IEN Applicants’ Frequently Asked Questions

I am internationally educated nurse (IEN), who also holds registration as a practical nurse in another Canadian jurisdiction. What do I need to know about applying for registration with the CLPNM?

There are two application processes available to you:

  • The IEN credential assessment pathway
  • The endorsement pathway

In order to be flexible, the CLPNM will consider your application through either pathway. You need to decide which pathway you want to pursue. You cannot apply as both a Canadian, and an International, applicant at the same time. You must apply through either one or the other pathway.

What should I consider when deciding which pathway to apply through?

When making an informed decision about which application pathway is right for you, please consider the following information:

  • No matter which pathway you apply through, the CLPNM will require evidence that you are competent to practise as an LPN in Manitoba. This is necessary for public protection. Therefore, while there are several differences in the application pathways, both pathways may include a referral for a clinical competence assessment (CCA).
    • IEN credential assessment applicants are referred for a CCA, and bridging education based on the results of the assessment, when a review of their international nursing education program does not find evidence that their education was substantially similar to that of a Manitoba LPN.
    • Endorsement applicants are referred for a CCA, and to refresher education based on the results of the assessment, when they are unable to demonstrate that they have enough recent LPN practice experience to be competent in the profession.  This requirement is the same for any practical nurse (including a Manitoba registrant) who applies to the CLPNM for a new, renewed or reinstated registration.
  • Manitoba has a unique bridging education program that is designed specifically for IEN applicants. Here are some of the benefits of the IEN bridging program:
    • It is delivered in-person
    • It is partially supported through government funding and therefore, may be less expensive than other remedial education programs
    • It is targeted to the unique education needs of IEN applicants
    • It includes comprehensive Canadian Practical Nurse Exam (CPNRE) preparation
    • There is no wait time to enroll, and it is currently offered two times a year
    • The CLPNM often hears from employers who comment that IENs who have completed the program are very well-prepared for the demands of an LPN in Manitoba
    • Applicants who go through this program, and then become registered as LPNs with the CLPNM, rarely have conditions on their registration limiting their authority to practise. This can make it easier to gain employment in Manitoba
  • When applying to the CLPNM as an IEN, your language test results will not expire after you have opened your credential assessment application file with us, as long as your file remains active.
  • There are differences in the scope of practice of the practical nursing profession in Manitoba, compared to some other Canadian jurisdictions. Because of these differences, the CLPNM may be required to place conditions on the registration of an applicant who has applied through the endorsement pathway. These conditions most often relate to IV therapy, and Physical Health Assessment. These conditions are lifted after the individual completes required remedial education within the first year of their registration with the CLPNM. Occasionally, we hear that applicants find it more difficult to find employment with conditions on their registration. You can read more about the conditions that the CLPNM might apply, and the applicable jurisdictions, here.  IEN applicants, will receive the education they need as part of the bridging education program, and therefore, are not likely to have any conditions placed on their registration after passing the CPNRE.
If I apply for an endorsement, but do not have the required number of Canadian practice hours, will my application be denied?

No. Your application will not be denied because of insufficient practice hours.  All applicants must demonstrate that they have the competence needed to practise as an LPN in Manitoba; however, if you are unable to demonstrate your current competence through recent LPN practice hours, you can demonstrate your competence by completing a clinical competence assessment (CCA), and if necessary, some further education to remediate any gaps in competence that are identified.  

I’m concerned about having to undergo a clinical competence assessment. What if I don’t do well?

It is very normal to feel nervous about tests and assessments, and about your ability to perform well in a high-stress situation. Here are a few things to consider:

  • The CCA does not result in a pass or fail. The CCA allows you to feel confident you are ready for practice as an LPN in Manitoba, and if you are not yet ready, it connects you to the right education.
  • If you are concerned that you might struggle with the CCA because of nerves or because the test environment is different than any other environment you have been in before, keep in mind that you have the option to repeat the CCA if the CLPNM believes your results demonstrate an unusual number of gaps.
  • The CCA replicates actual situations an LPN will face when practising in Manitoba. If you are concerned you might struggle with the scenarios you face in the CCA, you are encouraged to reflect on the fact that you might struggle with the same scenarios in active practice, when caring for an actual client whose health could be affected. The CCA provides you the opportunity to learn about your gaps in competence before you put a client at risk because of those gaps.
  • In active practice, LPNs frequently face high-stress, unpredictable situations. The ability to think critically and problem solve in these situations is an expectation of all Manitoba LPNs.

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