I am a landed immigrant who applied to Immigration Canada under the skilled worker class. I've heard of the PNP, but I didn't use that prog. The process for skilled worker took about 6-8 months for me. If you are thinking of applying to the Province of Alberta, I'll warn you about their processes being unusually long.
As I was waiting on Immigration Canada, I was making sure to fullfill the requirements that I needed with the prospective College. You can order the CRNE book to prepare yourself for the exam while getting all your documents and paper work in. As far as I know, Canada doesn't offer the CRNE anywhere else except Canada. I'd suggest you prepare in advance for the CRNE . Order the book prep and think about using express mail carrier like DSL or Fed Ex. to get the preparation book. The mail was slow.
Employers don't actually hire unless they verify that a nurse has passed the CRNE and received registration from the College of Nurses (although it states that it can be done--- many employers don't like to mess around in that process). I hope this helps.