Transferring Nursing License to Another Province

Transferring Nursing License to Another Province – How I Got My LPN License in Quebec

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 (equivalence@oiiaq.org). 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.

Transferring Nursing License to Another Province – Share Your Thoughts or Questions Below!

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22 Comments

  1. Hi dear.

    Thank you so much for your post. I am going through this stage as well and would like to ask you some questions, I hope you could help me!,
    I have RPN license in CNO too, I sent an email to OIIAQ. You said they provided you with a document for CNO to sign. Can I just send CNO the two verification of registration documents (CNO’s and OIIAQ’s) for them to sign and mail to OIIAQ? WIll OIIAQ process my case? My second question is: you said you received the license registration link in you OIIAQ account, at what point did you sign up for that account and how did OIIAQ find out that it was you? My concern is if I create an account on OIIAQ and mail the registration documents to CNO, (even OIIAQ hasn’t told me to do so yet) , after CNO sign for me and mail to OIIAQ, WIll OIIAQ approve and find me in their system and send me the license registration link?

    Thank you very much dear!

    1. 1.) Yes you can just send the CNO Verification of Registration Form together with OIIAQ’s Verification of Registration Form. That’s what I did before. 2.) I already have an applicant account in OIIAQ before I got my CNO RPN license. In all email communications I had with them, I just wrote my full name and they’re able to trace my applicant account with them. When they received the papers from CNO, they just sent me an email saying that I can register for the license through my OIIAQ applicant account as they already activated the register link in my account. I think they are pretty good in tracing applicants in their online system, otherwise if you encounter any problem just call their hotline and they’re easy to talk to. I did that when I had problems in renewing my license online early this year. I hope this helps!

    1. You need to have a file/account with OIIAQ so they can process your transfer of license. You won’t need to complete the portfolio as you already have a license in another province.

  2. Do I have to do all paperworks of oiiaq b4 transferring my rpn license to Quebec or is it ok to pay the fees and get file number

    1. As far as I know, you just have to open a file and have a candidate account with OIIAQ. You won’t need to do all the paper works re: portfolio/credentials since you already have a valid LPN license in another province

  3. I’m a little confused about the “opening up a candidate account“. Do I first open an account with OIIAQ before filling out and sending out both forms from CNO and OIIAQ or do you I wait after sending out the two forms to get confirmation and then set up an account

      1. Hi Jean, does the CNO send this document directly to you or to the OIIAQ, I printed it out, filled it out and sent it to the CNO, then they told me to pay the 16.95$. I paid, but I have not yet opened an online account with OIIAQ because I would have to pay 450$. I don’t mind paying but I just want to be sure of everything before I do so, because it’s a huge amount of money.

  4. Hello! I’m USA nurse currently living in Quebec and working in USA close to the border. I’m applying for RN in Ontario because I felt the system was more fair than Quebec diploma equivalence, so my question is do you think when I finish the Ontario registration process I will get a nurse License in Quebec ? (of course I know about the french test). I’m really worry about it. I got my nnas report comparable, and I really want to work in quebec since my spouse is from here

    1. Hi! I have a friend from Ontario who tried to apply for license reciprocity with OIIQ (Quebec). She was told to provide proof of experience working as an RN in Ontario to proceed with the process. She just got her RN license from CNO at that time, so she didn’t have any RN work experience in Ontario yet.

      But if you will check OIIQ’s guidelines in Obtaining a Permit for Nurses from Another Canadian Province, they stated that “All nurses must prove that they have practiced at least 500 hours over the previous four years” so I think you would qualify since you already worked as an RN in the US and the guideline didn’t specify that the work experience should come from the Canadian province where you got another RN license. Check the guideline here:

      https://www.oiiq.org/sites/default/files/uploads/pdf/admission_a_la_profession/infirmiere_formee_hors_quebec/Permis-autre-prov-can-ang.pdf

    2. Thanks, any institution provide 6 ‘month bridging course for oiiaq .. how to
      Get admission there.. kindly guide me .. TIA

  5. Hi, I have a license for RPN for Ontario but I live here in Montreal. I decided to maybe try for reciprocity since I have already adjusted here in Montreal. I also observed in the clinical setting they speak English so i think its gonna be okay. Also I want to only transfer to Ontario when I’m already an RN. How long is the process for the entire reciprocity starting on the day CNO filled out their form and received the OIIQ forms?
    You mentioned about temporary license. How long is the validity of the temporary license till we really need to take the French exam?
    In my case I did not take the LPN course here in Montreal. I do have nursing experience last 2017/2018. Do you think they will require me do a month of schooling ? I already contacted https://www.oiiaq.org/ at their Reach us icon at the top but I have not heard from them yet.

    1. In my case, it took 3-4 months (November – February) to process the reciprocity between CNO and OIIAQ. The temporary license is valid for a year and it can be renewed annually (limit of 3 years). Upon renewal of a temporary license, you will need to provide proof that you took the OQLF exam (french exam) regardless of the result, whether pass or fail. After the 3rd year of holding a temporary license, you need to successfully pass the OQLF exam or else you will not be allowed to renew your license anymore.

      As long as you have a full LPN license in Ontario, I think you will not be required to do schooling again by OIIAQ to respect the accord between provinces.

  6. Hi, I an RPN for Ontario but I live here in Montreal. I decided to maybe try for reciprocity since I have already adjusted here in Montreal. I also observed in the clinical setting they speak English so i think its gonna be okay. Also I want to only transfer to Ontario when I’m already an RN. How long is the process for the entire reciprocity starting on the day CNO filled out their form and received the OIIQ forms?
    You mentioned about temporary license. How long is the validity of the temporary license till we really need to take the French exam?
    In my case I did not take the LPN course here in Montreal. I do have nursing experience last 2017/2018. Do you think they will require me do a month of schooling ? I already contacted https://www.oiiaq.org/ at their Reach us icon at the top but I have not heard from them yet.

      1. Hi! I find your blog very informative Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

        Do you know what address and email address to place for OIIAQ in the verification of registration form?

  7. Hi!!anyone transferring from Ontario to Saskatchewan? Or anyone know about the process in saskatchewan. Please help if anyone know anything about this.

  8. Hey guys
    Im an Internationally educated nurse currently living in Nova Scotia, i had registered with CNo before i moved to NS. I got my rpn exam eligibity from CNO, I’m planning to write the exam in the coming month. However I heard that now once I get the license in Ontario, I have to work 1000+ hours before I can transfer it to another province. Is this true?
    Kindly respond to my doubt.

    Thanks
    Dileep

    1. Hello Dileep
      some of the people i talk to say we have to work for atleast 1000 hrs in Ontario. I am also looking for the answer of this question

  9. Hi there,
    I’m also an IEN with a RPN licence want to transfer my licence to Halifax NS. Can anybody share the process.
    Thanks
    De. Che

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