Just like in the USA, Canada is also suffering a nursing crisis situation and is in need of qualified nurses. The biggest need for nurses is in the Ontario province/ territory, both in the city and in rural areas. Although Canada has a public health care system that differs from the US, the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is predicting the nursing shortage to continue well into the future. Whether you live in Canada or are thinking of moving, Ontario has many great nursing opportunities.
To be a nurse in Canada you will need to first become a registered nurse (RN) by obtaining a Bachelor in Nursing (BN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Both of these degrees are four-year degrees and are considered equivalent whether you earn them in Canada or the in the USA.
To work in Ontario as a nurse you will need to pass an exam to work in that territory much like you would pass a state board exam to work in any state in the US. Of course, if you want to work in a more specialized field of nursing you will need both the skills and the experience to do so by obtaining a Canadian Nurse Association (CNA) certificate in the specific area of specialty in which you wish to work.
If you want to work in Ontario you will have to request and then fill in the form from the Ontario territory regulatory body. These forms can be found online through the Collage of Nurses of Ontario. Once you have completed these forms you must take the Canadian Registered Nurses Examination (this exam is required for all provinces and territories except Quebec). At this time the exam is only offered in Canada. For more information visit the website of The Canadian Nurses Association.
In some cases being bilingual is a huge asset to being hired as a nurse in Canada. English and French are both the official languages of Canada and are spoken by many people throughout the country. Being bilingual in these two languages will give you an advantage over nurses that only speak one of them. All exams are offered in both languages so you can choose to take yours in the language that you prefer.
If you are a US citizen considering working in Canada you’ll need to contact the Canadian Consulate for information on how to obtain a visa. If you have a job offer from a health care facility in Canada this process is very quick and easy. If you have no jobs prospects this process can be more difficult, although not impossible.
Because Canada has a publicly funded health care system, most nurses will work in the public sector. There are a small amount of nurses in Canada who work in the private sector of nursing or are considered self-employed. Nurses can be found working in hospitals, schools, private offices and more.
The CNA is a national certification program that creates a standardized practice certification across the country. There are 19 specialty areas of certification that nurses can acquire to show their commitment to nursing excellence and continuing competence. Many nursing jobs available in Ontario will require a CNA certification. The certification is good for a five-year period and proves a demonstrated competence in a specialty area. Specialty areas include acute care, intensive care, midwifery and geriatrics to name a few. Often an employer will allow a flexible schedule to gain the certification and as well reimburse the nurse after the CNA certificate is completed.
Ontario Canada is the largest Canadian province by population and second largest in total area. Bordering many of the great lakes as well as having amazing mountains and the famous Niagara Falls, Ontario is said to be the most diverse of all the provinces with most mild weather as well. Ontario has something to offer everyone and many great nursing opportunities as well.