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Post Graduate Certificate in Nursing with Practicum

This program provides specific training for internationally educated nurses in how to adapt to Canadian best practices in nursing. This program prepares internationally trained nurses for roles within the Canadian health care system. Students will develop critical thinking skills used in nursing and will develop cultural awareness and administration skills that are an important part of nursing in Canada.

During the program students will work on test taking strategies and nursing topics that are essential in preparation for the Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS), which is a pre-requisite to write the NCLEX RN (Canadian National Nursing Exam).

NCAS provides a three-part competency assessment for internationally-educated health practitioners (IEPs) — including health care aides, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and psychiatric nurses — who hope to practice in British Columbia.

NCAS offers a consistent approach for evaluating the extent to which an IEP’s competencies are substantially equivalent to those of a Canadian health professional entering practice. The NCAS assessment process is a mandatory registration requirement for some regulatory organizations.

NCAS is the only competency assessment service that allows an applicant to have their skills and competencies assessed for two different health care roles at once. Thus, a registered nurse can be assessed for competency as a licensed practical nurse, and a licensed practical nurse can be assessed for competency as a health care aide.

The advantage of this approach is that applicants who may not be able to demonstrate all the requisite competencies to enter the workforce in the role they prefer, might be able to work as a different kind of healthcare worker if they can demonstrate the competencies for that other role. That means that IEPs can enter the workforce faster, and simultaneously pursue the upgrading or education required to gain competencies for their
preferred role.

Success on this exam requires more than just reviewing content tested on the exam. It also entails knowing how to effectively make nursing judgments. Some internationally trained nurses try to write the exam on their own, but many have failed. Even though these nurses are qualified health care professionals in their own country, their struggle is usually due to the language/comprehension barrier, the difference in nursing standards and difficulty in cultural adaptation. Sprott Shaw College’s Post Graduate Certificate Program in Administration & Nursing Practice teaches the specific occupational language and cultural skills necessary to work effectively as a nurse in Canada and to apply this knowledge to the National Council Licensure Exam.

Students should be prepared to attend classes 32 hours per week and then do additional study hours of 20-30 hours per week. Student success on the exam is determined by the amount of time students put into practicing their English, reviewing the Canadian Nursing system and practicing NCLEX sample exam questions.

In order to work as an RN in Canada, Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) must complete a 4 stage application process:

Stage 1: Apply to National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS Website: : This application is required for verification of credentials and initial assessment of qualifications. The outcome of this assessment will determine if further training is required including recommendation to take an English fluency test.

Stage 2: After receiving report from NNAS, may apply to College of Nurses in Canada of their choice such as CRNBC (British Columbia), CARNA (Alberta), SRNA (Saskatchewan), CRNM (Manitoba), CRNO (Ontario) etc. The licensing body will review NNAS report submitted and will confirm eligibility to write exam or if further training is required. English proficiency test is a requirement either IELTS, CELBAN or equivalent.

Stage 3: Complete NCAS (Nursing Community Assessment Service) to determine if IEPs are ready meet entry to practice competencies safely, ethically and competently in Canada. This is made up of 3 assessments: computer–based assessment; simulation lab assessment and oral assessment; these three are necessary in order to complete the assessment process.

Stage 4: Assessed registration requirements (supplementary education and NCLEX-RN): IEN’s will receive an assessment letter outlining registration requirements which will be related to required coursework that must be completed and successful completion of NCLEX. For more information on the registration requirements and application process visit the different Canadian nursing licensing body websites i.e.

For more information on the registration requirements and application process visit CRNBC’s website

Graduates of the Sprott Shaw College Post Graduate Certificate in Nursing Administration & Practice Program are prepared to demonstrate the following entry-level competencies:

– Understands the purpose of the Standards of Nursing Practice in BC, and the CAN Code of Ethics and their application in various nursing roles and practice settings; therefore, maintain competencies of professional practice.

– Demonstrates an understanding of Client-focused Provision of Service to clients across the lifespan. Using the specialized body of knowledge in the following focused areas of nursing care: Physical Examination, Women’s Health & Childbearing, Children’s health Problems to Psychiatric and Mental Health Counselling, General and Perioperative Nursing Care.

– Competent application of nursing knowledge for the purpose of the NCAS, as well as to create and maintain therapeutic, caring and culturally safe relationships with clients and the health care team in the future.