Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where can I find a list with all the required forms?

Our application form identifies the documents that we require. These include:

  • copy of birth certificate
  • copy of change of name certificates e.g. marriage/divorce certificates
  • copy of government-issued identification with your photo on it (such as a photocopy of your passport photo page).
  • Advisory report from the National Nursing Assessment Service - NNAS will send a report to the Association on your behalf.
  • A criminal record check must be obtained from the police agency in each jurisdiction in which you have resided in the previous two years and from your country of origin.  Criminal record checks must have been issued within the previous month.  You must send the original copy of the criminal record check(s) to ARNPEI.

2. When does my ARNPEI application expire?

Two years from of the date that you submitted your application to ARNPEI. Extensions may be granted by the Registrar in exceptional circumstances.

3. What if my application documents are not in English?

All application documents must be provided in English. Translations from a certified translator are also accepted. You are responsible for the cost of all translations.

4. Where can I find more information about registration and licensure requirements?

Our requirements for registration and licensure are stated directly in our provincial law. Please review the following links: The Registered Nurses Act of Prince Edward Island and the associated Registration and Licensing of Nurses Regulations.

5. What can I already prepare and do at home before moving to Canada?

There are a number of things you can do to prepare for registration with ARNPEI prior to moving to Canada.

  1. Visit the Government of Prince Edward Island’s website for more information about immigration.
  2. Visit the PEI Association of Newcomers website for more information about settling in Prince Edward Island and services they offer to assist you.  
  3. Begin the application to the National Nursing Assessment Service as soon as you start to consider living and working in Prince Edward Island. This process can take many months, so the faster you submit the required documents to the NNAS, the better.
  4. Get a criminal record check completed in your home country just prior to leaving. 
  5. Review the entry level competencies and standards of RN practice for Prince Edward Island to prepare for a possible competence assessment following the NNAS assessment.

6. How do I start my application?

The first step is to apply to the NNAS. Once you have received an advisory report from them, you may begin your application for registration with ARNPEI and pay the $500 application fee. 

7. What’s included in the advisory report of NNAS?

The NNAS report contains the following:

  • an evaluation of your education, according to Canadian nursing entrance to practise requirements and standards;
  • background information about your schools, and dates you attended;
  • verifications of your license/registration and credential sources;
  • your employment history. (pages 5-7 in the IEN Applicant Handbook)

8. How long does it take to get an advisory report?

It could take up to 12 months to complete the process with NNAS. This depends on several factors:

  • When NNAS receives all your required information and acceptable documents.
  • When you successfully complete a language proficiency test, if required.
  • When your documents are translated, if required.

Please note that your application with NNAS is active for up to 12 months.  Once you receive your Advisory Report, you can apply directly to ARNPEI.

9. Why do I need a criminal record check and where can I get one?

A criminal record check is a legal requirement for nursing registration/licensure in PEI. We require that you to obtain a criminal record check from the police agency in each place you have lived in the previous two years and from your country of origin. Criminal record checks must have been issued within the previous month. You must send the original copy of the criminal record check(s) to ARNPEI and then we can photocopy it and return the original to you.

10. What areas of knowledge are tested on the national nursing exam (NCLEX-RN)? Is it an online exam or do I need to write it in person? 

Please review the NCSBN website for information about the NCLEX-RN exam test plan. There you will find detailed information about exam content areas. NCSBN also offers an online course (optional) to help you prepare for the exam. This is only one example of the many resources available to help you prepare to take the exam.  The Canadian Nurses Association website provides a detailed list of many other resources which you may find helpful. The Canadian Council of Registered Nurse Regulators (CCRNR) website also has information about the exam and resources to help students prepare to take the NCLEX-RN exam.

The NCLEX-RN exam is an online, computer adaptive 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. As of December 2016, candidates can take the NCLEX-RN exam every 45 days within 3 years from the date that the educational requirements have been met.  There is no specific limit on the number of attempts. 

11. Can I work before I write the exam?

You are not permitted to work as a Registered Nurse in PEI until you have passed the NCLEX-RN exam and become registered with ARNPEI.  You may however be able to find work as a Resident Care Worker (RCW) or Patient Care Worker (PCW) or there may be other employment opportunities available to you. The following is a list of contact numbers and links that may be helpful to you if you are seeking employment prior to becoming registered as a nurse in PEI:

  1. The PEI Newcomers Association  (902) 628-6009 may be able to offer assistance with employment.
  2. Health PEI, call Sheila Kerry, Health Recruiter, Department of Health and Wellness, Government of Prince Edward Island, 902-620-3872;
  3. There are a number of private long-term care agencies across the province who may be looking to hire care workers.  Here is a list of locations, agencies and a phone number for each:
    *Belfast: Dr. John Gillis Memorial Lodge: (902) 659-2337
    *Summerside: Andrews of Summerside (902) 436-0859
    *Crapaud: South Shore Villa: (902) 658-2228
    *Clinton: Clintonview Lodge: (902) 886-2276
    *Charlottetown: Whisperwood Villa: (902) 566-5556, Park West Lodge: (902) 566-2260, Atlantic Baptist Nursing Home: (902) 566-5975, The Mount Continuing Care  Community (902) 370-8888, & Garden Home: (902) 892-4131
  4. The Licensed Practical Nurses Registration Board  155 Belvedere Avenue, Suite 204, Charlottetown, PEC1A 2Y9, Phone: 902-566-1512, Email:; Hours: Monday-Thursday 9:00am to 4:00pm (Friday by appointment only), Staff: Kimberley Jay – Registrar 902-566-1512 ( Ext 3) or email & Dawn Rix-Moore – Executive Director 902-566-1512 (Ext 2) Either Dawn or Kim could provide you with information about becoming licensed as an LPN while waiting for your NNAS process. You may be able to challenge the LPN exam and if successful, become licensed as an LPN.

12. Is there any financial assistance available for IENs?

Foreign Credential Recognition Loan Programs are currently operating across Canada as part of a national pilot funded by the Government of Canada. Each program has unique eligibility criteria and loan terms. A list can be found here: