So You Want to be a Nurse ...
A critical question to ask before your decision is "Am I the right candidate to be a nurse?" If you have the top 10 traits on the list below, congratulations - you are ready to proceed.
- A caring nature
- Emotionally stable
- A quick thinker
- Have great judgement
- Great communication skills
- Physical endurance
There are 3 types of nursing positions in Ontario,
- Registered practical nurses (RPNs): to become an RPN, you must earn a diploma in practical nursing by taking a program consisting of four semesters over two years in a college program leading to a diploma in Practical Nursing. Because an RPN’s education is less comprehensive and more focused, RPNs’ careers are most appropriately suited to patients with less complex needs, and patients with stable and predictable conditions.
- Registered nurses (RNs): to become an RN, you must have a bachelor's degree. RNs either take a collaborative college-university nursing program or a four-year university nursing program - both leading to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BScN) or Bachelor of Nursing degree (BN). Because an RN’s education is more comprehensive, they have a deeper knowledge base to draw on in areas such as clinical practice, critical thinking and research utilization. RNs can care for patients with more complex needs in unpredictable situations.
- Nurse practitioners (NPs): an NP is an RN with advanced university education who provides personalized, quality health care to patients. Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner Education in Ontario is delivered by a consortium of nine universities under COUPN (Council of Ontario University Programs in Nursing). NPs work in four specialties: primary health care, adult and pediatric care and anaesthesia.
Once you have obtained your degree or diploma, you must pass an exam administered by your provincial nursing association to become a registered nurse.
Here are some books for you to take home from the Toronto Public Library on nursing as a career + nursing school entrance exams:
Some websites of interest: