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How to become a Registered Nurse in Canada

Nursing is usually categorized in two groups in Canada – Registered Nurse and Registered Practical Nurse. There are six classes of registration of nurses – General, Extended, Special Assignment, Temporary, Emergency Assignment and Non-Practicing.

Every province in Canada has a regulatory body for nursing practice in Ontario. They set requirements to enter the profession, assuring the quality of practice, establishing standards of nursing practice.

Internationally Educated Nurses

If you are a skilled nurse registered outside of Canada (for e.g. in India) you will have to complete a bridging course meant for nursing registration. These programs will provide you with the clinical experience and knowledge necessary to meet the ‘evidence of practice requirements’ set by the regulatory bodies.

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Upon completion of the bridging program, a verification of the course completion will be forwarded to the regulatory body as proof of practice and eligibility. This program may or may not be available on a part-time basis. Please check with your college to see which options they have.

Benefits of the bridging course

Any kind of bridging course is required for you to start with nursing practice in Canada. With it you will receive a recognized certificate stating that you are eligible to work as a practicing nurse. You will also be earning experience in typical Canadian hospital setting, which will ensure you are employment ready

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You will learn how to participate effectively as a team member and to support clients. It gives you the chance to practice in a professional manner within the legislative and ethical framework. Communicating effectively with clients and health care team members is essential, so in order to develop and sustain therapeutic relationships with clients, you need to learn all these skills before you can start practicing.

Registration requirements to become a Registered Nurse

To practice nursing as a Registered Nurse or Registered Practical Nurse in Canada, internationally educated nurses must hold a General Certificate of Registration. To become eligible for Registration, international applicants will need to meet the following registration requirements –

  1. Proof of authorization to work in Canada
  2. Completion of nursing program that is equivalent to a four year bachelors degree in nursing or practical nursing diploma.
  3. Nursing practice in the category for which the international student is applying within three years prior to issuance of the Certificate of Registration.
  4. Completion of the NCLEX-RN for those applying for Registered Nurse, or the CPNRE (Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam) for those applying for Registered Practical Nurse.
  5. Proof of language proficiency in English (or French).

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