Study Nursing In Canada: How To Become a Nurse In Canada

You can study nursing in Canada by enrolling in diploma, undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral programs. Becoming a registered nurse in Canada will take many steps to finally complete. Requirements vary from one province to another. Truth be told, there is a huge demand for registered nurses in Canada. This demand is fuelled by various reasons because these nurses are required to deal with patients even more than the doctors.

In other to apply for the nursing program in Canada, students must have a pass in Biology, Science or Chemistry, Mathematics, English Language, and one of Group C, B, or A course.

According to the national licensing body of the Canadian Nurses Association, all nurses are recommended to obtain their undergraduate Baccalaureate degree as it is required in all provinces except the Quebec and Yukon Territory.

Requirements to Study Nursing in Canada

To be offered admission to either a diploma or undergraduate degree program (BN or BSc) in nursing, students must have completed high school with at least a C average in English, mathematics, biology, and chemistry. Physics is recommended. However, For those without the necessary prerequisites, many schools offer a pre-nursing year.

  • Completion of at least 10 university equivalent full-courses
  • 75% or 3.0 GPA in the last year of study or in the last five courses
  • Two-letter of references: one academic and one work-related
  • Interview (not mandatory)

Many nursing schools offer specialized advanced programs; some examples are emergency nursing, cardiac nursing, oncology nursing, school nursing, pediatric nursing, and geriatric nursing.

Eligibility Criteria for BSc Nursing in Canada

A diploma or undergraduate program (BN or BSc) in nursing in Canada after 12th expects students to have completed high school having at least an average of C grade in English, mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics. Many schools offer a pre-nursing year for those not meeting these benchmarks.

Eligibility Criteria for MSc and PG Nursing Programs in Canada

A recognized Bachelor’s degree with an average of B grade or a minimum of 70 – 76% is the eligibility criteria for a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Canada. For PG Diploma, you will need a minimum of 60 – 65% in Bachelors.

Requirements to study Nursing in Canada as an International Student.

For aspirants from a university outside Canada, you are required to have at least the following scores:

  • TOEFL: 88 and above
  • IELTS: 6.5 and above
  • PTE: 59 above

Alternatively, foreign international students could also opt for CELBAN.

Cost of Studying Nursing in Canada

Enrolling to study nursing in Canada could be expensive. However, The fee structure depends on the university you decide to apply for, and the nursing program you desire to pursue.

Generally, BSc Nursing in Canada fees range between 40,000 CAD to 169,000 CAD (total program fees), and MSc Nursing in Canada would cost approximately CAD $37,000 per year (fees and living).

Study Duration for Nursing in Canada

How many years does it take to study nursing in Canada? BSc Nursing programs in Canada are for Four (4) years, and they prepare you to work as a Registered Nurse, whereas the Postgraduate programs last for 1-2 years. The duration of these courses differs across universities in Canada.

Nursing Specializations

In Canada, there are several nursing specializations that include the following.

  • Cardiovascular Nursing
  • Critical Care Nursing
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Emergency Nursing
  • Critical Care Paediatric Nursing
  • Gastroenterology Nursing
  • Enterostomal Therapy Nursing
  • Gerontological Nursing
  • Medical-Surgical Nursing
  • Occupational Health Nursing
  • Neuroscience Nursing
  • Nephrology Nursing
  • Perinatal Nursing
  • Orthopaedic Nursing
  • Rehabilitation Nursing
  • Perioperative Nursing

The following table lists the top 10 universities in Canada for nursing, along with their program duration and total fees: 

UniversityRankingDurationFees (in CAD)
University of Toronto72 years$113,900
McMaster University154 years$52,094
McGill University214 years$169,568
University of Alberta234 years$103,912
University of British Columbia (UBC)382 years$117,304
Western University454 years$159,344
Queen’s University at Kingston51 – 1004 years$189,420
University of Calgary51 – 1004 years$51,348
University of Ottawa51 – 1004 years$142,016
Dalhousie University3 years$70,020

Why Study Nursing in Canada

Apart from the joy and respect that comes with studying nursing as a course in Canada, they are several benefits accrued with it. some of the reasons to study nursing in Canada are:

1. Numerous Better Job Opportunities and Securities

In Canada, the population of old and sick people is rapidly increasing which clearly states the need for the country to increase its workforce in the healthcare sector, therefore, creating job opportunities for Nursing graduates. In fact, for those who studied Master’s in Nursing in Canada, it will further open new gateways of opportunities.

2. Students with limited exposure in their native countries get more hands-on experience when studying nursing in other developed countries.

3. Healthy Working Environments

For international students, you will notice the comfort in the working environments in Canada. Although, the workload is much and longer working hours too. But remember, the environment is comfortable enough to make you not feel stressed. Apart from that, the respect you get for your services is outstanding. You can spot grateful faces around you, who recognize your efforts and believe in your talent.

4. Better Pay Rate/Scale

In a recap, I stated that the respect you get for your services rendered as a nurse in Canada is outstanding, You would expect bountiful pay too. you are entitled to receive decent payrolls. However, the pay will differ per the specialization based. There are additional pay returns for overtime working too, which will again vary as per the unit you’re working in.

5. These programs introduce you to modern technology and make you well equipped to have a stable career as a nurse

How to Become a Registered Nurse in Canada

Step #1. Get a post-secondary education.

Step #2. Apply to the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) directly for an assessment.

Step #3. You must meet other requirements in order to be “registered” by a provincial or territorial nursing regulatory body in Canada.

  • Evidence of fluency in written and spoken English or French.
  • Registration or eligibility for registration in the jurisdiction where a nursing program was completed.
  • Proof of Canadian Citizenship, Permanent Residency, or authorization under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

Step #4. Evolve your competencies.

Nursing Salaries in Canada

Nursing in Canada is not only remarkable but also financially remunerating. These are the salaries paid to registered nurses accordingly in Canada.

  • Nursing Manager – $85k per year
  • Certified Nurse Midwife – $114k per year
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP) – $94k per year
  • Forensic Nurse – $80k per year
  • Clinical Informatics Specialist –$75k per year
  • Clinical Research Manager –$89k per year
  • Nurse Educator – $90k per year

Once you decide to study international nursing programs, it’s good to conduct a self-assessment that makes sure if you’re prepared for the big ride. Your decision should serve a purpose and it is important to predict how it will strengthen your career. After considering all these factors, you can also check the options for different countries.

Ideally, Canada should be on top of your priority list as the country has an alarmingly high demand for nursing professionals. Students who study nursing in Canada have an abundance of scope to flourish in this field.

Nursing as it is has a global market, which makes the profession highly in demand. It can be exhausting to be a nurse but it’s definitely worth it if you’re at the right place. So, evaluate all that you can and make a choice towards a better future.

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