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In addition to accreditation, upgrading your skills through a bridging program or other courses and workshops is an important part of your journey to become a nurse in Canada.

Skills upgrading

You may have strong nursing skills, but often that is not enough to get a job or maintain it afterwards. You may need more training or skills upgrading, especially in regards to your soft skills.

Having strong skills in one or both of Canada’s official languages – English or French –is extremely important as well for your future in Canada. Whether you choose to focus on learning or improving English or French will depend on which of the two languages most people speak in the area where you live.

You may be eligible for Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program. Otherwise, you can find other free or affordable classes in English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) classes through the school boards or settlement agencies.

There are even language courses to teach you professional terminology, such as job-specific language training and Occupation Specific Language Training (OSLT) in Ontario. And, if you already speak one of Canada’s two official languages at a high level, learning the other one is a good option, as it may offer you better employment opportunities.

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Many immigrants take further education after coming to Canada. Some even want to change careers or enhance their careers with a Ph.D or MBA.

Click here for links to Universities and Colleges across Canada where you can find the courses and subjects that interest you.

Bridging programs

doctor and nurses

Bridging programs are a good way to transition from your international experience and training to the Canadian workplace. Many colleges, universities and immigrant-serving agencies offer nursing related bridging programs.
You may be eligible for one. Do some research to find a program suitable for you.

Bredin Centre for Learning
Health Career Centre
The Centre provides internationally educated health professionals with the necessary tools to become successfully licensed in their Health Care Profession in Alberta/Canada. Participants will be assigned a Career Coach, based on their Profession, that will guide them through the licensure and employment process.

Grant MacEwan University
Nurse Credentialing
The University offers specialty courses that are designed for internationally educated nurses to complete the requirements to become eligible for practice in Canada or for the nurses who wish to upgrade their knowledge and skills.

Mount Royal University
Bridge to Canadian Nursing
This program helps internationally educated nurses who wish to bring their world of knowledge to the Canadian workforce to make the transition smoothly and to “bridge” the differences between their previous nursing experience and Canadian practices.

British Columbia
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Graduate Nurse, Internationally Educated Re-entry: Certificate
This program prepares internationally educated nurses to work as registered nurses in British Columbia. It is designed for nurses who are required by the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (CRNBC) to renew and enhance nursing knowledge and skills, and to write the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE).

Omni College
Canadian Nursing Review Program for IENs
The program provides internationally educated nurses wanting to become a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse in Canada with the skills required to meet Canadian standards and language in preparation of achieving their nursing license.

Red River College
Bridging Program for Internationally Educated Nurses
This program prepares Internationally Educated Nurses to work as Registered Nurses in Manitoba.
Take the first level if you need to upgrade your English Language skills. Take the second level if you are required by the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba to enhance your nursing knowledge and skills to be eligible to write the Canadian Registered Nurses Exam.

Adela Belisario believed Canada would be a perfect place for her to continue her professional development in nursing.Success Story: In Peru, the highest position a nurse can reach is in the operation room, Adela Belisario believed Canada would be a perfect place for her to continue her professional development. Before immigrating, she researched the Canadian healthcare system and concluded there were great opportunities for nurses. Read More.

York University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) for Internationally Educated Nurses
This program helps internationally educated nurses obtain the credentials needed to practice as a registered nurse in Ontario. The program offers participants academic training, skills upgrading, language training and clinical experience.
Program graduates receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and are qualified to write the Canadian Registered Nurses Exam.

Mohawk College
Bridge to Certification for Internationally Educated Nurses
This program helps internationally educated nurses meet the regulatory requirements to become registered nurses and registered practical nurses in the province of Ontario. The program provides participants with academic and occupation-specific language training, registration exam preparation support as well as supervised clinical placements and mentorship opportunities.

Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology
Practical Nursing for Internationally Educated Nurses
This program is designed as an academic pathway to transfer skills and nursing knowledge to a Canadian setting. The curriculum focuses on developing knowledge and critical thinking, communication, teaching and learning, professionalism, advocacy, research and leadership, and applying these skills in health care settings. This diploma program meets the needs of internationally-educated nurses who are interested in working as registered practical nurses (RPNs) in Canada.

CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses
This program provides exam preparation, nursing-specific language training, counselling, financial advice, workshops, job shadowing, networking opportunities and job shadowing through health agencies in Ontario. CARE now has locations in Toronto, Brampton, Hamilton, Kingston and London.

George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology
Enhanced Academic Pathway for Nurses Graduate Certificate
This program helps internationally educated nurses prepare for registration and employment by providing academic coursework, clinical placements, training workshops as well as mentoring and job search support opportunities. On-line courses will be developed and delivered in order to increase the flexibility of the program for participants. Completing the program leads to a nursing graduate certificate.

Hamilton Health Sciences
Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN) & English as a Second Language (ESL) Nursing Project
This program is for internationally trained registered nurses and registered practical nurses working at Hamilton Health Sciences Centre. The program provides services to address training and employment needs from recruitment and orientation to full clinical integration. The program also includes clinical assessment, clinical skills development, problem-solving, communication skills training, team relationships, professionalism and managing conflict in a hospital setting.

Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology
Keeping it Current for Internationally Educated Nurses
This program helps internationally educated nurses meet the requirements necessary to qualify for the registration examination and to practice in Ontario either as registered practical nurses (RPNs) or registered nurses (RNs). The program includes enhanced occupational-specific language training, in-class academic or simulated laboratory training, clinical placements, cultural competency, workplace preparation and registration exam support.

Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology
Outreach Programming for Internationally Educated Nurses
The Bridging for Internationally Educated Nurses (BIEN) program will provide you with the education and clinical experience necessary to meet the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) evidence of practice requirements. Upon completion of the program, a verification of course completion will be forwarded to the College of Nurses as proof of practice and fluency. This program is available on a part-time basis.

Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology
Pathways to Health Care Certification for Internationally Trained Individuals
This program delivers training and supports to internationally educated nurses (IENs) living in Northwestern Ontario. It prepares IENs to write Ontario’s nursing registration exams, and help them integrate effectively into Northwestern Ontario’s health-care workforce.

Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
Pre-Health Bridge to Practical Nursing Diploma
This 15-week program helps internationally educated health professionals obtain licensure and find work as Registered Practical Nurses. The program includes occupation-specific language preparation, pre-health academic course work and a practicum. Program graduates also qualify for accelerated completion of Conestoga College’s Practical Nursing Diploma.