One great way to explore if nursing is right for you is to volunteer! Acute care hospitals, residential care or long-term care facilities often have many volunteer positions needing to be filled, and this is a great way to if this is the right career for you. Some high-school co-op placements also provide opportunities for students to learn in a health-care setting.

Co-op opportunities in which you are working with an RPN can provide valuable learning experiences and can also allow you to observe the actual day-to-day knowledge and skills an RPN uses to provide safe and effective care. Shadowing an RPN in a health care setting can help you learn more about the health care work environment, the role of the RPN, providing patient centered care and will allow you to reflect on how this nursing profession might fit with your own career aspirations.

To pursue these types of learning opportunities, contact your high school guidance counselor or call/email your local hospital or care facilities and inquire about volunteer opportunities.

The accompanying flowchart describes the requirements at each stage of your development throughout your career as an RPN.

It’s great to enroll in right courses at the high school level to build a foundation for your nursing studies, but there are a variety of different routes that students can take to gain acceptance into a college level nursing program. If you are still in high-school, your guidance counsellor will be able to assist you with your options. For those who do not have the pre-requisite’s for the Practical Nursing Program, many of the Ontario College’s offer pre-health programs that can even help you get a spot in these competitive nursing programs. For more information on these programs, visit your local college’s website or contact their admissions office for more information.

Once you have been accepted to a college program, accessing support through grants and bursaries is a great way to help finance your ongoing education. Follow us on social media to learn about some of these opportunities for the coming year!

Once you have finished your practical nursing program, proof of successful (with application to the College of Nurses) is required to begin the assessment for eligibility to write the RPN examination. See the College of Nurses of Ontario Become a Nurse section for more information.



Are you an internationally educated nurse looking coming to Canada to be a Registered Practical Nurse? Visit the PASS program that supports Internationally Educated Nurses with the process of practing nursing in Canada.