There are a number of steps required for one to become a nurse in Canada.
If you are interested in caring for people and are a high school graduate, you can eventually become a Registered Nurse (RN).
Nursing is one of the best paying careers in Canada, and offers opportunities for at least 200,000 Canadians, including foreigners to work for various hospitals across the country.
We take you through steps you are required to follow for you to join nursing career.
Step #1. You will need a post-secondary education.
Why? All provincial and territorial nurses’ associations have adopted the goal of having a baccalaureate requirement for entry into nursing. Evidence supports the fact that baccalaureate-prepared nurses are most able to provide safe, ethical, cost-effective and high quality nursing care for Canadians.
The trend toward a university education for Registered Nurses (RNs) is here: with the exception of students in Quebec, students must choose to obtain a baccalaureate degree in nursing in order to prepare for a RN career.
Step #2. You need to apply to the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) directly for assessment.
All nursing graduates who plan to practise in Ontario must be registered with the CNO.
Once you are deemed eligible (after applying), you’ll take the registration exam. Why? This exam is designed to measure the competencies of nurses at the start of your practice.
In addition to the registration exam, you must successfully complete a separate jurisprudence exam by the College designed to evaluate your knowledge and understanding of the laws, regulations, and College by-laws, practice standards and guidelines that govern the nursing profession in Ontario. The RN Jurisprudence Exam is completed online.
Step #3. If you pass, you must meet four other requirements in order to be “registered” by a provincial or territorial nursing regulatory body in Canada.
After completing an eligible education program, showing the College evidence of recent safe nursing practice (usually completing the program) as well as successful completion of the national nursing registration examination; you must then show:
- Evidence of fluency in written and spoken
English or French.
- Registration or eligibility for registration in the jurisdiction where a nursing program was completed.
- Proof of Canadian Citizenship, Permanent Residency, or authorization under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) to engage in the practice of nursing. *Good character and suitability to practise, as indicated by a Declaration of Registration Requirements and a Canadian Criminal Record Synopsis.
A valid certificate of registration from the College is required of all nurses who wish to practise nursing in Ontario and perform the procedures in the Controlled Acts that are authorized to nursing. Only member of the College are allowed to refer themselves as nurses in Ontario.
Step #4. Evolve your competencies.
Because nursing is a self-regulating profession, establishing and maintaining high standards of practice is critical — not only for the safety of patients but also the long-term advancement of the nursing profession. Researching and expanding nursing competencies through best practice development is another important contribution RNs can make after they begin to practise.
How to Become a Nurse Practitioner
In Ontario, Registered Nurses (RNs) with additional education and experience are in the Extended Class, also known as Nurse Practitioners (NPs). NPs have an expanded scope of practice including the ability to order and interpret diagnostic tests, communicate diagnoses, prescribe prescription drugs, and perform specific procedures.
NP is a protected title in Ontario (since August 2007). There are four NP specialty certificates within the Extended Class: NP-Primary Health Care, NP-Pediatric, NP-Adult and NP-Anesthesia.
In order to become a NP in Ontario:
- RNs must have obtained advanced education;
- demonstrate evidence of safe practice; and
- have passed an approved registration exam
for the specialty certificate they want to pursue.