How to Apply 

Step 1. Apply to NNAS

Apply to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS). The NNAS collects and reviews your documents and information to prepare a report. The NNAS is responsible for all communications during this stage of the process. ARNPEI uses your NNAS report and copies of the documents you submitted to NNAS to assess your application. Please read the FAQ section on their website for details, including requirements and timeframes. After your NNAS application is complete, they will send you an email to let you know that you can apply to ARNPEI.

Language Proficiency

ARNPEI will require applicants to be proficent in English. Please note that based on the information provided in the application form, NNAS will determine which applicants will require a language test to demonstrate an acceptable level of proficiency in English. Only the following agencies have been approved by NNAS for testing:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) . Only the IELTS Academic test is accepted.
  • Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN)

Test Component

IELTS Academic




















Combined scores from different tests are not acceptable; scores must be obtained from a test taken at the same sitting. Only language test scores forwarded directly to NNAS from the testing agency will be accepted.  Test results are only valid for 2 years from the time of writing.

Step 2: Apply to ARNPEI

After the NNAS notifies you by email that your application and report are complete, you can now apply to ARNPEI if you meet the hours of practice requirement. ARNPEI requires applicants to have worked 1125 hours as a registered nurse over the last 5 years. Alternatively, if you are a graduate of a baccalaureate nursing education program (or an IEN bridging program) within the last 5 years, you are also eligible to apply. There is an application fee of $500 that must be paid with your initial applciation. We will then begin to review your application and your NNAS report. If you identified ARNPEI as the jurisdiction of choice when you submitted your documents to NNAS, we will have access to your NNAS report and the documents you submitted to them; so there is no need for you to re-submit them to us. We will let you know by email if we need more information or documents after we have reviewed your ARNPEI application and NNAS file.

2a. Competency Assessment - As part of the application process, most internationally-educated applicants are required to complete a competency assessment to evaluate your skills against competencies required for entry-level practice in PEI.  If gaps are identified, it will assist in determining what additional education may be required. Entry level competencies are the competencies that new graduates from a PEI nursing program are required to have. You may need to familiarize yourself with PEI graduates entry level knowledge before you complete the competency assessment. Competency assessments for ARNPEI are completed through either the Registered Nurses Professional Development Centre (RNPDC) in Nova Scotia or the Centre for Nursing Studies in Newfoundland. You may be given the option to go to either of these two sites. The competency assessment can take 2-5 full days and includes written, verbal, and practical tests. You can expect to receive a report of your competency assessment by email within three months after completing the competency assessment. ARNPEI will receive and review this same report. Based on the report, ARNPEI will determine whether you will be required to do some additional coursework. 

2b. Required Additional Courses - The report of the competency assessment will identify any gaps in your knowledge in comparison to a PEI nursing graduate. Some additional coursework will normally be recommended. You will then be emailed an assessment letter outlining the specific recommendatons. 

Step 3. National Nursing Exam (NCLEX-RN)

Once the required coursework has been successfully completed, and all other required documents have been received by ARNPEI, you can then proceed to register for the national nursing exam (NCLEX-RN) through Pearson Vue. You can register and pay for the NCLEX-RN at ARNPEI will make you ‘eligible’ for the exam with Pearson Vue. We do this electronically, and following this step, you will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) email, which allows you to schedule an appointment to take the exam. You may need to travel to a permanent test center in another Canadian province or in the United States to take the exam, as PEI only has a temporary test center which operates in February and June each year.

Please note, all applicants for registration as a registered nurse (RN) in 10 of the country's jurisdictions (not including Quebec or Yukon) are required to successfully complete the computer-adaptive NCLEX-RN exam, administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). Please note there is a fee of $360 to write the exam. Exam writers are encouraged to visit the NCSBN website for more information about NCLEX-RN. 

Step 4. Registration/Licensure with ARNPEI

Congratulations, you are almost done! Once you have passed the national nursing exam, and met all the other requirements, you can become registered and licensed as a nurse with ARNPEI. The license fee is currently $450 per year.