Nurse Login

Substantial Equivalence: Explained

Nov. 22, 2023

We are committed to excellence in regulation, and as part of that commitment we continually look for ways to improve and innovate our processes to provide a fair and equitable opportunity for qualified registered nurses to obtain permits to practise in Alberta, while still meeting all of the requirements. In streamlining the process, the CRNA is not cutting corners in registering applicants. All applicants must meet all of the registration requirements to obtain a permit.

The substantial equivalence assessment is for registered nurses educated outside of Canada, without prior Canadian registration.

Understanding the Process for International Applicants

Requirements include:

  • Submitting demographic information,
  • Completing a registration exam,
  • Completing equivalent post-secondary education,
  • Demonstrating English language proficiency,
  • Satisfying currency of practice,
  • Submitting a criminal record check,
  • Completing the good character, fitness to practise and jurisprudence requirements, and
  • Obtaining professional liability protection

For more information about the requirements to join the register In Alberta, visit this page.

Common Misconceptions

MYTH: The CRNA helps international applicants complete their immigration process.
FACT: International applicants are required to complete their immigration process and have permission to work in Canada prior to obtaining employment.

MYTH: The CRNA helps international applicants secure a job in Alberta once they complete their application process.
FACT: The CRNA is unable to assist with job searches or employment. It is the sole responsibility of an applicant to secure a job.

MYTH: International applicants have to meet different requirements to receive a permit from the CRNA.
FACT: All applicants must meet the same requirements to practise. Requirements for all registrants include: demonstrating currency of practice, good character, fitness to practise, completing a jurisprudence course and obtaining liability protection. More information about registration requirements can be found here.

MYTH: The CRNA completes education verifications for international applicants.
FACT: The CRNA accepts post-secondary education equivalency verifications from the following approved credentialling assessment services:

MYTH: The CRNA helps international applicants obtain work permits.
FACT: The CRNA is unable to assist with work permits. International applicants must review information from the department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship with the Government of Canada.

MYTH: The CRNA provides funding for international applicants.
FACT: The CRNA is unable to provide financial support to applicants. There are external organizations that can assist with application costs. Information about relevant financial support can be found on this page.