If you are interested in caring for people and are a high school graduate, you can eventually become a Registered Nurse (RN). There are a number of steps you need to take before you can turn your dream into a career, but they are straightforward and you’ll find there is plenty of support along the way. If you are interested in becoming a Nurse Practitioner, the steps follow below.
Step #1. You will need a post-secondary education.
Why? All provincial and territorial nurses’ associations have adopted the goal of having a baccalaureate requirement for entry into nursing. Evidence supports the fact that baccalaureate-prepared nurses are most able to provide safe, ethical, cost-effective and high quality nursing care for Canadians.
The trend toward a university education for Registered Nurses (RNs) is here: with the exception of students in Quebec, students must choose to obtain a baccalaureate degree in nursing in order to prepare for a RN career.
Step #2. You need to apply to the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) directly for assessment.
All nursing graduates who plan to practise in Ontario must be registered with the CNO.
Once you are deemed eligible (after applying), you’ll take the registration exam. Why? This exam is designed to measure the competencies of nurses at the start of your practice.
In addition to the registration exam, you must successfully complete a separate jurisprudence exam by the College designed to evaluate your knowledge and understanding of the laws, regulations, and College by-laws, practice standards and guidelines that govern the nursing profession in Ontario. The RN Jurisprudence Exam is completed online.
Step #3. If you pass, you must meet four other requirements in order to be “registered” by a provincial or territorial nursing regulatory body in Canada.
After completing an eligible education program, showing the College evidence of recent safe nursing practice (usually completing the program) as well as successful completion of the national nursing registration examination; you must then show:
A valid certificate of registration from the College is required of all nurses who wish to practise nursing in Ontario and perform the procedures in the Controlled Acts that are authorized to nursing. Only member of the College are allowed to refer themselves as nurses in Ontario.
Step #4. Evolve your competencies.
Because nursing is a self-regulating profession, establishing and maintaining high standards of practice is critical — not only for the safety of patients but also the long-term advancement of the nursing profession. Researching and expanding nursing competencies through best practice development is another important contribution RNs can make after they begin to practise.
In Ontario, Registered Nurses (RNs) with additional education and experience are in the Extended Class, also known as Nurse Practitioners (NPs). NPs have an expanded scope of practice including the ability to order and interpret diagnostic tests, communicate diagnoses, prescribe prescription drugs, and perform specific procedures.
NP is a protected title in Ontario (since August 2007). There are four NP specialty certificates within the Extended Class: NP-Primary Health Care, NP-Pediatric, NP-Adult and NP-Anesthesia.
In order to become a NP in Ontario: