Transferring Nursing License to Another Province – From Ontario to Quebec

After I finished my LPN bridging program here in Quebec I researched if transferring nursing license to another province is possible. I have an RPN license from Ontario and I wanted to seek for equivalence or reciprocity so I can bypass the LPN licensure exam in Quebec.

My Dilemma for License Reciprocity

I’m aware that under the Canada Free Trade Agreement, all provinces have to provide equivalence or recognition for professional licenses issued by other Canadian provinces. However, here are my dilemmas:

  • There might be stipulations or conditions for license equivalence among different provinces. I’m particularly worried about work experience. After getting my RPN license, I never worked as an RPN yet. Some provinces require a certain number of hours of work experience before providing license equivalency in their territory.
  • Quebec has their own rules. Although Quebec is covered under the Canada Free Trade Agreement, they usually have their own processing system. For example, for RN registration of IENs all provinces except Quebec use the third-party credential assessment service NNAS. Also, all provinces except Quebec use NCLEX for RN licensure.

How I Applied for LPN License Equivalency

  1. I sent an email to the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers auxiliaires du Québec (OIIAQ). They have a separate department assigned for equivalence of LPN licenses issued by other Canadian provinces ( I explained that I just got my RPN license recently from the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and I also finished a bridging program for nursing assistants in Quebec at Pearson Adult Career Center.
  2. OIIAQ advised me to send my registration certificate from CNO. They also sent me a link to a form that CNO has to fill-up and send directly to OIIAQ. They need these documents to proceed with license verification.
  3. I contacted CNO through the applicant dashboard and asked about the process on how they can fill-up the OIIAQ form to verify my registration. They advised me to complete their own Request for Verification of Registration Form, attach the OIIAQ form and send them altogether via mail. The fee for CNO’s verification of registration costs $16.95 and may take around 6 weeks to process.
  4. After 6 weeks, OIIAQ emailed me with a link to license registration in my OIIAQ account.

Case-to-Case Basis

I got lucky that OIIAQ gave me license equivalence even though I don’t have any RPN-related work experience yet. It must be because of the fact that I just finished a bridging program for LPNs in Quebec. In that program, we had internships in three different Montreal hospitals.

I have a friend who also applied for LPN license reciprocity. She worked as an RPN in a psychiatric institution in Ontario for five years before moving to Quebec. OIIAQ required her to complete at least one month of internship in any psychiatric institution here in Quebec to get her license equivalency.

Proof of French Language Proficiency

Once you have successfully accomplished the application process for license reciprocity, you will be given a “temporary license” to practice. It’s temporary because you need to prove your French language proficiency. There are two ways to do it – by taking the OQLF exam and by getting a Quebec highschool diploma. I did both, but I had quicker success through the highschool diploma. You can read my experience and the process on how I got a Quebec highschool diploma here.

OQLF is like IELTS for French. This is the official French exam recognized by professional orders in Quebec. It’s free to take the exam. Read my experience in taking the OQLF exam here.

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