Is Academic IELTS still a requirement?

We all know that Nursing is a regulated occupation in Canada. We need to be registered first in theprovince of our choice and sit and pass the CRNE for us to be eligible to work in our profession. My question is…should an international educated nurse who has already granted PR card still requires to sit for Academic IELTS to meet the requirement for registration?

Nevertheless, I am planning to take CRNE comes June 2011 as I’m very much worried of my IELTS that will expire by February 2012 and I have to provide another IELTS to the College should I am unable to pass the CRNE before expiration. And mind you, the College had even increased their Ielts bands requirement per module last Jan. 11,2011 that adds to the stress.
And this is the reason why I wanted to know whether IELTS will no longer be a requirement for registration.

Posted by Eager_Ruby

Dear Ruby,

I just found your post today, and it is long after July 2011. I was wondering how you did on your exam, and if all of this worry has faded or if you will be retaking the exam next year and having to worry about your IELTS score expiring.

As a note, in my 5 years of working with IENs becoming RNs I am glad that you knew about the exam expiry date ahead of time. This is often new news, that comes at a very bad time: when people are preparing for the CRNE.

The process of becoming a nurse is different in every province, and not always transferable. It is interesting to hear that CNO accepted the non-academic version of IELTS as BC and Alberta (like NS) require it, and that in Ontario English proficiency is the last step where it is the first in other provinces. There is, however, an alternative in the CELBAN. Most nurses find this easier, as all of the questions are about nursing. But it too has a 2 year expiry and the scores for both are increasing all the time.

Over my 5 years I have seen many changes when it comes to what is accepted for the English Proficiency: the exams accepted, the scores. From these trends there may come a time when the expiry date is shorter, and scores are even higher. The important point is that a person becoming a nurse is required to have a university level of English, at levels between 8 and 10.Β  So, IELTS will be accepted for a long time: because of the academic version. It takes time and effort to get a score that high, if a person’s levels are around a 5 or 6, what most people immigrating to Canada come with.

What is wonderful is that you have already passed once,Β  and you are now preparing for the CRNE, which has its own troubles.

At the end of the day, I hope that you did pass, and all of this was just worry. If not, consider taking the CELBAN.


2 responses to “Is Academic IELTS still a requirement?

  1. Hi Kim,

    This CELBAN is very good as it is specifically for Nurses. But I am not aware if the standard CELBAN score is applicable in all provinces or does it change with province. Please clarify this point…Iam really searching for an answer since many days.

    • Dear INP,
      Thank you for your question, it is a great question. The CELBAN is a great choice as is is discipline specific, for nurses. As a national exam (Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses) the scores are accepted by colleges of nurses and colleges of licensed practical nurses across the nation. however, as you have noted, the accepted score may be different. There is definitely a difference between the requirements to become an LPN as compared to an RN (usually a higher score is expected by the colleges of nurses). And there may be differences by province, and by time. Meaning: required scores can and do change. What is required in 6 months from now may be different from what is required now. To know the requirement in your province please go to the website for your provincial registration body, whether it be the college of nurses of college of licensed practical nurses. Simple use a search engine and use the key words “college of nurses” and “[province]” where you use the name of the province. For example, BC, Alberta, Ontario. On the website look for “International Applicants” then “English requirements/tests”.

      Some of the updated sites also provide a self assessment for the application process. This can be really handy to have a better idea of what is expected in each province, for you as an individual, which may be very different for someone else based on her/his experience and knowledge and country or origin.
      I hope this helps. If it does, please remember to come back and comment!

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