Professionals ‚ first and foremost. All nurses are knowledge based professionals.
In Ontario, RPNs are community college graduates. After graduation, they write a national certification examination. Once they successfully complete this exam, they are registered to practice as a nurse by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO). All nurses must renew their CNO registration annually, maintaining up-to-date skills and knowledge of current practices, to preserve their professional standing.
RPNs are regulated by the CNO through the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1993, and the Nursing Act, 1991 as amended. There are more than 51,000 RPNs registered in Ontario of which more than 49,000 are currently practicing. RPNs are health care professionals. They combine nursing skill, knowledge and judgment and are experts of nursing care at the bedside.
RPNs work anywhere that health care is provided ‚ in hospitals, homes for the aged, nursing homes, retirement homes, public health units, community nursing agencies, clinics, private practice, industry, schools, child care centres, children's camps. Many RPNs complete post graduate education for critical care skills used in the operating rooms, dialysis, emergency and intensive care. RPN practice can be autonomous and RPNs are valued members of the health care team.