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How to Become a Registered Nurse in Canada

Nursing is usually classified into two groups in Canada – registered nurse and licensed practical nurse. To become a registered nurse and practicing nurse in Canada requires several procedures and steps. You must be sure of one thing, you must have a certificate that qualifies you to practice nursing in Canada. There are at least six registration categories for nurses in Canada, including:

Each province in Canada has a regulatory body for nursing practice in Ontario. They set requirements to enter the profession, guarantee the quality of practice, establish standards of nursing practice.
You will first need to complete your formal studies and obtain one of two diplomas, a bachelor’s program which usually takes around 4 years or an associated diploma program lasting 2 years. There is also a diploma program in hospitals which is not easily accessible.
Applicants must also pass a licensing exam to become a registered nurse (RN) and the other licensing requirements must also be met.
Canada has a regulatory body in its provinces that governs nurses, which sets out certain requirements and regulations that must be met before you can enter the profession in order to ensure quality practice and establish a high standard of practice nurse.
For international nurses who have already obtained a diploma and who practice outside the coast of Canada, you will need to sit down for a bridging course for the registration of nurses.
A “proof of practice requirement” that has been established by the regulatory body must be met by any nurse who aspires to work in Canada and upon completion of the Transition training program, which will be helpful in providing you with experience and essential knowledge to meet the requirements.
The regulatory body will receive a course completion audit which will serve as proof of practice and eligibility.

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Internationally trained nurses

If you are a qualified nurse registered outside Canada (for example, India), you will need to take a Transition course for registration in nursing. These programs will provide you with the clinical experience and knowledge necessary to meet the “proof of practice requirements” established by regulatory bodies.
Upon completion of the Transition program, a course completion verification 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 what options they have.

Benefits of the Transition Course

Any type of Transition course is necessary to start with nursing practice in Canada. With it, you will receive a recognized certificate attesting that you are eligible to work as a nurse practitioner. You will also gain experience in a typical Canadian hospital setting, which will ensure you are ready to go.
You will learn to participate effectively as a team member and to support customers. It gives you the opportunity to practice professionally within the legislative and ethical framework. It is essential to communicate effectively with clients and members of the health care team, in order to develop and maintain therapeutic relationships with clients, you must acquire all of these skills before you can start practicing.

Registration requirements to become a Registered Nurse

To practice nursing as a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse in Canada, internationally educated nurses must have a general registration certificate. To become eligible for registration, international applicants will need to meet the following registration requirements –

  • Proof of authorization to work in Canada
  • Nursing diploma equivalent to a four-year baccalaureate in nursing or a licensed practical nurse diploma.
  • Nursing practice in the category for which the foreign student applies within the three years preceding the issue of the registration certificate.
  • Completion of the NCLEX-RN for those applying for a registered nurse, or the CPNRE (Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam) for those applying for a licensed practical nurse.
  • Proof of language proficiency in English (or French).

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