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NOC: 3152


Registered Nurses [RN]

Registered Nurses [RN]

Introduction What are the Occupational Guides for Immigrants to B.C.?

British Columbia welcomes you! Like you, over 35,000

immigrants from around the world settle in B.C. each year and find
work in a variety of professions. The process of finding work can take
time, so it is important to understand each of the steps needed to
gain employment.
If you are preparing to come to B.C., or have just arrived, this guide
provides the following information:

Section 1 - how this occupation is practiced in B.C.

Section 2 - steps to help prepare you before you arrive
Section 3 - qualifications needed in B.C.
Section 4 - tips to help you find employment

Section 1

Occupational Overview

What is an RN?
An RN provides direct nursing care to patients, delivers health education
programs, works with and consults with other healthcare professionals.

What qualifications are required to be an RN in B.C.?

Registration with College of Registered Nurses of B.C. (CRNBC)
is required.

Learn More

Some excellent sources of

occupational information include:
National Occupational Classification (NOC)
is Canadas reference on occupations. The
NOC provides job descriptions, occupational
statistics and labour market information.

New applicants for CRNBC registration must write the Canadian

Registered Nurse Examination (CRNE).
Applicants may also be required to undergo a
Substantially Equivalent Competency (SEC) assessment.

What skills, abilities and attributes do employers

expect from RNs?
A strong knowledge base in the biological psycho-social
and nursing sciences
Good problem-solving, good judgement, and patience

Workforce Highlights


Hourly Wage

$22.00 - $42.00 Range

For more information on wages and workforce see Section 2

This Occupational Guide for Immigrants to BC is a resource to help immigrants build a career plan. Occupational qualifications and requirements
sometimes change. Planning your career in BC will require additional research and direct contact with the appropriate regulatory bodies,
professional associations and training institutions. This Occupational Guide is for general information only and is not legal or professional advice.

Registered Nurses in B.C.


NOC: 3152


Registered Nurses [RN]

Advanced English language skills and the ability to
communicate effectively with staff and patients
Strong interpersonal skills
Ability to work cooperatively with other members of the
health care team
Compassion, dependability, maturity and self-discipline
Ability to multi-task in a complex and fast-paced environment
Ability to handle high levels of stress associated with
emergencies and medical conditions
Workplace computer skills

Learn more about employment options for

registered nurses in B.C.
The five regional health authorities and one provincial health
authority in B.C. are responsible for both hospital and community
health services. They are the major employers of nurses. There are
also job opportunities in residential care facilities, such as nursing
homes and assisted living facilities. Approximately 15 per cent of
registered nurses in B.C. are internationally educated.

Doctors offices

Nursing homes


Extended care facilities

Community agencies

Rehabilitation centres

Companies and private homes

Section 2

Learn More
The College of Registered Nurses of B.C. (CRNBC)
The College of Registered Nurses of B.C. protects
the public by regulating the registration of nurses,
nurse practitioners, and licensed graduate nurses.
Telephone: 604.736.7331 or 1.800.565.6505
The Canadian Nursing Association (CNA)
The CNA is the national professional voice of
registered nurses and it acts in the public interest
for Canadian nursing and nurses, promotes
uniform and high quality regulatory practices and
promotes high standards of nursing practice.
Telephone: 613.237.2133 or 1.800.361.8404

Prepare Before You Come to B.C.

Explore Regions in B.C. to Live and Work

The demand for each occupation varies throughout the regions of the province. B.C. is a big province, about the same size
as Tanzania or Venezuela, and bigger than Pakistan or Turkey. Each region has different employment needs and industries.
Use the labour market information and resources in this guide to explore regional employment options.

B.C. Labour Market Information


To learn more about your chosen profession visit the following

websites where you will find information including salaries, regional
employment opportunities, job descriptions, and more.


B.C. Job Trend Tracker


North Coast

Education Planner

Vancouver Island/Coast

Working in Canada Tool
BC Wage and Salary Survey 2009




NOC: 3152


Registered Nurses [RN]

Prepare Yourself
Plan and prepare for your career as much as possible before
arriving in B.C. Be sure you understand the provincial job
market and professional requirements of your occupation. You
may be able to start or complete many of these tasks before you
arrive in Canada.

Get Started!
1. Learn about the occupation. Know the name of the job in Canada, and make lists of potential employers.
2. Collect documents. Collect copies of relevant documents, and if necessary, have them translated into English.
Degrees, diplomas or certificates from universities, colleges or schools
Program descriptions related to your studies, and transcripts of grades
Reference letters and performance reviews from employers
Work descriptions and letters from professional agencies
3. Improve your workplace skills. You may need to improve your skills or knowledge before you start working in B.C.
Explore all of the resources provided in this guide.

Section 3

Becoming Qualified to work in B.C.

The following information will help you understand how to become

certified to work as a registered nurse in B.C. This is only a guide; you
will have to do more research to make a career plan that will work for
you. It is important to complete all of the activities listed below. It is
not necessary to complete the activities in the order they are listed.
To save time, it is advisable towork on many of these activities at the
same time.

Go to the CRNBC website for detailed information on

becoming qualified as an RN in B.C.
An RN in B.C. must become certified by the College of Registered
Nurses of B.C. The steps required to become qualified are listed and
fully explained on the CRNBC website.

Begin the qualification and career

planning process and obtain all
required documents before leaving
your country. If you have already
arrived in B.C., develop a career plan
immediately to avoid creating a gap
in your professional experience.

Learn More

Learn more about being a

registered nurse in B.C. and Canada
Potential to Prosperity What it takes to work as
Registered Nurse in B.C. and Canada:

Review and download the application package

This application package contains all the information that the CRNBC
needs from you to process your application. This process can take
many months. Begin as soon as you can.

Learn More

Download the Occupational fact sheet

for internationally educated nurses
Occupational Fact Sheet


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Registered Nurses [RN]

Collect documents and professional evidence
registration with CRNBC requires many documents

Currently, CRNBC requires the following documents from

International Nurse Applicants. You will have to get documents
from your nursing school, your regulatory authority, the English
language assessment centre and from past employers. The forms
listed below are included in the application package.

Regularly check the CRNBC website

and its document requirements and
qualification processes. These can

Current List of Required Documents:

A completed Application to be Assessed
for Nurse Registration in B.C. [Form 16]
Proof of identity (including your current name,
and all former names)
International Nurse Applicants [Form 49]
The application fee and payment form

A copy of your passing English test scores

Verification of Nurse Registration [Form 25]
Basic Nursing Education and Request
for Transcript [Form 30]
Employment Reference for
Nurse Registration [Form 37]

Study for and successfully complete the required

language assessments

If English is not your first language, you must submit a

copy of passing scores on an English fluency test accepted
by the CRNBC. You must submit the test results with your
application for registration. If possible, complete English
language assessments before you leave your country.

Excellent communication skills are

required to get a job as a Registered
Nurse. Continue to practice your
English and to improve your
communication skills even after you
complete the language tests.

English Language and Communication Services




English Language Services for Adults


Welcome BC

Planning to Work in British Columbia,

Canada Workbook

IELTS International English

Language Testing System

Immigrant Services
Society of BC

The language assessments and scores currently accepted by CRNBC

English Language

International English
Language Testing System (IELTS)

Canadian English Language Benchmark

Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN)

Language Skill










Overall Band Score


Overall Band Score

(All components)

(All components)


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Registered Nurses [RN]

Schedule your RN certification exams
Certification exams are offered three times a year. You must
apply to write the exam two months before the exam. You must
have met the English language requirements before taking the
exam. To check the exam schedule and exam costs go to:

Section 4

Tips to Finding Employment in B.C.

Learn More

Skills upgrading programs for

internationally educated nurses
Graduate Nurse, Internationally Educated Re-entry
Transition Courses for Nursing and Health

Get Help with Your Job Search

Finding a job in B.C. may be very different than in your home
country. You may need help finding job vacancies, updating
your resume, writing cover letters, preparing for interviews, and
understanding what B.C. employers are looking for.
Skills Connect for Immigrants program provide
employment-related support services that move
internationally educated professionals into the B.C. labour

The Canadian government provides employment

and settlement services in China, India, the
Philippines and the United Kingdom. The program
is called the Canadian Immigrant Integration
Program (CIIP). To get more information about
these pre-arrival services, go to:

B.C. Employment and Labour Market Services

employment programs:
Health Match B.C. offers free health professional recruitment

Search for job vacancies and build a list of

companies and positions you are interested in
Most jobs for RNs are in government funded healthcare
facilities such as hospitals. Recruitment and hiring is managed
by six health authorities in different regions in B.C. Visit
these websites to get an understanding of how healthcare is
managed in B.C. and to see and apply to job postings.


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Registered Nurses [RN]

Regional Health Authorities

Provincial Health Services Authority manages
recruitment and hiring for all of B.C.

Fraser Health manages recruitment and hiring for

communities from Burnaby to White Rock to Hope.

Vancouver Coastal Health Authority - manages

recruitment and hiring for Vancouver, Vancouvers
North Shore, Richmond, the Sea-to-Sky Highway,
Sunshine Coast, Bella Bella, Bella Coola the
Central Coast and the surrounding areas.

Interior Health manages recruitment and hiring

for the interior of the province includes larger cities
such as Kelowna, Kamloops, Cranbrook, Penticton
and Vernon, and a multitude of rural and remote

Vancouver Island Health Authority manages

recruitment and hiring for Vancouver Island, the
islands of the Georgia Strait, and in the mainland
communities north of Powell River and south of
Rivers Inlet.

Northern Health manages recruitment and hiring

for the northern part of B.C. including larger cities
such as Prince George, Prince Rupert, Terrace, Fort
St. John, and Quesnel, as well as many smaller and
more remote communities.

Other jobs for RNs are in private nursing homes, extended

care facilities, rehabilitation centres, doctors offices, clinics,
companies, private homes and community health centres. It
is important to research and make connections to healthcare
professionals to learn more about all employment possibilities
in B.C.

Learn More

Registered nurses may have various

job titles or do different jobs such as:

Build connections to the nursing profession

begin networking

Clinical nurse
Community health nurse
Critical care nurse

Many job vacancies are not advertised. To find out about

jobs that are not advertised, you must make connections
with working RNs and others in the healthcare field. Taking
another job in the healthcare field or working as a volunteer
is a good way to meet people, understand Canadian
workplace culture and to improve your English language and
communication skills.

Graduate nurse

One place to look for networking opportunities is the

Association of Registered Nurses of B.C. (ARNBC). The ARNBC
provides a place for RNs to share knowledge and expertise
with other nurses and look at existing and new healthcare
and professional issues. Visit:

Occupational health nurse

This project is made possible through funding from

the Government of Canada with support from the Province of British Columbia.

Intensive care nurse

Nurse researcher
Nursing consultant
Nursing researcher

Private duty nurse

Updated November 2012