10 Requirements For Nursing in Canada-For Study & Work

Searching for the requirements for nursing in Canada? Then you are on the right page. Nursing is a healthcare career that concentrates on the safety and improvement of health, prevention of illness, relief of suffering, and focuses on the care of individuals and families.

Unlike any other medical speciality, nursing focuses on individuals and the family, and not just the presenting health problem.

The medical field in the world today is in high demand for expert nurses. This is due to the increase in the need for medical aid and expertise to handle rising medical issues.

As the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) has indicated a continued shortage of nurses in the future, nursing jobs in Canada are in high demand.

Due to this, Canada has opened its doors to welcome International educated nurses even as the demands for nurses keep increasing. In this article, you will find the various requirements for nursing in Canada.

Duties of Nurses

(1)Assessing patients to recognize the appropriate nursing interventions.

(2) Administer medications and treatments prescribed by a physician and according to specified systems and protocols.

(3) Operate and monitor medical devices or equipment.

(4) Assist doctors in surgery and other medical procedures.

(5) Nurses teach and counsel patients, individuals and families on health-related issues in cooperation with other health care providers.

(6) Community health nurses also provide health education in public health-related departments through home visits,  participation in community needs assessment and other program developments.

(7) They Engage in research activities related to nursing.

(8) Record medical history and symptoms of patients. They monitor, assess, address, document and report symptoms and changes in patients’ conditions

(9) Collaboration with other medical teams to plan for patient care and services.

(10) They offer advocacy services for the fitness and wellbeing of patients.

(11) Monitor patients’ health and record signs and progress.

(12) Administer medications and treatments to patients.

(14) Performance of diagnostic tests.

(15) Educate patients about the management of illnesses and provide support and advice to patients.

(16) Provide consultation services to institutes, associations and health care organizations observing issues and concerns that are relevant to the nursing profession practice.

The List of Top Requirements For Nursing In Canada

  • English Proficiency

  • Post Secondary Education

  • Have A Nursing Degree

  • Get A Clinical Practice  Placement

  • Have A work Permit

  • Apply To The Nursing Regulatory Body Of Your Region

  • Get Registered  As A Nurse In Canada

  • First Aid and CPR certification

  • Picking A Specialty

  • Complete The National licensing Exams

Let’s throw more light on these requirements for nursing in Canada.

1. English Proficiency

All nursing applicants must meet the Practical Nursing English Proficiency requirement.

You must complete an acceptable English language proficiency test and earn an appropriate score. This is one of the major requirements for nursing in Canada.

2. Post Secondary Education

You are required to have previously attended postsecondary studies and must disclose all previous qualifications.

Without this, it is difficult to start or further your career as a nurse in Canada.

3. Have A Nursing Degree 

To practice nursing in Canada, earn a nursing degree.

International educated nurses may apply to work temporarily in Canada, though there are opportunities for permanent residency in Canada for international nurses.

4. Get A Clinical Practice  Placement

To be eligible for a clinical practice placement, one must have a completed Clinical Preparedness Permit which includes:

  •  Have The Necessary Medical Requirements. This includes current immunization records as outlined in the Canadian Immunization Guide for healthcare workers.  This includes bloodwork for the immune status of hepatitis B/varicella/measles/mumps and rubella, TB testing/CXR as required and more.
  •  Have The Necessary Non-Medical Requirements. This includes; a current Basic Life Support Certificate renewed annually, a Standard First Aid valid for four years, ( online courses are not acceptable ), a record of  fitness test  renewed every two years, a criminal record check and a vulnerable sector screening (annually)
  • Transportation: Clinical practice placements are in a variety of agencies. Students are required to provide their transportation. 
  • Admission to this program is highly competitive. Applicants are classified based on academic strength and only the highest will be offered a place.

5. Have A work Permit

One of the major requirements for nursing in Canada is having a work permit. Nursing is a highly regulated profession in Canada, you need a certificate (or license) to work as a registered nurse. And the licensing process can be lengthy and costly. 

6. Apply To The Nursing Regulatory Body Of Your Region

Qualified nurses must first apply to the regulatory body of the province or region where they wish to practice their profession.

According to Canada registration requirements, nurses are expected to register with their provincial regulatory body before they go for the next step below. 

7. Get Registered  As A Nurse In Canada

Any nurse that is planning to work in Canada must get registered with the Canadian Nurses Association (CAN) or the Canadian Council for Practical Nurse Regulators (CCPNR).

This is one of the major requirements for nursing in Canada and it is done to be acknowledged and qualified to practice as a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed/Registered Practical Nurse (LPN/RPN) in Canada.

8. First Aid and CPR certification

You are required to have a First aid and CPR certification well as updated immunizations. This is often required for nurses. Since many programs require a clinical placement.

9. Picking A Specialty

Picking a specialty is also one of the requirements for nursing in Canada. This is because registered nurses may specialize in areas such as surgery, rehabilitation or oncology, community health, obstetrics care, psychiatric care, critical care, pediatrics, geriatrics, occupational health, emergency care, and more.

10. Complete The National licensing Exams

Nurses that complete a national licensing exam, in addition to a school’s nursing program, are called registered nurses (RNs) or registered practical nurses RPN) who work under an RN.

Short Nursing Courses in Canada For International Student Admission

Here’s a list of some short nursing courses in Canada for international students:

  • Diploma in Practical Nursing

  • Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing

  • Graduate Certificate in Enhanced Nursing Practice- Clinical and Critical Care

  • Master of Nursing

  • Master in Public Health Nursing

  • Master of Science in nursing

  • Master of Science in Nursing specialization in feminist and gender studies

  • Master of Science in Nursing Primary Health Care: Nurse Practitioner

Check out these 1-year nursing programs in Canada or the 12 Accelerated Nursing Programs in Canada.

Requirements to Study Nursing In Canada For International Students

According to the national licensing body, the Canadian Nurses Association, all nurses must obtain their undergraduate degree or provide proof of qualification for foreigners.

To be admitted to either a diploma or undergraduate degree program in nursing, students must have completed high school with English, mathematics, biology, and chemistry, with at least a C average and Physics is recommended.

For those without the necessary prerequisites, many schools offer a pre-nursing year. You can check out these 8 Nursing Schools in Canada For International Students.

High School Requirements For Nursing In Canada

Just like you have seen the requirements for nursing in Canada above, If you are still in high school, this section is very vital.

(1)A Basic knowledge of Advanced Math

If you have dreams of pursuing nursing as a career you should note that Maths is a very important class to undergo in high school, this is so you would have the basic knowledge of how to carry out and compute correct prescriptions and dosages. take three or four years of high school math, inclusive of  geometry  

Good knowledge of mathematics can help you in college and basic nursing school admissions exams, too.

(2) A Good Interest and Knowledge In Science Courses

A well-established knowledge of science like chemistry, biology, and physics is important. This is because these science courses are the foundational steps to prepare you for nursing courses like anatomy and physiology.

(3) Other Subjects

Other subjects like English and any foreign language are also recommended. A good nurse needs outstanding communication skills to effectively handle patients and colleagues.

Other subjects include psychology, computers and writing.

Also, note that grades are very important in high school if you want to study nursing in Canada. 

(4). Work and Volunteering Activities

As a young high school student aspiring to practice nursing you can enhance your academic application through volunteering at nursing facilities or hospitals, health-related jobs, attending camps and events related to this field, and training too.

(5) Undergo The  Pre-Nursing Exam

Some nursing schools have various ways of offering admissions, but Most nursing schools require applicants to take the National Nursing Pre-Admission Examination.

This exam covers major science-related courses like English, chemistry, physics, earth science, biology and several areas in mathematics. 

MSC Nursing in Canada for International Students

For a Master’s-Degree program in nursing, you must have completed an undergraduate degree in nursing with at least a B+ average.

And also be licensed and registered as a  Nurse. And also, before you apply for admission, you are expected to have at least 1-2 years of experience in nursing.

Requirements For Diploma In Nursing In Canada

To acquire a diploma in nursing, students must have completed high school with excellent grades in  English, mathematics, biology, and chemistry, with at least a C average. Physics is also recommended. 

Requirements For Practical Nursing In Canada

Below are the requirements for nursing in Canada if you want to practice in Canada.

(1) A School Diploma (OSSD), or equivalent with the 

A minimum grade of 70% is in each of the following subjects:

English, Mathematics or an  equivalent course, Biology  or equivalent course, Physics or Chemistry or an equivalent course

(2) Performance in any previous nursing program may impact your admission eligibility.

(3)To be eligible for the clinical practice you must have a completed Clinical Preparedness Permit.

Requirements For Nursing Jobs In Canada

(1) Completion of a nursing course or other certified registered nursing program.

(2) An extra academic training or experience is necessary to practice in your nursing specialty.

(3)Acquiring a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing is very essential for clinical nurse specialists, nursing consultants and researchers.

(4) Registration with a regulatory body in your provinces and territories.

(5)After registration focus on your area of specialty and apply for jobs

Requirements For Studying BSC Nursing In Canada

To be admitted for a  BSc nursing in Canada, students are expected to have completed high school with excellent results in English, mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics. 

Where Can I Work As A Nurse In Canada?

Nurses Can work in three primary areas: 

-Healthcare: Those in healthcare work in community clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, special-care facilities, home care, rehabilitation centers and even more

-Education: They specialize their career in education, teaching students theoretical and clinical-based practice and offering counseling services on sex education, self-esteem, addiction and more.

-Administration: Nurses in the administrative arm are responsible for coordinating and leading other members of the healthcare team.

Differences Between A Diploma And A Bachelor’s Degree?

These two Degrees Bachelor’s and Diploma illustrate two different levels of education.  Bachelor’s degree is a higher level of education, it is a title awarded to a student after studying nursing in a college.

On the other hand, Earning your diploma in practical nursing is the fastest way to jumpstart your nursing career as a licensed practical nurse (LPN).

Can I immigrate to Canada as a nurse?

Yes, you can migrate to Canada as a nurse, this is because nurses are in very high demand in Canada.

Qualified Nurses are eligible for full Permanent Residency under the Federal Skilled Worker Immigration Program on both a Federal and Provincial Nomination basis.

Is nursing hard in Canada?

A nursing career, just like any other medically inclined course requires hard work, patience and persistent effort.

You need to decide if this is really what you want to practice and have a passion for it.

Is nursing school free in Canada?

Studying nursing in Canada is very affordable. On a regular, you’ll need between C$20,000 and C$30,000 per year to cater for your tuition fees.

This varies with the level of studies you need and the institution in which you are getting enrolled.


Nurses will continue to be in high demand in Canada, but even with the great job market, it can be impossible and very difficult to get a job if you don’t have the requirements and licensing to work as a nurse in Canada.

It is very vital to research nursing jobs and employment requirements, especially if you are a foreigner before you arrive in Canada. 

If you were trained as a nurse and have good nursing experience, this article talks about the requirements and processes to apply for nursing jobs in Canada. A degree in nursing can also be used as a stepping-stone to a career in medicine, pharmacy, psychology, social work, or the law.

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