Canada Immigration Options For Nurses
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Canada Immigration Options for Nurses, 2023-24

Are you interested in learning about nursing immigration possibilities to Canada in 2023–2024? That is certainly possible, especially with the increasing demand for Nurses in Canada. There are many immigration pathways for Nurses, and each province and territory also have nursing on its list of occupation in demand.

To immigrate to Canada as a nurse, an applicant must show competency to practice. To achieve this, applicants must have their education credentials assessed, after which the nursing regulatory bodies, Canadian Council for Practical Nurse Regulators (CCPNR) or the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), will verify whether other application requirements have been met.

Nursing is one of the oldest professions all over the world, and in Canada, as a nurse, you are trained to provide care to the sick, check symptoms on patients, and administer medications to patients. It also makes you a caregiver that counsels people on their health and prevents illnesses.

There are TR to PR routes for nurses already temporarily working in Canada. For foreign-trained Nurses from any foreign country, Canada is in high demand for your caregiving services. It has provided steps, eligibility, and requirements to apply to immigrate to Canada as a Nurse.

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted Canada, Canada is still in high demand for health workers and specialists like nurses, nursing supervisors, health policy specialists, respiratory therapists, health care managers, dental hygienists, medical professionals, radiation technologists, pharmacists, etc.

Job Definition for Nurses in Canada   

Registered and psychiatric nurses provide direct nursing care to patients and deliver health education programs and consultative services regarding issues relevant to nursing practice.

In addition, they provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.

Most registered nurses work as part of a team with physicians and other healthcare specialists. They work in various settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, rehabilitation centers, doctors’ offices, clinics, companies, private homes, and public and private organizations.

Nurses’ responsibilities include coordinating with multiple specialists to ensure their patients are adequately on the road to recovery.

National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes for Nurses

Under Canada’s National Occupation Classification (NOC), nurses are classified as follows;

  • NOC 3012 – Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses are classified as NOC Skill Level A
  • NOC 3233 – Licensed practical nurses are classified as NOC Skill Level B.

This grouping and NOC code cover the duties, employment requirements, and examples of jobs under registered nurse and psychiatrist nurse.

Job descriptions of a Registered Nurse and Licensed Practical Nurse

Specifically, here are some of the things registered nurses, psychiatric nurses, occupational health nurses, community health nurses, clinical nurses, and nursing researchers do on a typical day:

General duty Registered Nurse;

  • Assess patients to identify appropriate nursing interventions.
  • Collaborate with members of an interdisciplinary health team to plan, implement, coordinate, and evaluate patient care in consultation with patients and their families.
  • Administer medications and treatments as prescribed by a physician or according to established policies and protocols.
  • Monitor, address, document, and report symptoms and patient condition changes.
  • Operate or monitor medical apparatus or equipment.
  • Assist in surgery and other medical procedures.
  • May supervise licensed practical nurses and other nursing staff.
  • They develop and implement a discharge-planning process for the admission of patients.
  • Nurses teach and counsel patients and their families on health-related issues in collaboration with other healthcare providers.

 – Registered nurses may specialize in surgery, obstetrics, psychiatric care, critical care, pediatrics, geriatrics, community health, occupational health, emergency care, rehabilitation, or oncology.

Occupational health nurses;

  • Develop and implement employee health programs and provide registered nursing care in private businesses and industries.

Community health nurses;

  • Provide health education and nursing care in public health units through home visits, participation in community needs assessment programs, conducting disease screening, and delivering immunization programs.

Psychiatric nurses;

  • Provide nursing care, supportive counseling, and life skills programming to patients in psychiatric hospitals, mental health clinics, long-term care facilities, and community-based settings.

Nursing consultants

  • Consultative services to institutes, associations, and healthcare organizations regarding issues and concerns relevant to the nursing profession and practice.

Nursing researchers;

  • Engage in research activities related to nursing, and work in hospitals, public and private organizations, and governments.

Clinical nurses;

Provide leadership, advice, and counsel on research-based care for specific patient groups within the care of particular healthcare organizations.

Examples of jobs titles Nursing and NOC 3012

Indeed, there is a wide range of jobs for registered nurses and licensed practical nurses under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) code 3012. Some of these jobs include;

  • Ambulatory care nurse
  • Bedside nurse
  • Cardiology nurse
  • Casual duty nurse
  • Circulating nurse
  • Clinic nurse
  • Community health nurse
  • Consultant nurse
  • Coronary intensive care nurse
  • Critical care nurse
  • Dialysis nurse
  • Doctor’s office nurse
  • Emergency care nurse
  • First aid nurse
  • Float nurse
  • General duty nurse
  • Hemodialysis nurse
  • Home care neuroscience nurse
  • Hospital hygiene nurse
  • Independent practice – registered nurse
  • Industrial nurse
  • Infection control nurse
  • Intensive care nurse
  • Liaison nurse
  • Medical intensive care nurse, among others.


Infection control officer – medical


The following occupations do not have consideration under NOC code 3012;

  • Nurse practitioners (See 3124 Allied primary health practitioners)
  • Nursing coordinators and supervisors (See 3011 Nursing coordinators and supervisors)
  • Service managers (See 0311 Managers in health care)
  • Registered practical nurses (See 3233 Licensed practical nurses)

Canada Immigration Options for Nurses, 2023-24

The Canadian immigration process as a Nurse can start by calculating your Canadian immigration points for the Express Entry pool using the Canadian Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

Therefore, the following immigration requirements give you good CRS Points:

  • Age
  • Academic Qualifications
  • English/French language proficiency
  • Partner’s skills/qualification
  • Years of work experience
  • Adaptability

For many years, Canada has had insufficient nurses, which made the Canadian government provide several immigration options for nurses. Therefore, you can easily immigrate to Canada and work as a nurse.

Besides, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have simplified the process of immigrating to Canada and working permanently as a registered nurse.

In 2020, The Corona Virus Disease led to fewer foreign nationals applying for Canada’s immigration. As a result, plans were made to increase Canada’s immigrants to more than 1,200,000 by 2023.

Moreover, they made it easy for foreign nationals presently in Canada to become permanent workers through a provincial nomination and Express Entry programs.

You can utilize one of these immigration options to immigrate to Canada as a nurse.

1. Express Entry as an immigration option for nurses;

Express Entry is one of Canada’s immigration options for nurses. It is a web-based system used by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to manage permanent residency applications from skilled workers.

Express Entry implements a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to measure and score applications from foreign nationals. More so, there are three (3) programs under Canada Express Entry as Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), as well as Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Since you intend to immigrate to Canada as a nurse, you must apply through FSWP or CEC.

2. Immigration to Canada through Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP);

Your eligibility will be determined by IRCC using six selection factors. After assessing your selection factor points, you will be scored based on a percentage. You are more likely to be qualified for the FSWP if you have not less than 67 points.

The following are the requirements to immigrate to Canada as a nurse through FSWP:

  • Minimum of one year of consistent work experience under National Occupational Classification Skill Type 0, Level A or B. Thus, the work experience must be not more than ten years ago
  • Job offer letter from a Canadian healthcare service provider or company (Optional).
  • When you’ve received a job offer letter from a Canadian employer, you are more likely to be included among the applicants that would receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
  • Result of a language proficiency test such as IELTS, TOEFL, CELPIP, and TEF Canada. Your proficiency in English or French language will be assessed and evaluated. Tests are provided for your speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills. Your language levels will be rated using Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) for the English test and Niveaux de Compétence Linguistique Canadien (NCLC ) for French-language testing.

However, it would be best to have a minimum CLB score of 7 or an NCLC of 7.

  • Result of a medical examination to prove whether you are medically admissible or inadmissible
  • Police certificates indicating previous records of crime
  • Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)
  • Proof of funds

3. Immigration to Canada through Canadian Experience Class (CEC);

CEC is ideal for Canada’s temporary workers who have already gained vast skills and work experience while working for a Canadian employer. CEC will make you a permanent resident in Canada.

  • At least one year of work experience in an occupation classified in NOC Skill Type 0, Level A, or B. Besides, the work experience must not exceed the previous three years.
  • For nursing jobs under NOC Skill Type 0, Level A, or B, you need at least CLB 7 or NCLC 7. Moreover, if you are a CEC applicant for a nursing occupation in NOC B, you need a minimum of CLB 5 or NCLC 5
  • You may need to provide a letter of a job offer if available.

4. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs);

PNP is among the Canadian immigration options for nurses. Since nursing jobs require your skills, education, and experience, you are also qualified for Canada PNPs to offer your healthcare services to a specific province in Canada. Canada has many Provincial Nominee Programs that are eligible nurses for Canada’s immigration.

Furthermore, PNP allows you to be nominated by a Canadian province for your skills, experience, or education, which benefits the Canadian economy.

If you immigrate to Canada through PNP, your permanent residency will only apply to the province where you got nominated. Thus, you are expected to live and work as a nurse within the province.

5. Study-2-Immigrate program for Nurses;

Even if you are not currently eligible for any of the immigration options listed above, you may still be able to immigrate to Canada. As an international student, you can build on your nursing degree to help improve your career while studying, living, and working in Canada.

Your Canadian education may even help improve your eligibility to migrate permanently when you graduate.

Here are some Canadian PNPs that can help you achieve your desire to immigrate as a nurse in Canada:
  1. Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)
  2. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
  3. British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP)
  4. Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NS PNP)
  5. New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)
  6. Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)
  7. Newfoundland & Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NL PNP)
  8. Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)
  9. Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP)
  10. Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)
  11. Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)

Ultimately, some Canadian provinces have more than one Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) that can allow you to immigrate and work as a nurse in Canada.

Specific Employment requirements to immigrate to Canada as a Registered nurse/Licensed Practical nurse

  • Completion of a university, college, or other approved registered nursing program is required.
  • Additional academic training or experience is required to specialize in a specific area of nursing.
  • A master’s or doctoral degree in nursing is usually required for clinical nurse specialists, clinical nurses, nursing consultants and nursing researchers.
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required in all provinces and territories.

Registered psychiatric nurses

  • Completion of a university or college-registered psychiatric nursing program is required.
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and the Yukon.

Additional information

  • Nurses trained exclusively as registered psychiatric nurses (RPN) are regulated in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.

Registered nurses (RN) may work as psychiatric nurses in other provinces and territories without separate registration.

  • Registered and psychiatric nurses may progress to supervisory and managerial positions with experience.

Best Canadian province to get a nursing job

Steps to immigrate to Canada as a nurse

You can immigrate to Canada as a nurse if you follow the steps below;

Step 1: Create an express entry account; 

The first step is to create an express entry profile; without this, you cannot immigrate to Canada as a nurse. This is because creating this account is the only medium to receive information from the IRCC.

However, while opening this account, you must be careful of the information you give since it will be used when processing your application.

Step 2: Enter a program;

Once you finish creating your express entry profile, the next step is to select a program. This step is equally important because your selected program will determine your success, and you must consider many things while choosing a program.

For instance, if you do not have enough experience, you cannot use the Canada experience class.

Step 3: Find a job in Canada;

With a valid job offer, you can immigrate to Canada easily. However, before you dream of having a job in Canada, you must meet the basic requirements for the job, and what this means is that you have to check the job requirements.

In addition, your employer must get a clearance from the LMIA stating they can employ foreign workers.

Step 4: Receive an invitation to apply;

Get an invitation to apply; all candidates with the highest CRS scores will receive an invitation to apply. However, only the best candidates will get this invitation, so if you do not get this, your document is incomplete.

Step 5: Submit your application with supporting documents; 

Submit your application with the supporting documents since you have only 60 days to submit your application and other documents. Of course, you must include an application fee of CAD 150.

Step 6: Get your work permit;

Get your work permit; however, you will only get a reply from the IRCC that your permit is ready. Therefore, you can begin to prepare for your flight to Canada. Generally, you will get this reply within 28 days of submitting your application

Step 7: Arrive in Canada;

The final step is to arrive in Canada, and once you arrive in Canada, you must remember to collect your work permit. You cannot work in Canada without it.


Can I immigrate as a nurse to Canada?

Yes, you can immigrate to Canada to work as a nurse.

Are nurses allowed to apply for Canada Express Entry?

Nurses can apply for Canada Express Entry via Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) or the Canadian Experience Class.

Are nurses demanded in Canada?

Yes, nurses have been highly demanded in Canada for many years ago.

How does Express Entry work?

Express Entry is a web-based system for managing permanent residency applications from skilled foreign workers. A Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) evaluates and rates permanent residency applications.

Through three (3) programs (Federal Skilled Workers Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class), Express Entry profiles with the highest scores are ranked accordingly and sent Invitation to Apply.

What is Canada’s most accessible province to immigrate to as a nurse?

It takes the same process to immigrate to any Canadian province. Since you have satisfied Canada’s immigration requirements, the process will automatically become easy. However, some areas in Canada, such as Nova Scotia, Quebec, etc., have made it easier for foreign nationals to immigrate as a nurse to Canada.

Who are economic-class immigrants?

Economic-class immigrants are foreign nationals who want to become Canadian permanent residents due to their acquired skills.

Thus, economic-class immigrants apply to;

  • Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP)
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)
  • Quebec Skilled Workers

Are nurses economic-class immigrants?

Yes, nurses are regarded as economic-class immigrants in Canada; they are classified as such because a nurse is a skilled occupation with few Canadian citizens or permanent residents qualified to work as a nurse.

What is the processing time for a work visa to enter Canada as a nurse?

A Canadian work permit takes about 3 to 6 months to process. However, it can take longer due to certain conditions like false information.


Your role as a nurse must inculcate your genuine interest in caring for people suffering from any illness. In all your pursuits as a nurse, your sole aim must be to comfort your patients, regardless of the unpleasant tasks required.

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