How Do You Become an RPN in Ontario?

How Do You Become an RPN in Ontario?

How Do You Become an RPN in Ontario?

Becoming a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) is an excellent career choice for those interested in healthcare and helping others. RPNs work alongside other healthcare professionals to provide patient care in various settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities. In Ontario, becoming an RPN involves completing an educational program and passing the necessary exams and assessments. Here are the steps to becoming an RPN in Ontario:

Meet the Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for an RPN program in Ontario, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent, with courses in English, math, and science. Additionally, you may need to complete a language proficiency test if English is not your first language. 

Some programs may also require you to have experience in healthcare or related fields. Once you’re eligible and ultimately complete your course, you’re more easily hired for the best rpn jobs ottawa has to offer.

Choose an RPN Program

There are many RPN programs available in Ontario, offered at colleges and universities. These programs typically take two to three years to complete. During your schooling, you’ll learn both in and out of classrooms and even start practical training in healthcare settings. Before choosing a program, research different schools and their curriculums to find one that aligns with your interests and career goals.

Apply to the Program

Once you have chosen an RPN program, you can apply directly to the school through their website or through the Ontario College Application Service (OCAS). The application process typically involves submitting transcripts, a personal statement, and letters of reference. You may also need to complete an interview or assessment test as part of the application process.

Complete the Program

During your RPN program, you will learn various skills, such as assessment, medication, wound care, and proper communication skills. You will also gain hands-on experience through clinical placements in various healthcare settings. To complete the program, you must meet the academic and clinical requirements set by the school.

Pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN)

Once you have completed your RPN program, you must pass the NCLEX-PN, which is a national exam that assesses your knowledge and skills in practical nursing. The exam is administered by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and is computer-based. You must apply to the CNO to take the exam and pay the required fees.

Register with the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO)

After passing the NCLEX-PN, you must register with the CNO to become a licensed RPN in Ontario. The registration process involves submitting your exam results, transcripts, and other required documents, as well as paying registration fees. Once registered, you will receive a certificate of registration and can legally work as an RPN in Ontario.

Maintain your Registration and Competence

Once you are registered with the CNO as an RPN, you must maintain your registration and competence. This involves completing continuing education courses and renewing your registration annually. You must also adhere to the CNO's standards of practice and code of ethics, which outline the expectations for RPNs in terms of their professional conduct and responsibilities.

Consider Advancing your Education

As an RPN, you have the option to advance your education and career by completing additional training and education. For example, you may choose to become a Registered Nurse (RN) by completing a bridging program, or you may specialize in a particular area of healthcare, such as palliative care or mental health. Continuing education can help you develop new skills and knowledge and advance your career opportunities.


In conclusion, becoming an RPN in Ontario involves completing an educational program, passing the NCLEX-PN, and registering with the CNO. Being an RPN is an excellent career choice for those interested in healthcare and helping others, and the demand for RPNs is expected to grow in the coming years. If you are considering a career in practical nursing, research different programs and schools to find one that suits your needs and interests.