English Language Proficiency Registration Requirement

To register and license with NSCN, all of our applicants are required to provide evidence of English language proficiency (ELP).

You can meet the English language proficiency registration requirements in the following ways:

  1. Current or previous registration/licensure to practice as a regulated health professional in a jurisdiction where health care services are provided in English, in any country.
  2. Graduation from an entry to practice nursing education program where theory and clinical experiences were provided in English, in any country,
  3. Completion of post-entry nursing (or non-nursing) education in English, in any country.
  4. Testing: Achievement of the required minimum test scores on one of the NSCN approved English language proficiency tests* ((CELBAN or IELTS Academic, or OET)
  5. Employer Assessment: Submit an Employer Confirmation of English Language Proficiency form based on recent work (within the past 24 months) in a healthcare setting.

The Question and Answer document provides answers to commonly asked questions about meeting NSCN’s English language proficiency registration requirement. We encourage you to review this document. 

There are three different tests that you can take to demonstrate your English language proficiency. 

In June 2024, we added a new English language proficiency test option, the Occupational English Test.

Name of Test  Minimum Passing Score
Canadian English Language Benchmarks Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN) www.celbancentre.ca Writing: 7
Speaking: 8
Listening: 9
Reading: 8
Total: N/A
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (Academic Only) www.myetc.ca/ieltsregistration Writing: 6.5
Speaking: 7
Listening: 7
Reading: 6.5
Total: 7
Occupational English Test (OET)  https://oet.com Writing: C+
Speaking: B
Listening: B
Reading: C+

We may be able to download your test results directly from IELTS, CELBAN or OET. Please email registration@nscn.ca for more information. If not, please arrange for the language testing centre to forward a copy of your test results directly to us at registration@nscn.ca.

NSCN does not accept the IELTS Indicator Test.

Your English Language Proficiency Test results expire two years from the date you complete the test. NSCN may still consider this and other expired language tests in the assessment of your English language proficiency. Feel free to include these scores with your application.  

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at registration@nscn.ca. We strive to respond to you as soon as possible. However, due to the high volumes of emails and complexity of inquiries, our response time may vary.  

Please be advised that registration requirements and fees are subject to change. All registration and licensure fees are non-refundable. Click here to learn more about fees and payment options