Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Program Overview

This Post-Degree Diploma in Nursing Practice in Canada (PDD NPIC) is a two-year re-entry program recognized by the BC College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM). The program addresses educational gaps or differences in knowledge, skills, and competencies so that an Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN) may seek eligibility through existing regulatory processes to write the national nurse licensure exam (NCLEX), become registered to practice in Canada, and successfully integrate into the Canadian healthcare system. The program is delivered over four consecutive semesters. Students will learn in the classroom, online, in the Nursing Simulation Centre and in clinical practice settings.

Year 1

  • NURS 5110 The Nursing Profession and Health Care I
  • NURS 5115 Clinical Skills Lab I
  • NURS 5120 Culture and Health
  • NURS 5130 Professional Communication I
  • NURS 5135 Critical Thinking and Decision Making I
  • NURS 5100 Professional Communication Il
  • NURS 5125 Clinical Skills Lab II
  • NURS 5145 Critical Thinking and Decision Making II
  • NURS 5150 Applied Nursing Leadership and Management
  • BUSM 1500 Business Presentation Skills

Year 2

  • NURS 5265 Clinical Simulation
  • NURS 5275 Common Health Challenges in Canada
  • NURS 5280 Critical Thinking and Decision Making IIl
  • NURS 5285 Clinical Practice


I have completed my online interview. What happens next?

Your online interview will be reviewed and you will be informed of the admission decision within 3-4 weeks.

I have been sent a refusal letter and my interview score was low. Can I retake my interview?

No. Applicants are not permitted to retake the online interview. We encourage interested applicants to apply for the next intake, and a new interview link will be sent at that time.

I was informed that my interview link was sent but I have not received it. What should I do?

Please check your junk and spam folders as the link may have landed there. If you are still having trouble, please contact the Assistant Chair, International.

If I complete the program, will satisfy the requirements I need to become eligible to be registered as a nurse in British Columbia or elsewhere in Canada?

It is important for prospective students to understand the process and requirements for eligibility for nursing registration. Canada is comprised of ten provinces and three territories; each one has a regulatory body or college to register nurses for that province or territory. Previously, IENs applied directly to the nurse regulatory body for the province or territory in which they were interested in working, but there is now a new application process for IENs.

IENs seeking registration now submit their application directly to the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS).

According to NNAS, “NNAS is an incorporated national body of member nurse regulatory bodies that collectively developed a harmonized approach to the initial assessment of internationally educated nurses (IENs). This provides greater transparency, timeliness and predictability across Canadian jurisdictions, in addition to applying rigorous standards for qualification assessment, in the interest of the public.”

The requirements include submission of several documents and evidence of language fluency. After the nurse’s file is complete with NNAS, it is reviewed and an advisory report is generated and forwarded to the provincial or territorial nurse regulatory body, or bodies, to which the nurse has applied. Next steps usually include a clinical competency assessment, may include further education, and will include passing the national nursing licensure exam.

The majority of IENs require further education, as determined by the regulatory body. Some IENs may be required by the BCCNM to take an RN re-entry program for IENs. Langara's PDD NPIC program is recognized as such. Please see the BCCNM Study to be a nurse page for more information. Information about NNAS can be found on the NNAS website and NNAS Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you are seeking eligibility for registration in the province of British Columbia (BC), BCCNM will advise you, based on your NNAS report and clinical competency (if required) assessment results, if you must upgrade your nursing education or if you need to undertake any specific further education or clinical experiences to become eligible to write the nurse licensure exam (NCLEX-RN).

Each IEN is assessed on an individual basis and BCCNM may require you to gain further clinical hours or additional nursing theory based upon your specific nursing practice background. This process and necessary requirements can be different for each IEN and can take several months to several years to complete. Please see the BCCNM Registered nurse application page for how to begin the application process. Note: Prospective students are advised to familiarize themselves with the registration process and requirements BEFORE leaving the country where they are practising as a nurse.

Can I work as an RN in British Columbia or elsewhere in Canada with my nursing registration from another country?

No. Anyone wanting to practice as an RN in Canada must have current practicing registration from the provincial or territorial nursing regulatory body. Please see the Canadian Nurses Association Regulatory Bodies page for the list of Canadian provincial and territorial nursing regulatory bodies. The BCCNM also has a fact sheet for IENs (on the right-hand side of the page, go to BCCNM Resources > IEN application process fact sheet).

How can an IEN become registered in British Columbia?

Registered nurses currently registered outside of Canada are eligible to apply for registration in British Columbia if they meet the registration requirements. The majority of IENs are required to undergo a clinical competency assessment, most IENs are then required to undertake some form of remediation. This may be a single nursing course, a nursing program, clinical practice hours or self-study, and all IENs will be required to write the NCLEX-RN, unless they have previously done so. Successfully passing the exam is only one part of the registration process; the BCCNM may have additional requirements, such as supervised practice hours.

How can I get more information about becoming an RN in Canada?

You must contact the provincial nursing regulatory body or NNAS directly. Prospective students are encouraged to start this process even before registering for an educational program in Canada to ensure that you are entering a program that best fits your needs. Please see the Canadian Nurses Association Regulatory Bodies page for the list of Canadian provincial and territorial nursing regulatory bodies.There is also detailed step-by-step information available on the BCCNM Registered nurse application page.

What if I want to work as a nurse elsewhere in Canada?

Once you are registered in one province or territory in Canada, you can seek employment as a nurse in another province or territory. You must meet the requirements for nursing registration and apply to transfer your registration to the province or territory in which you wish to work. Please see the Canadian Nurses Association Regulatory Bodies page for the list of Canadian provincial and territorial nursing regulatory bodies.

When should I start my NNAS application?

IENs should start the NNAS application process as soon as possible. Before having a clinical competency assessment and writing the NCLEX, they will need to review their entry level nursing knowledge, and become familiar with the BCCNM principles, roles, and competencies for nursing practice in BC. The PDD NPIC program courses assist the IEN to prepare to meet eligibility requirements for registration. IENs also need to meet the BCCNM's English fluency requirements.

What is a clinical competency assessment (NCAS)?
The majority of IENs are required by BCCNM to complete a clinical competency assessment. Each province has their own model and process. In British Columbia, this process is called the Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS).

Where do I find information about writing the NCLEX-RN exam?

For more information on the NCLEX-RN, please see the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) website.

Can I write the NCLEX–RN outside of Canada ?
For information on writing the NCLEX-RN outside of Canada or the USA, please see the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) website.

I have a General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM) diploma. Can I apply to write the NCLEX-RN?

An Internationally Educated Nurse (BSN and GNM), who has practised as an RN outside of Canada is eligible to apply to NNAS to seek registration/licensure to practise in Canadian jurisdictions. As long as the nurse has held a nursing license and has practiced as an RN, then they are eligible to apply.

How can I prepare to successfully pass the NCLEX-RN?

Historically, IENs have relatively low pass rates on the NCLEX. In 2018 (January to June) the pass rate for IENs was under 44%. For more information on the NCLEX-RN pass rates, please see the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) website.

To assist IENs to prepare to successfully write the NCLEX, Langara’s Post Degree Diploma, Nursing Practice in Canada, has incorporated exam prep into our program. We are utilizing Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) resources which includes practice exams and interactive simulation software designed to simulate the steps in critical thinking and nursing skills required in various typical clinical practice situations.

According to ATI, “ATI Nursing Education is the leading provider of online learning programs that are instrumental in improving faculty effectiveness and student and program outcomes in nursing schools across the country. Currently the company works with more than 20,000 nurse educators, approximately 2,100 colleges and universities…, and over 225,000 students. ATI Nursing Education has played a role in helping more than 1 million students pass the NCLEX, the U.S. nursing licensing exam.”

For more information on the nurse licensing exam, please see the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) website.

Can I work while studying in the PDD program?

Please see the Citizenship & Immigration website for the most current information for working while in Canada on a study permit.

Can I work as a Care Aide while in the PDD NPC program?

Public System

In BC’s public hospitals, regional Health Authorities employ care aides to work in acute, residential and community settings. IENs must be registered with the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry. There is no cost for registration.

We assist IEN in our programs to become eligible to apply to the registry as nursing students rather than as internationally educated health care professionals. At the end of the second term, students may request a credential verification letter from Langara. Once you are registered as a Care Aide, you can apply for work within the public health care system. There may be a nominal fee for care aide competency assessments. Please see the links to Lower Mainland (Vancouver and area) Health Authorities below.

Private System

Without registration, employment as a care aide can also be sought at private agencies (please see contact information at the websites below). Also, employment as a care provider for private individuals, who often advertise in the newspapers or on websites may be available. Students are advised to be familiar with provincial labour laws and health, and safety regulations before seeking any private employment. Note: The hourly pay and working conditions for care aides within the private system may not be equivalent to that in the public system. Please see the Employment Standards Branch, Ministry of Labour, Government of BC, and WorkSafeBC websites for more information. A directory of private nursing homes in vancouver and home health care agencies are provided for your convenience.

Where can I get the latest information on living and working in Canada?

Please see the Welcome BC, Career Paths, and BCCNM webpages for information.

If I have more questions about the PDD NPIC program, who should I ask?

International students (on a study permit) may contact Domestic students (permanent residents and citizens) may contact