Registered Nurse Bridging / Re-Entry Education Program

The PEI Department of Health and Wellness has partnered with the Nova Scotia Health Authority to deliver the Registered Nurse Professional Development Centre’s (RNPDC) RN Competency Assessment and the RN Bridging/Re-Entry Program.  RNPDC has partnered with the Nursing Community Assessment Services (NCAS) to complete all the competency assessments for PEI. This program is approved by the College of Registered Nurses of PEI (CRNPEI) and applicants must be referred by CRNPEI to take the program.

What is the RN-Bridging/Re-Entry program?

The RN Bridging/Re-entry program provides required education courses for nurses to meet identified practice and knowledge gaps to become eligible for a PEI RN registration. 

What courses does the program cover?

The following core courses are offered at specific times throughout the year.

Specialty Courses - Students may enroll in at any time.

Who may be eligible for a referral to the RN-Bridging/Re-Entry program by the CRNPEI?

There are two streams of students who can be referred to the program:

  • Internationally educated nurses (IENs) who are either permanent residents of Canada or Canadian citizens
  • Canadian-educated nurses (CENs) who wish to re-enter nursing practice.

Do I need to be a resident of PEI and/or Canada?

To be eligible, applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Priority will be given to PEI residents.  If seats are available, temporary residents and non-PEI residents may be eligible to apply but the cost for the program may differ – please contact Denise LeBlanc-Kwaw (dleblanc-kwaw@gov.pe.ca) for further information.  Proof of citizenship/permanent resident status and PEI residency status will be required.

What if I am not a permanent resident or Canadian citizen?

Immigration Refugee Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has a new limited-time pathway where temporary residents may be eligible to become permanent residents. Please visit www.canada.ca/tr-pr for a full list of eligibility criteria and details about the program.  Apply before November 5, 2021.

What is the cost of the RN-Bridging/Re-Entry program?

Tuition cost for the RN-Bridging/Re-Entry program is $3750. The Government of PEI covers up to the full $3750 for IEN and CEN applicants who are eligible and referred by CRNPEI.

Please note that costs above are current as of August 15, 2021 and subject to change without notice.

What do I need to pay as an IEN?

IEN applicants are responsible for the following costs:

  • National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) application process fees and associated costs including Main Application Order - $650 USD (U.S. Dollars - plus applicable taxes);
  • CRNPEI application fee of $100 for registration and $400 processing fee for international documents;
  • English language proficiency test, if required, such as IELTS or CELBAN with an approximate cost is $320 - $395 per writing attempt;
  • Competency assessment fee of $1,500 if required by CRNPEI;
  • Travel, food and accommodations to travel to RNPDC in Halifax, Nova Scotia for 1-2 days if a competency assessment is required.
  • Textbooks approx. $300-400

Please note that costs above are current as of August 15, 2021 and subject to change without notice.

What do I need to pay as a Canadian-educated nurse?

Canadian-educated nurse applicants are responsible for the following costs:

  • CRNPEI application fee of $100 for registration;
  • English language proficiency test, if required, such as IELTS or CELBAN with an approximate cost is $320 - $395 per writing attempt;
  • Competency assessment fee of $1,500 if required by CRNPEI;
  • Travel, food and accommodations to travel to RNPDC in Halifax, Nova Scotia for 1-2 days if a competency assessment is required.
  • Textbooks approx. $300-400

Please note that costs above are current as of August 15, 2021 and subject to change without notice.

When does the next RN-Bridging/Re-Entry program start?

The new cohort is commencing soon. Actual start date to be announced. For more information on the start date, contact Denise LeBlanc-Kwaw (dleblanc-kwaw@gov.pe.ca).

Where do I take the RN-Bridging/Re-Entry program?

The program is delivered through a blended online and in-person model.  In person delivery is completed in Charlottetown, PEI. 

How long is the RN-Bridging/Re-Entry program?

The program is approximately 13 months in length.  The length of time may be less for some students, depending on their assessed needs.  The number of courses will depend on each student’s individual assessment determined by the CRNPEI.

How is the RN-Bridging/Re-Entry program delivered?

The program is delivered through online learning, classroom sessions, lab practice (with a lab instructor) and clinical instructor-led practicums on PEI. Some courses are delivered entirely online, while others have online and face-to-face classroom sessions. A preceptor-led clinical is required at the end of the program to assist learners in transferring theory to practice.

How do I apply for the RN Bridging/Re-Entry program?

All applicants must first be referred to the program by the College of Registered Nurses of Prince Edward Island (CRNPEI).

How do I apply as an IEN?

All nurses whose nursing education occurred outside of Canada and are seeking initial registration to practice as a Registered Nurse in Canada through PEI must:

1. Apply to National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS)

Complete an online application to NNAS
Send NNAS all your required documents and credentials to have these assessed.

Complete an English language proficiency test if required
Your English Language proficiency is part of your NNAS application. You must prove that you can listen, speak, read, and write in English by providing evidence of having been educated in English or having worked in an English practice environment. If these do not apply, you will be required to take language proficiency tests such as IELTS or CELBAN.

Select CRNPEI as your jurisdiction
Identify CRNPEI as your chosen jurisdiction. NNAS will notify you once your report is complete and sent to CRNPEI. The NNAS report is used by CRNPEI to make decisions about your eligibility to become registered as a nurse.

The NNAS application process may take up to 12 months to complete. 

2. Apply to CRNPEI

Apply for registration through the CRNPEI website Applicant Portal by selecting the Internationally Educated Nurse application. CRNPEI staff will review your application and NNAS Advisory Report and determine if you meet the registration requirements or not and will contact you on your next steps. If you do not meet the registration requirements, CRNPEI may refer you to RNPDC for either a competency assessment and /or the RN-Bridging program.

3. Apply to RNPDC

You may apply for the Competency assessment and/or the RN-Bridging program only if you are referred to RNPDC by CRNPEI. You will need to apply directly to RNPDC through their website.

How do I apply as a Canadian-educated nurse?

1. Apply to CRNPEI

Apply for registration through the Applicant Portal on CRNPEI website by selecting the application, either previously registered as an RN in PEI or previously registered as an RN in Canada. CRNPEI staff will review your application and determine if you meet the registration requirements or not and will contact you on your next steps.

Your English Language proficiency is part of your CRNPEI application. You must prove that you can listen, speak, read, and write in English by providing evidence of having been educated in English or having worked in an English practice environment. If these do not apply, you will be required to take language proficiency tests such as IELTS or CELBAN.

If you do not meet the registration requirements, CRNPEI may refer you to RNPDC for either a competency assessment and /or the RN-Bridging/Re-entry program.

2. Apply to RNPDC

You may apply for the Competency assessment and/or the RN-Bridging program only if you are referred to RNPDC by CRNPEI. You will need to apply directly to RNPDC through their website.

Does the RN-Bridging/Re-Entry program require any travel off Island?

The program is delivered on PEI.  However, you may be required to travel to Nova Scotia once if a competency assessment is required.

Competency Assessment

What is a competency assessment?

A nursing competency assessment is conducted by the Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS) through RNPDC. It is designed to assess the nurse’s personal current knowledge, skills, and abilities to practice nursing in a safe, competent and ethical manner consistent with the standards of nursing practice expected by CRNPEI. This assessment is separate from the assessment of the nurse’s credentials (nursing diploma or degree) by NNAS.

The nurse will be referred to RNPDC for a competency assessment by CRNPEI only if required.

NCAS through RNPDC will use computer-based assessment (CBA), simulation lab assessment (SLA), and oral assessment (OA) to assess the nurse’s knowledge skill and abilities against the Canadian entry-level competencies required of a Canadian-educated nurse. See competency assessment for more information.

Why would I need to have a competency assessment before I can take the RN-Bridging program?

When CRNPEI reviews applications for registration, they may require the applicant complete a competency assessment to determine if the RN-Bridging program is an appropriate program for the individual nurse applicant.  Competency assessments are needed if there are possible gaps in their knowledge based on entry-level competencies. This may include IENs whose initial nursing education was determined by CRNPEI as not substantially equivalent to the Canadian nursing education.

The competency assessment gives the nurse the opportunity to demonstrate that they have the knowledge, skills and abilities to practice nursing in Canada through prior learning and assessment recognition (PLAR) of the nurse’s lifelong learning and work experience.

Once CRNPEI receives the competency assessment report from NCAS through RNPDC, they will determine if the RN-Bridging/Re-Entry program is the appropriate program to meet any gaps identified.  If so, CRNPEI will determine which courses (up to 10 in total) the nurse will need to take to address those gaps.  

Where do I take a competency assessment?

An applicant who has been informed by CRNPEI that they require a competency assessment, will need to travel to the Registered Nurse Professional Development Centre (RNPDC) in Halifax, Nova Scotia to complete the competency assessment in person. The applicant is responsible for the cost of travel, food and accommodations for the 1-2 days during the testing. 

What is the cost for a competency assessment?

The total cost of the competency assessment is $5,100 per applicant.  However, the government of PEI subsidizes $3,600 per applicant towards this fee. The applicant will be required to pay the balance of $1,500. Please note that costs above are current as of August 15, 2021 and subject to change without notice.

Is there any other financial assistance available?

  1. Those who successfully complete a full RN-Bridging/Re-Entry program are eligible for the PEI Nursing Recruitment Incentive Program.
  2. The Atlantic Immigrant Career Loan Program is available through the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada:  

For more information, contact the PEI RN-Bridging/Re-entry Program Coordinator Sherry Langley at sllangley@ihis.org  or tel 902-626-8973

Information used with permission from Registered Nurses Professional Development Centre (RNPDC).

Published date: 
September 17, 2021
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