How to Become a Nurse in Canada

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Nurses are in demand in Canada and in fact, every country around the world. The coronavirus pandemic has made nurses even more relevant and in-demand along with the doctors and other medical frontliners. Without nurses, hospitals won’t function well, and they won’t provide the best medical attention to those who need it the most.

While nurses are continuously in demand thanks to the never-ending concerns in health and the constant need for medical care and attention, the life of a nurse can be so tiring and complicated. However, nothing replaces the happiness in helping save a person’s life by assisting the doctor in getting the things done in the hospital.

Did you know?

In the early 1990s, most Canadian provinces and territories were not hiring nurses. Canada is now facing a growing shortage of nurses, as a result of an aging nursing workforce. This has resulted in a massive need for new nurses.

Now that we have established the importance and relevance of nurses in Canada, here is everything you must know about becoming a nurse in Canada.

Nursing in Canada – Educational Requirements

If you want to become a nurse in Canada, you must finish high school and also get a four-year degree in nursing. All provinces and territories in Canada require all aspiring nurses to be degree holders in nursing first. However, there is an exemption in Quebec, where students who want to become nurses are not obligated to obtain a nursing degree.

Nurses have to study different concepts and branches of medicine to obtain a nursing degree. Some of these concepts include nursing theories, humanities, social and behavioural sciences, professional ethics, and therapeutic relationships.

It is expected that entry-level RNs or registered nurses be educated as generalists. They must work be prepared work according to the standards set by the Canadian Nurses Association, the national body for nurses working in Canada.

A nursing degree is necessary because it prepares aspiring nurses to provide direct care. It helps them adopt a professional and compassionate approach when it comes to their patients.

Professional and Licensing Requirements for Nurses in Canada

Aside from their four-year degree in nursing, aspiring nurses must hold a licence before having actual work experience at hospitals and clinics. But first, you should contact the provincial or territorial regulatory body, that is where you intend to practice and apply for assessment. In Ontario, all aspiring nurses should apply to be registered with the College of Nurses in Ontario or the CNO.

Once the provincial or territorial regulatory board has deemed you eligible to continue, you’ll have to take the registration exam to determine how competent a nurse you are before the practice even starts.

In addition to that, aspiring nurses should successfully complete a jurisprudence exam separate from the registration exam discussed earlier. This jurisprudence exam is designed to check how much knowledge and understanding of the laws and rules in nursing you have before you can start your nursing practice. This test is available online.

Aside from the required licensing examinations and other examinations, aspiring nurses in Canada should be able to speak and write fluent English or French. They would also need to provide proof of registration or eligibility for registration of where you completed your nursing degree, and a confirmation that they are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident.

Other Relevant Skills and Knowledge Needed

Apart from the required skills, educational requirements, and professional requirements, nurses in Canada should have above-average communication skills, good memory, high interpersonal skills, and record every note from the doctors quickly and accurately when needed. Remember that being a nurse means you’ll be interacting with different kinds of people, so patience, compassion, and understanding are highly required.

The Demand of Nurses in Canada

According to the Canadian government, there will always be good job prospects for nurses because of the retiring nurses and some because jobs are needed in specific areas of the country. Some nursing positions become available because some nurses choose to become professors in universities and colleges.

Some others become vacant due to promotions. However, it doesn’t mean that the demand always means having new job opportunities because that can also mean additional working hours for existing nurses.

If you want to be a nurse in Canada, you should be ready to shoulder workloads that are meant for two nurses because hospitals or the clinics aren’t often keen on recruiting more nurses to alleviate the workload.

How Much do Nurses Earn in Canada?

Nurses earn a pretty decent amount compared to other professions in Canada. A nurse working in Canada earns around $67,529 a year, translating to $34.63 per hour. This can change from province to province. The Northwest Territories register the highest annual salaries for nurses up to $101,829. Overall, Canada is seen to be more on the high-paying spectrum when it comes to nurses and their salaries.

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.