Nurses are highly respected, and valued in the Canadian market for the job that they do, and get paid very well. The constant increase of population in Canada, and demand for medical services is pushing the Canadian government, on the provincial and territorial levels, to create new job opportunities for workers in the medical field.
Demand for Nursing staff in Canada Continues to Grow:
Currently, the demand for specialists with a qualification of a Nurse is at a very high level in Canada. Licensed Nurses in Canada can easily find a job placement in various types of medical institutions. In addition to clinics, nurses can work in nursing homes, private hospitals, charity shelters, and many others. Also, a Registered Nurse may get their own practice and experience; this position is called a Nurse Practitioner (NP). In some provinces, NP must practice their skill under the supervision of a Licensed Doctor. In many provinces, the NP can work independently.
The salaries of licensed nurses are quite high.
On average, a Licensed Practical Nurse aspiring beginner can expect $20 CAN per hour.
A beginner Registered Nurse will get from $23 per hour.
Keep in mind that wages for both positions will constantly increase.
On average, as of 2021, an experienced licensed nurse can receive up to $36 per hour. If working full time, let’s say 40 hours per week, this adds up to around $73,000 per year.
Also, nurses may often choose to work overtime. These hours of work are paid at higher rates.
It should be noted that the above figures are pre-tax amounts. However, in the early years of employment, nurses can get a tax rebate of up to 70% on college or university tuition costs. Another bonus nurses get is the ultimate access to benefits, which include and are not limited to free massages, and acupuncture sessions.
The nursing staff is divided into several levels, depending on the qualifications and on the set of procedures to which specialists of one level or another are allowed. As mentioned, despite the degree level, all Licensed Nurses in Canada are equally honoured and respected.
The first level of a hierarchy of healthcare professionals are the Personal Support Workers (PSW). The majority of their tasks include providing care for patients and completing a variety of health care operations that do not require special medical training. However, PSW are required to have some degree of medical knowledge in order to provide qualified patient care.
The higher level are the Nurses: the junior medical workers who have completed the required special licenses for the right to work in their specialty. As of today, there are two types of Nurses in Canada:
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). The job of this Nurse includes caring for patients, being able to do most types of injections, dispense drugs, measure blood pressure, as well as having the knowledge in assisting in filling out primary medical documentation. These Nurses also oversee the sterilization of medical equipment and may supervise the PSW’s operations.
- Registered Nurse (RN). The RN works with documentation, that is to organize and manage the work of the personnel of the PSW and LPN. These nurses can also hold patient appointments and perform some surgical operations. The RN must have a Bachelor in Nursing degree.
In any case, it is evident that in most cases, a Canadian nurse should be able to perform the work of a licensed doctor. Therefore, the qualifications of a Nurse must be at the highest level.
This qualifying process is not only ensured by the high-quality nursing education in Canadian universities but also due to the qualifying exam for the right to obtain a license from the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
- To note: the requirements for a particular nurse level may differ slightly in different provinces of the country.
How to Become a Licensed Nurse In Canada?
To become a licensed nurse in Canada, you must complete training in special medical schools. Those can be found in most Canadian colleges and universities.
Nurses in Canada can study for 2 years with a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) qualification or 4 years with a Registered Nurse (RN) qualification. The second option involves completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
If, after receiving such a degree, you study for another 2 years, if successful, you can get a Master of Science in Nursing degree. However, this degree is only required for research or teaching in the field.
Ontario Colleges Offering Nursing Programs
As of today, there are a few medical schools in Canada that offer both types of nursing qualifications. In particular, in Ontario, these universities include:
- Canadian Business College
- Evergreen College
- Canadian Beauty College
- National Academy of Health & Business
- PTC Willis College of Business
- Georgian College
- Humber College
- Sheridan College
Keep in mind, that this is not a complete list of such educational institutions in Ontario. There are other similar educational institutions in other provinces.
In any case, after graduating from college or university, for any of the programs, it is necessary to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) qualification exam. Also, there is another exam, different for each type of nurse that one has to complete.
For Licensed Practical Nurse – NCLEX-PN
For Registered Nurse – NCLEX-RN
Both licenses are valid throughout the United States and in all regions of Canada except the province of Quebec. In Quebec, the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec (Quebec) conducts its own licensing exam for registration in the province.
You can become a nurse by completing a medical school program and successfully passing a qualifying exam to obtain a license to work in this area.
As you already know, the profession of a nurse in Canada is highly demanded and well paid. In addition, nurses are much respected by the Canadian community.
Registration Requirements for Internationally Educated Nurses:
To practise nursing as an RN or RPN in Ontario, internationally educated nurses (IENs) must hold a current General Certificate of Registration with the CNO.
See Health Force Ontario’s list of necessary registration requirements to become eligible for General Class Registration.