Sunday, August 01, 2010

Assessment report from CRNBC

Received CRNBC's reply. I am required to undergo an Internationally Educated Nurses' Substantially Equivalent Competency (SEC) assessment in General Medical-Surgical Nursing (a 2-day assessment). On the bright side, only 1 of 4 possible areas* are required of me and the SEC assessment is at no cost to me. The CRNBC even provides a letter to non-Canadians/PRs to visit Canada for the purpose of SEC, although I won't need it.

Will go ahead with the migration plan. In the meantime, I may apply for other jobs, just in case. Keeping my fingers crossed.

[Addendum 20-Feb-2011]
*FYI, the 4 possible areas are Medical/Surgical, Maternal Child Health, Pediatric Child Health, and Mental Health/Psychiatric Nursing. It would take 5 days for assessment in all 4 areas.

[Addendum 03-Aug-2011] Click here to see my "CRNBC IEN SEC assessment result".


  1. Hi there! I was just doing some research on the SEC assessment, which I am scheduled to take in March of this year, and I found your blog to be quite helpful and informative. Like you, I am required to undergo assessment in the General Nursing area only. I just wanted to ask how you prepared for this exam and if there are any tips or resources you would be willing to share to help a fellow aspiring nurse in Canada. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Charlene,

      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. I am glad that you find my blog helpful and informative. Since you did not mention which province you're doing the SEC at, I will assume that you're here in B.C.

      For the SEC, I just went through the CNA CRNE Prep Guide (in particular CRNE Competencies section), read a bit about the CRNBC Professional Standards (if you're not in B.C., you've have to check the equivalent from your province's nursing board), and reviewed my Pharmacology notes.

      Since the SEC is confidential, I will not reveal the actual contents. I suggest looking through some of my blog posts on Nursing in Canada. In particular, you may find the following helpful.

      Hope the above helps. Good luck to your nursing journey in Canada!

      Cheers, WD.

  2. Hi WD,

    I happen to come across this post of yours and I recently got my assesment letter from my province which I applied too. Would like to ask if different province have different assesment because the assesment which I have to take is for Nursing Education Evaluation -CEHPEA. is this similar to SEC?

    I cannot recall which post of yours that I saw regarding the nursing qualifications that are recognised in Canada. I am wondering which local nursing schools in sg is recognised in Canada. I am quite surprised that the local school (apologies for not revealing which school) which I grad from, the nursing education isn't recognized. Is it common for international nurses to undergo such assessment?


  3. Also, I think I read from your previous entry that you did a conversion RN program with WDA in Singapore? Was the program recognized in Canada and did you have to go through an educational assesment? The SEC is not an educational assesment is it?

    sorry for another post XD

    1. Hi Anonymous at Saturday, July 26, 2014 6:14:00 AM,

      > I have to take is for Nursing Education Evaluation -CEHPEA. is this similar to SEC?

      I do not know anything about the CEHPEA. It may be the new regulations effective from 12-Aug-2014. See the links in the comments on my other blog post.

      > Is it common for international nurses to undergo such assessment?

      The education assessment is done based on the detailed education curriculum that you submit (i.e. step 1 of the application process). All foreign nurses, who are not already registered with another Canadian province and wish to register in provinces such as B.C. and Alberta, have to go through this step. This applies even to those from UK, USA, Australia, ... (you get the idea?) There are many Singapore-educated/trained nurses who have since headed overseas to continue their nursing career. Thus, chances are Nanyang Polytechnic and Ngee Ann Polytechnic (the 2 older nursing schools in Singapore) are both familiar with preparing such documents for their alumni. Just show the Admin Office of the School of Nursing the requirements from the overseas nursing board and they will charge you a reasonable fee to prepare the documents for you.

      Yes, I did the WDA 2-year RN conversion program taught at Nanyang Polytechnic. Based on my experience, CRNBC (i.e. BC nursing board) recognized my NYP diploma as the equivalent of a Canadian graduate nursing training for RNs -- that is why I was allowed to proceed to the next step which was the SEC. That said, I have heard of CRNBC recognizing the nursing degree of specific Philippines schools for selected batches (graduation year) only. So no guarantees there.

      The SEC is not an educational assessment. IMHO, it is more an assessment of your knowledge (e.g. common drugs, medical conditions), skills (e.g. your competency and if you're using out-dated or up-to-date approachs) and critical thinking (e.g. analysis of possible diagnosis, cultural sensitivity). Under the CRNBC process, it is only after they did an educational and other assessments (e.g. proof of language competency) and deemed your education equivalent of a Canadian graduate nurse (Bachelor of Science in Nursing here) that you will proceed to the next step -- the SEC.

      Yes, different province have different assessments. If you're heading to Canada, you may be happy to know that most provinces designed their assessment based on Alberta's, simply because Alberta was the first province to get their act together to put up such an assessment.

      > I am quite surprised that the local school (apologies for not revealing which school) which I grad from, the nursing education isn't recognized.

      I don't know which Singapore nursing school you graduated from. IMHO, no harm applying because if you don't try, you wouldn't know.

      Hope the above helps.

      Cheers, WD.