Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN) Competency Upgrade Pathway

an international nurse with a stethoscopeThe Competency Upgrade Pathway is for Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN) who want to qualify as Registered Practical Nurses (RPN) and Registered Nurses (RNs) in Ontario. The Pathway consists of 11 courses, 8 theory courses and 3 on-site/skill-based participation.  The theory courses are delivered asynchronous online through OntarioLearn.

The flexible delivery approach allows IENs to address the specific competency gaps, as identified by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) in their assessment letter, without having to complete a full program/pathway. The student is expected to take only those courses needed to address the competencies outlined in their individual letter of assessment.

For more information regarding the CNO’s Competency Assessment Program for IENs, including language proficiency requirements, please visit their website (opens in new window).

For more information regarding the IEN Competency Upgrade Pathway, please visit the OntarioLearn IEN webpage (opens in new window).

IEN Courses

Click on a course to view the description and available intake. Some courses are currently under development and may not be available at this time. These courses do not lead to a credential.

  1. Nursing in Ontario
  2. Health Assessment
  3. Pharmacology
  4. Healing and Episodic Health Challenges
  5. Health and Transitions
  6. Relational Practice
  7. Nursing Informatics
  8. Research in Nursing
  9. Pre-clinical Readiness
  10. Clinical Experience (skills-based)
  11. Preceptorship (skills-based)

Application Process

Applicants are eligible to register into a course(s) if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • You are an Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN)
  • You have proof of one of the following:
    • Canadian citizenship status; or
    • Canadian permanent resident status; or
    • Appropriate authorization under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) that permits you to engage in the practice of nursing in Ontario.
  • You have a letter from CNO containing the results of your education assessment and the additional education you need.

Note: It is also strongly recommended that applicants are proficient in English, including in writing, reading, speaking, listening, and comprehension.

To apply, visit the IEN Application page. You will be required to submit proof of your CNO letter.  If you would like assistance determining which courses to select, please email CE Health Sciences at or send an email to the Nursing Transformation Career Readiness Service at


Tuition and Supplies

IENs who meet the above criteria are eligible for a tuition award to cover the full tuition cost for these Nursing Transformation competency upgrade courses. Eligible students will also receive a stipend of $400 per course to help them with the costs of books and other supplies. Note: the stipend is subject to a maximum of $2000 per student. These IEN supports are made possible through funding by the Ontario government. When registering for a course, the college will let you know how to access the tuition award and the supplies stipend.

Program Contact

For questions or to obtain more information, email CE Health Sciences at or call 1-844-767-6871.