and updated.|
Checklist used to assess IEN applicants has been evaluated and revised.
|Re-evaluate and likely remove the rule which provides that applicants may only take the Alberta registered nurses assessment (ARNAP) once.|
Based on extenuating circumstances, CARNA may approve one additional re-take of the Alberta Registered Nurses Assessment Program (ARNAP). This information has been added to CARNA’s website.
|Disclose much of the information included in the checklist to applicants.|
CARNA is assessing how to best provide applicants with more information regarding its assessment of individual applications, including the content of letters to applicants.
|Provide applicants with more information about how decisions were reached or the reasons for the decisions in the letters that it provides to applicants.|
CARNA is revising letters to improve the information provided to applicants regarding their assessment.
CARNA initiate a discussion about the form and content of the ARNAP reports and whether the ARNAP can be offered at a different time.
The ARNAP assessment is now included in the decision letter sent to applicants.
|Initiate a discussion with Touchstone about the form and content of the ARNAP reports and whether the ARNAP can be offered at a different time.|
The ARNAP is now offered twice a year, once in Edmonton and once in Calgary.
|Evaluate the entire IEN registration process to determine whether any of the steps in the process can be removed or modified so that the process can be completed more quickly.|
CARNA is discussing options that universities can provide in Alberta to assist in addressing education gaps. It’s important to note that if an individual’s assessment identifies competency gaps, additional coursework will be identified and assigned by CARNA.
|Consider why IENs are required to apply for temporary registration to obtain satisfactory Alberta employer references after passing the NCLEX while other applicants are not and also that CARNA consider whether this requirement is necessary.|
Effective Dec. 1, 2018, IEN applicants who meet the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for registered nurses and CARNA’s jurisprudence requirements are eligible to apply for an RN practice permit. By completing the jurisprudence course, IEN applicants gain greater knowledge of the regulatory framework that guides nursing practice in Alberta.
|Consider and examine ways in which the ARNAP and the BCN Program may be modified in order to reduce the time, money and inconvenience associated with these steps.|
CARNA is engaging post-secondary institutions in a process to review and potentially streamline education options for supporting IEN’s transition to Canadian nursing through the Bridge to Canadian Nursing program (BCN) offered in Alberta. The BCN program provides opportunities to learn about nursing in Canada and to acquire the nursing knowledge necessary to meet the entry to practice competencies in Alberta and Canada. CARNA does not approve or endorse any ARNAP preparation courses and an applicant’s assessment will be evaluated based on competency.
|Re-evaluate the fee that it charges for a review of a decision and consider lowering it from $2,500.|
The fee to appeal a decision made by the Registrar, Registration Committee and Competence Committee was discontinued by CARNA’s Provincial Council at its September 2019 meeting. This move ensures fair regulatory principles and gives all applicants access to an appeal.
|Engage in a discussion with Touchstone about whether and how the ARNAP can be modified to better suit CARNA’s needs.|
There is ongoing discussion with Touchstone to work on making improvements to the ARNAP.
|Consider how significant the concern is that IENs who are not competent to engage in registered nursing in Alberta are being granted registration with CARNA after becoming registered with regulatory bodies in other Canadian jurisdictions even when they have no intention of ever actually practicing there.|
CARNA is meeting its legislative requirements and acting upon the recommendations of this review. We are examining ways to improve and strengthen the IEN registration process. Applicants must meet all requirements, including currency, in order to be eligible to apply for an RN permit, whether or not they are registered in another jurisdiction.
|If CARNA does not already do so, start collecting and tracking data on IEN applications.|
The CARNA practice year is October 1 to September 30. Upon review of our data for the 2018-2019 practice year, the average median time frame for an interim decision (indicating what further assessments/education was required) for an internationally educated nurse was 28.25 days. For a final decision, when all registration requirements were met, it took six days.