Sunday, January 08, 2012

IEN preparing to apply to CRNBC

The following post is a response to a comment/question from Raine, an internationally educated nurse who relocated from the Philippines to BC, Canada. Raine asked about applying to CRNBC.
Hi there,

Would you mind sharing your experience with me as I am about to submit my application to CRNBC. I am 100% sure that I'll undergo SEC assessment too. My concern is that I have no hospital or clinical experience at all. I graduated last 2007, unfortunately I was not able to practice my profession while I was still in the Philippines. We just got here in Surrey BC and I am very desperate to become an RN here. I'm planning to study hard as I can, and even take a refresher course for a couple of months in preparation to SEC, or do you know someone who offers to help people like me in reviewing for SEC? thank you so much for your help

[Note: My response exceeded the 4,096 characters limit for Blogger comment, so I am posting it below instead.]


DECLARATION and DISCLAIMER: The following is my personal opinion. I am not from CRNBC nor in any way qualified to give advice to Internationally Educated Nurses, and thus any content from me shall be construed as a sharing of personal opinion, not advice. I do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information provided by me. Under no circumstances will I or anyone related to this content be responsible for any loss or damage resulting from any reliance on the information or other content posted or linked by me.

[Note added on 25-Mar-2013: For more information about obtaining registration with CRNBC, please attend their free "General Information Sessions" (every 3rd Friday of the month) held at CRNBC office.]

Hi Raine,

Thanks for dropping by and your comment.


Firstly a time-critical piece of information. You mentioned that you did not practise nursing in Philippines. There is a "Nursing Competence" requirement in CRNBC's Eligibility that says that you have to complete at least one of the following within the last 5 years:
a. worked as an RN for 1,125hrs
b. completed a nursing re-entry program
c. graduated from a basic nursing education program.

I take it that you're taking option c above. If I understand correctly, I think it means that if you graduated in May-2007, that you have until Apr-2012 to submit your application to CRNBC. It will take the CRNBC some time (read, months) to process your application, so do not let your current state of preparedness (or unpreparedness) delay your application.

[Addendum on 09-Jan-2012] In addition, after CRNBC informs you that you need to do the SEC assessment, you have 1 year from the date of the CRNBC letter to complete your SEC assessment requirement. So you would have time to get yourself ready for the required next step.


I recommend reading "What Is A Substantially Equivalent Competency (SEC) Assessment?" from the Nursing In BC website. If you have to attempt all 4 areas of SEC assessments, the SEC would take 5 working days.

You asked if I know of anyone offering "a refresher course for a couple of months in preparation to SEC". I'm afraid I do not. Personally, I would not recommend paying someone to assist in one's SEC prep, but then that's my humble opinion. FYI, every SEC applicant is obliged to keep the actual test content of the CRNBC SEC assessment confidential. IMHO, it would be more effective to review through the CRNE prep. Appendix A in the CRNE prep lists the CRNE competencies which offers a good guide on what is expected of a Canadian RN. In addition, when you sign up for the SEC, you will be given a guide to the SEC and a sample of what the test questions would be like, with suggested answers included. I find the sample questions/answers very enlightening on what to expect and prepare for. [Click here for an example from the GNIE program.]

IMPORTANT note extracted from the CRNBC website: CRNBC does not approve any schools or programs that state they help prepare applicants for SEC assessments. If you take preparation courses or other courses before completing the SEC assessment and competency gaps are identified through the SEC assessment process, you may need to do additional coursework as directed by CRNBC.

As you know, the major difference between an RN and an LPN is the responsibility for drug administration. So logically it follows that one would need to know one's pharmacology well. That is, for the commonly-used or important medications, one will need to know the indications, pre-med checks, contra-indications, side effects, and have the ability to calculate the titration required. [Note: Fortunately, from my experience, one does not need to memorize the recommended dosages.] Based on some responses from the cohort who attended the SEC together with me, it seems that not all expected to be assessed to that level of detail in pharmacology. Be prepared.

With respect to the Canadian clinical context, RNs have a lot more* autonomy and responsibility in the areas of patient assessment, possible provisional diagnosis (based on symptoms detected), and initiating treatment. [*Note: I am comparing based on my understanding of the typical Asian* clinical context.] Fortunately for me, my nursing school and lecturers trained us based on the UK clinical scope of RN autonomy and responsibility, which is similar to Canada's. My understanding is that this may not be so in other countries (especially in Asia where doctors generally "run the show"). E.g. Someone I know had to attend a short course on patient assessment as a result of the SEC assessment because it was identified as a gap in her training/skills. In addition, in multicultural Canada, providing care based on the Canadian standards of ethics and cultural sensitivity is important. You will be assessed on that. However, the questions may be indirect, and thus you will need some awareness to detect that you're being assessed on such issues.

Assuming that your basic nursing education is from a recognized course (which it would be or CRNBC would have rejected the application outright), it may be useful to remember that the main objective of the SEC is not to fail one, but to identify gaps in one's knowledge and skills, and the required steps to remedy those gaps.


Otherwise, here are my 2 cents on the CRNBC eligibility requirements based on my understanding [*Disclaimer: No guarantee! Please check the facts for yourself to be sure.*]

In end-2009 when I submitted my CRNBC assessment, the pre-requisites were:

1. English Fluency. I took the Academic IELTS for the dual purposes of getting points for my Canadian PR application and meeting the CRNBC requirements. If you don't have a recent IELTS report, I would recommend attempting the CELBAN instead (Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses). Based on my observations, a Canadian certification is "more recognized" than an equivalent international certification when applying for jobs in Canada.

2. Registration where you studied nursing. You have to be registered in Philippines where you did your RN training. You mentioned that you did not practice nursing in the Philippines. That is not the crux of this criterion. In this criterion, what matters is whether you were registered as an RN with the nursing board in the Philippines after completing your nursing studies.

3. Registered in every location that you have worked as a nurse. You mentioned that, "My concern is that I have no hospital or clinical experience at all." Actually, for this requirement, it works to your benefit. Since you do not have any hospital or clinical experience, you do not need to submit Form 37 "Employment Reference for Nurse Registration". The following is for other readers of this blog: Have you worked as a nurse in any country before? Note: You need to consider not just your work experience as an RN, but also as a Licensed Practical Nurse (a.k.a. Assistant Nurse, a.k.a. Enrolled Nurse). It is best if you have not worked at levels below RN. Nevertheless, even if you did (e.g. during a transitional phase into nursing in a new country), it is not an elimination factor as long as you prove that you eventually became an RN in the country that you have worked as an LPN. This is based on my observation of a friend's case.

4. Registration in good standing. Make sure all your RN registrations are in good standing. Or if you are no longer registered (on the nursing board where you had been previously registered), make sure that the registration(s) ended in good standing. If there is any issue (e.g. complaints under investigation, warning given), you must declare it outright.

5. Nursing Education for RN. For LPN, midwives and psychiatric nurses, CRNBC is not the right nursing board to apply to.

6. Nursing Education - post secondary nursing degree program. This is where SEC comes in to evaluate the not just the standard of your nursing education but down to the level of your individual knowledge and skill. Thus, it is possible for 2 nurses graduating from the same school, with the same years and type(s) of experience, to receive different SEC assessment results. It all boils down to the individual's knowledge and skills.

7. Nursing Education - generalist training. Basically you need to show that you have theoretical and clinical experience in
(i) medical/surgical,
(ii) mental health,
(iii) maternal, and
(iv) paediatric nursing.
This is where your detailed official transcript of your nursing education matters. Your detailed official transcript will need to breakdown your nursing education into the number of hours of theoretical education and the number of hours of clinical training in each of the 4 areas. This is also where the SEC comes in, if there are any gaps in education identified. So far, from the feedback that I've gathered regarding SEC results, those who had gaps identified have to take short courses for them.

8. Nursing Competence, as mentioned above.

9. Criminal Record. You'll need to get that done for the Philippines and also Canada, and any other country that you've resided in. For Canada, you have to download the form from CRNBC. Fill out the form. Bring $20, your passport, your BC driver-license/ID card, a government issued letter to prove your residency in BC (e.g. MSP bill), and your PR card to an RCMP office and ask for a Criminal Record Check. Check url below for details.

That's all for the CRNBC Eligibility criteria.


You wrote, "We just got here in Surrey BC and I am very desperate to become an RN here."

Just to share with you, when I first landed in Canada, I had expected to get through the CRNBC assessments, additional training, and registration completed rather quickly. It took me a while to adjust to the Canadian pace of life, especially given the Singapore rat race that I came from. Generally, life moves at a faster pace in Asia than in Canada. You may have to be prepared for a long journey. That said, each immigrant forges his/her own journey in integrating into the Canadian society, so my experience may or may not be indicative of yours.

What I have found useful is to tap onto the resources available to immigrants and/or to network with other immigrants on a similar path. E.g. MOSAIC, an immigrant settlement services agency, runs the "Skills Connect for Immigrants" programme on behalf of the BC government. From my experience of the Skills Connect programme under the MOSAIC Vancouver branch, I not only benefited from the partial funding of related training in support of resuming my nursing career and the free career counselling offered, but also the encouraging words from my career counsellor.

I hope the above helps.

Best regards, Winking Doll
p.s. In another few hours, I will get up and prepare to attend my 1st day of nursing school in Canada.


[Addendum on 09-Jan-2012]

Raine wrote, "My concern is that I have no hospital or clinical experience at all."

Hi Raine,

Good news. I just returned from my 1st day in school. A couple of my classmates also have no hospital or clinical experience at all. Coincidentally, they were both from the Philippines and they did NOT work as an RN (or any nursing job) after graduation. I hope it answers your concern.

FYI, a Canadian classmate of Filipino descent did his basic RN education in the Philippines and returned to Canada thereafter. Since it would take some time (years) to be an RN in BC, he applied to be registered as an LPN. He is now working casually as an LPN while attending the Graduate Nurse Internationally Educated course for RN.

Also note (as added above) that after CRNBC informs you that you need to do the SEC assessment, you have 1 year from the date of the CRNBC letter to complete your SEC assessment requirement. Good luck with your CRNBC application.

Cheers, WD.


  1. Hi Raine,

    If you've read this earlier, please see my addendum above. Just so you know, a couple of my classmates (coincidentally also from the Philippines) also have no hospital or clinical experience at all.


  2. hi, thanks for you blog. i will take my SEC tomorrow yet i'm not ready at all. I hope i will get the C option that you mentioned.I can't really find time to study since im working full time. I'm Blaise by the way. I find your blog a big help for us(ie nurses).

    1. hi blaise, how was your SEC assessment,
      hope it went well, what was it like, I will be taking mine on the 14th of feb and am not prepared too, pls lets connect, I wuld be in canada by 10th.

  3. Hi Blaise,

    Thanks for visiting and your comment. I am glad that you find my blog helpful. Good luck for your SEC tomorrow.


  4. Wow, all I can is THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your response, for all of the information and taking time to addressed all of my concerns. You just don't know how much I appreciate your post. I'm actually about to lose hope but after reading this, something is pushing me up to stand again and believe in myself that I can be an RN here :)..I'll be writing the IELTS on March 10th then after that I'll submit my application to CRNBC. I already have all the papers and requirements that I need I just have to wait for IELTS results. Thanks again WD for everything :)


  5. Hi Raine,

    You're welcome. I'm glad that you are on your journey to become an RN in BC, Canada. Good luck to your IELTS in March!

    Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog again.

    Cheers, WD.

  6. hi, i had hard time with the SEC. Crossing my finger for the result. :(

  7. Hi Blaise,

    You did not mention what difficulty you had faced at the SEC. If it was the role-play skills test, then I may have a piece of encouraging info for you.

    I just learnt today that one of my classmate found the skills test set-up unfamiliar. In fact, she told the assessor honestly that she didn't think she could do it, so "let's just get it done and over with." Well, she is my GNIE classmate now, so I guess she didn't do that badly overall.

    On the other hand, I also learned from the same classmate that there are those who failed the SEC and had to re-do the entire 4 years of basic nursing education as their next step.

    Well, it's spilled milk now. All we can do is pray. Take care.


  8. Hi,

    For those who are heading to the SEC, I have written a post "GNIE lesson: Head to toe examination". Hope you'll find it useful.

    Patient assessment is a very important skill for RNs in BC. RNs need to assess every patient at least once every shift.

    Cheers, WD.

  9. than you for the information. grt job

    1. Hi Anita,

      You're welcome. Thanks for dropping by and commenting. If there's something that you'd like me to cover do let me know. If I know the info, I will share on the blog for the benefit of others.

      Cheers, WD.

  10. hi,
    i too will take my sec assessment on june and i stumbled on this blog while looking for some hints on how to prepare for the said exam. i am also from the philippines. i was wondering if you could give me some advise on how to get myself ready. thanks for the post.

    1. Hi Anon,

      Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment. Regarding my 2 cents on how to prepare for the SEC, see section (B) "PREPARING FOR SEC" in the above blog post.

      From the blog referring sites stats, it does look like some SEC attendees are clicking onto my blog for info. I will try to write more about what I learnt from my GNIE training when I have time. Meanwhile, click the "Nursing in Canada" link on the top right to view related blog entries.

      Cheers, WD.

  11. Your blog is really a great help to all of us IENS who wish to be registered here in BC. I hope everyone is doing well with their classes, exams, or assessment. I am glad that my SEC will be in July. At least I still have plenty of time to prepare and review. I am hoping for the best.
    Once again, thank you WD for such a very informative blog.

    1. Hi Samantha,

      You're welcome. I'm glad that you find my blog helpful.

      FYI, one of my classmate's spouse passed the SEC on 1st try and didn't have to take any short courses, only need to do the 250 hours of supervised practise and CRNE before becoming RN.

      Thanks for your well wishes. Hope you will be happy with your SEC result.

  12. Hi WD!

    It's very refreshing to hear that there are some people who did really well on their SEC and didn't have to take any short courses. I don't have any experience as an RN yet. So, I don't really mind taking short courses as long as I won't repeat the whole 4 years!

    I read your blog again and you mentioned this:
    "In addition, when you sign up for the SEC, you will be given a guide to the SEC and a sample of what the test questions would be like, with suggested answers included. I find the sample questions/answers very enlightening on what to expect and prepare for."

    To my surprise, I did not even realize that there was an SEC guide attached to the email that they sent me a month ago. I was too excited when I got my schedule that I didn't checked all the items they sent me. lol

    Anyway, I guess I'll start reviewing by reading the guide first. =)

  13. hi i would like to ask if i can pass my other requirements to CRNBC already eventhough i didn't take my IELTS yet.. im planning to take it on MAY 2012 at canada.. By the way I am still here in the philippines but my husband told me to take the exam in canada, what i have to do instead is to pass the other requirements like in the school, hospital and the regulatory board. so can i pass my TOR etc to CRNBC already then my IELTS result will just follow? any thoughts regarding this matter.. please help. thanks

  14. Hi Antonette,

    During my time, it was ok to submit the other requirements to CRNBC and get IELTS to send the test results directly to them (which was what I did). But the requirement has since changed.
    According to the url above, "You must submit a photocopy of your passing results with your application".

    In short, the answer is "No", you have to take your IELTS and submit the result together with your application package. Best of luck!

  15. Hi WD,

    How are you? I just have a quick question regarding registration for IEN. Unfortunately, I haven't submitted my application yet to CRNBC as I got pregnant and having difficulty to move around due to complications of my pregnancy. I believe I already told you that I graduated on March 2007 and it's been 5 years now and adding the fact that I have no clinical experience at all. I was just wondering if I'm going to submit my application to CRNBC later this year after I give birth do you think they're still gonna process it or are they gonna require me to repeat the whole program (Nursing)? I've already emailed them (CRNBC) regarding my concern and I'm still waiting for their response. I just wanna try if you know anything or have any idea regarding this matter which would be helpful to me.

    Thank you.


  16. Hi Rain,

    I do not know how CRNBC will evaluate your individual case. What I know is that some of my classmates told me that they have been away from a clinical setting for more than 5 years. But then, they have many years of clinical experience and (I supposed) did quite well in their SEC.

    IMHO, I would suggest that you just send in the application to CRNBC instead of waiting and resulting in further delay. After CRNBC decides that you need to do the SEC assessment, you have 1 year from the date of the CRNBC letter to complete your SEC assessment requirement. That should give you plenty of time to prepare.

    So in your case where you have zero nursing work-experience and you've last completed your basic nursing education in just over 5 years, I don't know how CRNBC will decide. I hope you will come back to comment on your outcome as it may help other international nurses reading this post.

  17. What is your facebook address?

    1. Hi js,

      I will not be sharing my Facebook address. My blog is anonymous precisely because I prefer to retain some amount of privacy.

      If you have specific questions that you would like to discuss, please drop me a comment here on my blog.

      Best Regards, WD.

  18. Hello! I received my sec result and they said that the committee has to evaluate the result so its either 4 year bsn or 1 year re entry.. Im just wondering if you got the same email? Thank you so much..

  19. Hi Anonymous at Monday, June 18, 2012 9:55:00 PM,

    I didn't get that email. I got a physical (i.e. paper) letter telling me that I have to go for the 1 year re-entry. Keep your fingers crossed that you are get the GNIE option (i.e. 1 year). From what I've heard [note: hearsay only, no proof/guarantee], it is actually a blessing in disguise to do the GNIE option, because it is easier to find jobs after that, then those who can take the CRNE straight-away or those who did only a few short courses.

    Good luck!

    p.s. If you got the GNIE option, go ask the Kwantlen admin office for instructions to register online, and the date & time registration would be open. It is very competitive, all seats in my cohort were taken up within 15min past 12midnight (time when registration was opened).

    1. Hi! I also read rumors like this, re: easier to find jobs if you take the 1-year program. Exactly why I was looking into your blog. I am only required to do some courseworks, but there is a note below the email that says I can also take the 1-year program if I prefer it. I am short on finances, earning minimum wages only until I can obtain my RN license here in Canada. Can you suggest whether it would be better to do the courseworks or do the 1 year program instead? I noticed you've been in the area for a longer time than I do. Thank you so much.

    2. Hi A. Raven,

      Job search is a difficult question to answer, each individual's experience is unique. Thus, I will not be suggesting to you which approach "would be better", especially since I do not know you personally -- your strengths, weaknesses, your preferences, etc.

      Since you already have an email from CRNBC recognizing your IEN qualifications, you may want to consider registering with the "BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry". That way, you can earn above minimum wages as a CA/CHW while journeying towards your RN license. This also has the advantage that you would already be working in a healthcare setting, so you may have healthcare supervisors who may be able/willing to be your referees when you eventually apply for an RN job.

      As for finances, regardless of whether you decide to pursue just the required courses or the 1 year GNIE program, try to find resources or loans available to local students and/or new migrants. I have listed some in my blog post below back in January 2014, but I don't know which of them are still valid/available -- it is for you to do your own ground-check if you're interested.

      Good luck!

      Cheers, WD

  20. Hey winking doll.. How about your other classmates? Did they get the same email too like mine? Thank u! Im gie by the way..

    1. Hi Gie,

      I'm afraid I don't know of any classmate who was in your situation before. Wishing you the best of luck!


  21. Transferring comment from sophie12 Monday, July 09, 2012 8:02:00 PM on my other blog entry "GNIE: Resume for Practicum and Preceptorship".


    hi! i just finished the first 3 parts of my SEC assessment today. i gotta be honest, I don't feel quite confident with how I did. How did you feel when you just finished yours (do you remember)? Also, I am a little unsure as to what I should and should not include in my self assessment. Any tips? Thanks so much! great website, btw!

  22. Hi Sophie,

    Thanks for dropping by and your comment. To answer your question, "How did you feel when you just finished yours?"

    To be honest, I made some mistakes but felt ok overall for the Medical Surgical Written Diagnostic Test. For the Self Assessment of CRNBC’s Nursing Professional Standards, I felt like I was writing bullshit, so I didn't think that I faired well there.

    For the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), I was unfamiliar with packaging/type of equipment, and therefore was slow at the tasks, and while I could explain my rationale for my assessments, approach and diagnosis, I responded with doubt when challenged. For the Triple Jump Assessment and Clinical Judgment Assessment, I was ok but again somewhat unsure when challenged. There were times when I told the examiner honestly that I was guessing.

    When asked to self-evaluate at the end, I freely admitted that I would feel more comfortable if I knew more about the Canadian healthcare system and had exposure in a Canadian hospital setting (especially to familiarize with the equipment used -- e.g. the IV tubings that I used in Singapore have different packaging, connectivity and clamps). In addition, I also felt that I was unfamiliar with the Canadian drug brand-names. I also acknowledged that there are significant difference in cultural aspects (e.g. how paediatric clients are handled in Canada vs in Singapore). At the end, the evaluator looked surprised when I mentioned that I had only 1+ year of experience. She responded, "You have ONLY just over 1 year of experience?" and I admitted honestly.

    Anyway, I knew from my self-assessment that I would probably need some re-training before re-entering the nursing profession here, so the assessment report was not a surprise to me.

    What was a surprise was to be told by the Kwantlen Admissions officer that it was very hard to get a slot in the GNIE program. Thankfully, the officer also advised me about the information to prepare for the online registration, and to login at precisely 12 midnight. I followed her advice and am happy to be here in the GNIE program.

  23. hi WD! what did you wear during your osce? did you dressed up? i mean, like, smart casual-office like attire?

    1. Hi Anon at Wednesday, September 26, 2012 3:22:00 PM,

      If I remember correctly, I wore a long-sleeved T-shirt, jeans, hoodie (hooded cotton sweater), winter coat and leather shoes. It is my usual clothes. Make sure you're going to be comfortable because you will need to role-play a nurse and so need to bend, etc.

      Good luck!

      Cheers, WD.

  24. Thank you so much, WD! I was thinking of dressing up. LOL

    1. Hi Anon at Thursday, September 27, 2012 9:17:00 PM,

      LOL! You're welcome.

      With reference to the "Nursing In BC" website.
      The OSCE is used to assess, amongst other knowledge/skills, your response to rapidly changing patient situations.

      One tip: Pay attention to your patient even as you're preparing his/her medications or outside the patient's room.

      You may also find the following blog entries useful.

      GNIE lesson: Head-to-Toe Examination

      GNIE: Clinical anecdotal notes

      Good luck!

      Cheers, WD.

  25. I was going for the dress and heels outfit which I now find berzerk and stupid. Dragging my feet with those heels whilst running towards the patient might cause my failure. LOL!
    Im glad i stumbled upon your blog when i googled the horrid SEC assessment. Im very worried about the physical assessment part. Tbh, im not good with it.
    Im still struggling even though ive read your take on the physical assessment.
    Btw, ive read all your posts regarding the SEC. Really, its a big big help for everyone. :)

    1. Hi Anon at Thursday, September 27, 2012 11:54:00 PM,

      LOL, haha I can imagine the chaos!

      > Im very worried about the physical assessment part. Tbh, im not good with it.

      From what I gather from my GNIE training, one critical component of the nursing professional standards in Canada is Responsibility & Accountability. That is, it is better to admit when one makes a mistake, take corrective actions and reflect on how to prevent similar mistakes in future. Do not ignore, deny or push blame away when a mistake is made.

      You will find adopting the above attitude useful in the SEC's Triple Jump Assessment, Clinical Judgment Assessment and OSCE. E.g. One of my GNIE classmates admitted to the SEC assessor that she had no professional nursing experience (fresh nursing grad), so she did not feel confident of her skills in the OSCE. With that, she qualified for the 1-year re-entry option, instead of having to re-do her entire nursing training.

      Thanks for your feedback and compliment. Good luck for the SEC! If you wish, please return here to post a comment after your SEC, for other IENs to learn from your experience. Thanks.

      Cheers, WD.

    2. The SEC sucked the bajeezus out of me! That's the only thing that I could say.

      Looks like the things that I've learned all throughout my college years went down the drain. *sigh Well, I'm just hoping now that they won't give me a four-year upgrade. Because if that would be the case, I'd be shifting to a new career. But really, thank you for all your tips, Winking doll. :)

      Anyhow, I passed by a handful of students(probably GNIE students) when I took my exam. I had this urge to shout "WINKING DOLL! Are you in here?!" --which I know would be a suicide, so I did not do it. Is it possible that you were there as well?:)

    3. Hi Anonymous at Saturday, November 03, 2012 1:01:00 PM,

      Thanks for returning to share about your experience.

      Sorry to hear that you had a hard time at SEC. Well, it is spilled milk now, so the only think left to do is to wait for the CRNBC decision.

      Meanwhile you can consider your other options:

      1. You can register as a Care Aide -- pay is around CAD20.11/hour. I am in the process of doing so (my backup plan), so if you are interested, drop a note here and I will write something about it when I get it done.

      2. You can do the CLPNBC challenge exam. This option costs more, but the pay is higher, around CAD23.67/hour. You can check out CLPNBC website for details.

      Did you take your test in Kwantlen Langley nursing labs? There are 3 batches of GNIE students currently on-campus, 1 for each semester. My cohort is now only on-campus once weekly because we have preceptorship, online and other homework to be done. So if you were there on a Tuesday, and you saw a lot of Filipinos, yeah, I might have been there. That said, I would probably not answer to "Winking doll!" because this blog is supposedly anonymous. Even my classmates don't know about it. :)

      Good luck for your SEC. I hope that you'll get the GNIE option. It cost some money, but I appreciate the training. I just had my 1st day of preceptorship today (12 hour shift), a bit tired out -- still recovering from sickness and a bit too anxious to sleep well last night. I am lucky that my preceptor and another of her colleague were previously GNEA (predecessor of GNIE program) students, so they are very supportive. :)

    4. I am in the process of passing my credentials to both BC care aide and CLPNBC. :) I've emailed BC care aide before and they gave me some instructions. I have lots and lots of back up plan too. Ive prepared for my SEC failiure. LOL

      Yes! It was a tuesday! I tried peeking through the small window beside the door. Lo and behold, its a sea of filipinos! Maybe a hand signal or something mightve worked so i would know its was you. Kidding. :)

      I really need that luck. Thank you. Have fun in your preceptorship!:) And hey, you take care of yourself. Winter is just around the corner. Its very hard to get sick especially when youre away from home.

    5. Hi Anonymous at Sunday, November 04, 2012 8:32:00 AM,

      Oh, if you're going for the Care Aide route, be aware that you may not need to pay several hundreds for the the International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) at BCIT. You can submit CRNBC Form 66 "Request for Verification" (costs only CAD28) to CRNBC, for CRNBC to pass your credentials to BC Care Aide Registry. You just need to write on the form whatever additional items that BC Care Aide Registry needs.

      Btw, it would be helpful if you can give yourself a moniker, e.g. "The IEN Immigrant" or "Trying all options" or something. No need to register on blogger, just end your comments with your moniker, e.g. "Cheers, The IEN Immigrant". All the best for your journey. Keep in touch online.

      Cheers, WD.

    6. Hello Winking Doll!
      I just received my result,and they're requiring me to take the Re-entry Program. Yay for that!!!
      Thing is, I'm not a Permanent Resident of Canada (currently under TFW Live-In Caregiver Program), thus hindering me to enroll/ admit myself in the said GNIE program. That really upsets me as of the moment. I still have half a year ahead of me before I could apply for a PR status.

      I really can't think of any moniker that wouldn't sound too mushy or corny. Maybe, "xxIEN" would just do.

      So yeah. That's about it!


    7. Hi xxIEN,

      Congrads! I think not being a PR doesn't stop you from enrolling in the GNIE program, just that it would cost you way more than for a PR.

      From what I understand, the application for GNIE program is around 10 months before the start of the intake. IMHO, you can go ahead and apply for GNIE once application is opened and apply for PR once you become eligible. In this way, you may get your PR before the GNIE start date, and thus still pay only the PR rate. If your PR isn't approved in time, you can always apply to the Kwantlen Admissions to defer your start date.

      My point is, the competition for GNIE slots is steep. Assuming that you are confident of obtaining your PR status, IMHO, it is a good strategy that you try to reserve a GNIE seat ASAP (as soon as possible). That way, in case you fail to enter GNIE at the first try, you can still try again the next time applications are open.

      Congrads again for passing! Btw, xxIEN is as good a moniker as any.

      Cheers, WD.

  26. hi there, i just come in canada as an immigrant. i did 3 year nursing diploma from india and i have good clinica experience but now i want to become RN in canada, kindly guide me the whole process from which i will go through. what are the requirements for lpn as well ? thnx

    1. Hi Anonymous on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 11:32:00 AM,

      The very 1st thing you need to do is to decide which province you want to become an RN in. Then Google for the respective province's RN regulatory boards. Each province has its own specific requirements and process, which changes from time-to-time. You can find some useful URLs in my blog post below.

      I did not go down the LPN path, so I suggest that you check out each province's LPN regulatory board for information instead. Note that LPNs may be known by different titles depending on the province you're looking at.

      My 2 cents suggestion to you as a new immigrant. Please do not expect to be spoon-fed. Search the internet (all the Canadian regulatory boards have their information available to public on the internet), and do your own homework on what needs to be done. If you rely on others' information, you may find yourself wasting time as the regulations gets updated every now and then. E.g. There has been changes to the CRNBC English requirement since I started the process.

      Lastly, please learn to say the word "please" when you're asking for a favour. I am not sure if it is a cultural thing or a language ability issue, but just so you know, "kindly guide me" comes across as "an order", it is not the same as "please". Manners matter A LOT to Canadians.

      Cheers, WD.

  27. Hi winking doll,

    I would just like to ask your opinion on my situation. If i would pass my credentials and have it registered at the same time to 2 different provinces (i.e. BC and Nova Scotia), do you think it would make a conflict? Would they say that I should wait for the result of the other before I proceed registering to another province?

    They usually ask in the forms if you have applied registration to any other province here in Canada and I'm just wondering why they ask that.

    The reason I am thinking like this is because I heard that in Nova Scotia, there is a possibility that you can write directly the exam and not have to undergo any SEC. I plan to apply registration to both provinces and if Nova Scotia decides that I can write directly the exam, then I will take it there instead.

    I just want to find a way to be an RN without undergoing the very difficult SEC if possible. It doesn't hurt to speculate. :)

    1. Hi Anon at Tuesday, February 26, 2013 11:14:00 PM,

      Honestly I do not know of anyone who has tried registering with 2 provinces simultaneously, so I do not have an answer for you.

      > They usually ask in the forms if you have applied registration to any other province here in Canada

      IMHO, the reason that they ask that is because RN registration is officially cross-recognised across the Canadian provinces. Thus if you're already registered in another Canadian province, you should apply for local province registration as a "Canadian Nurse" not an IEN. In addition, they may wish to know if you've been rejected by any Canadian province -- e.g. conduct or security check issues.

      > I plan to apply registration to both provinces and if Nova Scotia decides that I can write directly the exam, then I will take it there instead.

      Congradulations that you have these options. I guess for many IENs, the cost of even a single registration process is exorbitant enough that they only try at a single province.

      If you do try it, please come back and leave a comment to share your experience, so that other IENs can learn about the process and the available options. Thank you!

      Cheers, WD.

  28. Hello Winkingdoll,

    I would like to ask your advice on the English competency tests.
    I am preparing to submit my application to CRNBC and I'm facing a dilemma regarding my IELTS results.

    I took the test in Aug'11 and I have perfect scores of 8.0 and higher in ever category. Normally IELTS results are valid for 2 years but from I have read on the CRNBC site and I quote 'Test scores must be submitted within six months of the test date.'. Now, I am not sure if I should resit for the exam or not. It is such a shame to have to throw out the good results because it is 'old'.

    It is only this bit that I'm having trouble with. I had gone through a very long and agonizing process of registering with nursing council in UK as an overseas trained nurse. They really put me through biting my nails in anxiety for a whole year (and wasting my the time on my visa) just to process and finally grant me the registration. And the worst part is the mandatory clinical practice took only 3 months, it was the only part of the process that was easy. When I finally did get registered, my visa had only a week left and it was simply too late to do anything but return to my home country.

    SO now, I'm just tired of UK and would like to move to Canada and settle there permanently. I would really love your insight on the matter. I'm so glad I found this blog thanks to google. And sorry for the long post...I'm still seething from my experience with UK nursing council. It became a bit of a rant.

    1. Hi Anonymous at Friday, April 19, 2013 12:52:00 PM,

      > sorry for the long post

      No worries about the long post. In fact, the information you provided helps me to give you a more relevant answer.

      Firstly to answer your question on IELTS requirement for the CRNBC directly. Yes, you will need to re-take the IELTS to have an updated test score for the CRNBC registration. The rules are clear, please just follow them. [Or ignore them at your own peril.] If you've scored 8.0 and higher in every category before, meeting the CRNBC English requirements in an IELTS re-test should not be an issue.

      Now the thing is, as a foreign nurse, looking for a job in B.C. is not easy. To date, only 6 of my cohort of GNIE educated nurses have obtained RN jobs, including one that is a paid-volunteer position. That is, 6 out of 30 with full current practicing CRNBC licence. The reality is, even Canadian-trained new graduates face challenges, so it is not surprising that foreign-trained nurses will meet the same issues too.

      It is something that you need to be aware of before immigrating to Canada. That is, despite the widely-held belief that "Canada needs more nurses", Canada and/or B.C. specifically may not have the budget/job-opening for nurses in your specific specialty, your specific years of experience and your specific preferred geographic location. Are you willing to sacrifice any of the above conditions to obtain a RN job in Canada?

      I do not know what the UK nursing job market is like. I would guess that as a foreign nurse, you will face pretty much the same issues whether you're looking for a job in UK or Canada. The question then is, why aim for Canada (especially B.C. where there is an existing huge supply of foreign-trained nurses) when you already have a UK licence? Have you considered that by choosing B.C., it means that you have a few additional hurdles to jump? Namely SEC, perhaps some additional Canadian training, and CRNE -- before you even obtain registration.

      I am not trying to discourage you. It is just to point out to you factors that you need to consider before making that big migration decision. I have met immigrants who have not considered the various possible scenarios (best case, worst case, and a whole lot in-between) and/or did not do a thorough S.W.O.T. analysis before jumping into migration. Some of these have since left Canada, others are languishing here lamenting the "discrimination" and/or "lack of opportunities", and a few have re-adjusted their mindset and perspective to their new reality. Please spend time and effort to analyze beforehand, so that it will save you much pain/wasted-effort. If after all the consideration, you're still game to come to B.C. and/or Canada, then I welcome you to contribute to Canada.

      Cheers, WD.

  29. hello Winking Doll,

    I am a registered nurse from Philippines and currently working here in Saudi Arabia as ICU nurse. I am contemplating to submit my documents for CRNBC as i am planning to register for CRNE finger crossed. Since going to Canada to sit for my SEC (as i know i will surely be advised for SEC by CRNBC) is very steep (tourist visa) i decided to enroll for a 10 mos program in vancouver. Though the program is quite expensive but i still got enough bucks on my pocket to finance the said schooling. I saw this avenue as the easiest way to visit Canada legally and hence sit for my SEC. Do you think part time jobs for IEN awaiting for their SEC report are available in Vancouver Canada? like janitor, waiter or jobs that are blue collared but worth trying for daily survival?..

    1. Hi Anonymous at Tuesday, June 04, 2013 11:27:00 AM,

      My answers will not make you happy, but I will state the facts so that you can make an informed decision. Please see my full reply here as it has exceeded the 4,096 characters limit of a comment.

      Best Regards, WD.

  30. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Hi haidee gabriel,

      I have removed the contents of your comments to protect your privacy. Please see my blog entry below for my reply to your questions.

      Cheers, WD.

  31. Hi WD,

    Your blogs were really uplifting especially for those who are scheduled for the SEC like me. I will be taking my SEC this Monday and I prepared myself like playing to a doll about patient interaction, therapeutic communication and head-t-toe assessment and focused assessment trying to imagine what if client started to experience DOB or abdominal pain. I am answering critical thinking skills in textbooks after each chapters in MS and Fundamentals etc..

    I also tried answering the triple jump assessment IENBC provided us with the confirmation and I found that I got 12 essential nursing considerations while the instruction only asked for 6 in each categories. I clustered the problem and do prioritized and by using the nursing diagnosis I cannot lower the number of nursing issues just to 6. Was it ok?

    I just write down in my self evaluation that I cannot ommit some of nursing concerns that I indicated because those are still essential for the holistic, competent, compassionate, ethical care for the client.

    As international graduates and 6 years of experience dedicated to uplift the nursing profession in the Philippines, we are trying in our own hospital back home to adopt the North American standard in health care. Hope that it will help me. I also Hope they will appreciate that we are aware of the difference in practice and we are capable of adopting them along the way instead of sending us back to re-entry program.

    Thank you again and lets keep moving nurses!! Never say never!

    1. Hi Lady Blue 2012,

      Welcome to my blog and thanks for the compliments.

      The point about 6 ESSENTIAL nursing considerations are the 6 highest priority that you need to look out for when it comes to ensuring that you get your priorities right. While it is nice to cover all issues in your discussion (i.e. holistic nursing), start-off with the most important ones first -- the ones that if you don't take care of immediately may mean the difference of life-and-death for the patients and/or safety issues.

      For the self-evaluation, you can write it in a positive manner that "I would have preferred to list 12 instead of just 6 nursing considerations to provide for holistic, competent, compassionate, ethical care for the client." or something like that. It goes to show that you know stuff well enough to distinguish what's critical from the good/nice to have.

      Btw, DOB (I assume you're referring to Difficulty of Breathing?) is know as SOB (Shortness of Breath) in the Canadian context. DOB here in Canada generally refers to the Date Of Birth. Yeah, adapting to the different acronyms is part of the transitioning.

      As for re-entry program, there are pros-and-cons to attending it. Pros: You get Canadian clinical experience and references which helps one to secure your 1st Canadian RN job. Cons: It costs time and money.

      Let's look at it the other way around. There are pros-and-cons to NOT attending the re-entry program. Pros: Saves time(?) and money.

      Cons, example 1: If you are not required to do clinical as part of your re-entry requirement, you may not have any Canadian nursing experience and/or references that would be critical to help you secure your 1st Canadian nursing job with well-establish employers.

      Cons, example 2: I met an IEN who passed the SEC and was granted a provisional licence but was still required to do clinical at the Canadian acute care hospitals. The problem is the wait time to get a slot into such clinical postings -- she is still waiting without an estimated schedule date after 5 months. If one does a re-entry program, the clinical posting is part of your program and therefore solves the "unknown" wait time. Such wait times are no joke as the system is not designed to cater for such "rare" cases, and thus one may be "waiting forever" (figuratively speaking) to do the clinical posting.

      Anyway, good luck to your journey. It would be great if you can return and share about your experience, so that other IENs can benefit from it.

      Cheers, WD.