How To Become A Registered And Practising Nurse In Canada


The demand for healthcare workers is increasing owing to the fact that there is an increasing labour shortage and ageing population in Canada, job prospects are predicted to rise over the next several years.

Becoming a registered and practising nurse in Canada takes several procedures and steps. You must possess a certification that qualifies you to become a registered nurse in Canada.

You will be required to first complete a formal education and obtain either of the two degrees, a bachelor’s degree program which usually takes about 4 years or an associate degree program that has a 2 years duration. Candidates must equally complete a licensure exam to become fully licensed RN (Registered Nurse) and other licensure requirements must also be met.

Canada has a strict regulatory body in each province that governs nurses, this body set out certain requirements and regulations that must be observed before one can enter the profession so as to ensure quality delivery of service, and establish a great standard of nursing practice.

For international nurses who have already acquired a degree and are practising outside the shores of Canada will be required to seat for a bridging course for a nursing registration.

An “evidence of practice requirement” which has been laid down by the regulatory body must be met by any nurse who is aspiring to work in Canada and on completion of the bridging course program, which will be helpful in providing you with experience and knowledge crucial to meet the requirements.

The regulatory body will be sent verification of course completion which would serve as proof of practice and eligibility.

Below are tips to guide you in your quest of becoming a Registered Nurse in Canada:

  • Contact a Canadian Consular closest to you to know more about the employment requirement for nurses looking to practice in Canada.
  • Get the requirement clarification from the regulatory body in the province you intend to work.
  • Make enquires about getting a Canadian driver’s license because it would be helpful when you acquire the job or before you apply for any job.
  • You will be providing certain documents concerning your education, work, and identity to the regulatory body so it would be best if you gather them at your home country.

College of Nurses of Ontario

The College of Nurses of Ontario is the regulatory body for Registered Nurses (RN), Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) and Nurse Practitioners (NPs) in Ontario, Canada.
Since 1963, the College of Nurses Ontario has been self-regulating, this is a privilege granted the College of Nurses of Ontario because it has demonstrated over time that the public interest takes precedence ahead of professional interest. The college works in together with employers, educators and government to ensure everyone in Ontario benefits from the quality services offered.

Class of Registration

Nurses who wish to become licensed in Ontario must belong to one of the following Classes of Registration

General: Both Registered Nurses and Registered Practical Nurses belong in this class. You must have practical experience as a nurse within the past three years to register for this class. For your experience to be recognized as evidence of practice, you must be registered in your area of practice. There are no minimum hours required.

Special Assignment:  is a time sensitive registration for nurses who have an appointment as an RN or RPN with an approved facility in Ontario. Members of this class can practise only within the scope of their appointment.

Extended (Nurse Practitioner): This class is for Registered Nurses who practice as Nurse Practitioners because of additional education and clinical experience they have obtained.

Temporary: Members in this class are yet to complete registration examination albeit meeting all registration requirements. Although they are allowed to practice under defined terms and conditions.

Emergency Assignment: As the name implies, the Provincial government may declare an emergency and ask the college to issue an Emergency Assignment certificate of registration to qualified nurses in the province.

Non-practising: This class represents members who are not practising nursing in Ontario but want to remain college members.


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