How to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Canada? Check Eligibility and Application Process

Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Sep 30, 2022 09:13 AM IST

Wish to get into the healthcare sector in Canada? Check out this article highlighting the steps on how to become a nurse practitioner in Canada. Becoming one will allow you to be a registered nurse qualified and skilled to undertake medical services outside the scope of a registered nurse in Canada.

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Canada? Check Eligibility and Application Process
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Canada is renowned for a multitude of reasons, one among them being Nurse Practitioners in Canada. Over the past few years, we have witnessed a devastating pandemic where healthcare professionals were in high demand across the globe. Regardless of how experienced or inexperienced they were, everyone involved in the sector gave their all to protect and treat all those suffering from the virus.

Thus, if you wish to be a part of such a crucial sector of a country, you can choose to become a nurse practitioner in Canada. A step higher than regular nurses, nurse practitioners are capable of completing additional medical tasks after advanced learning.

On this page, we will discuss the steps on how to become a nurse practitioner in Canada and everything you need to know about the profession, allowing you to make an informed decision for your future.

What is a Nurse Practitioner?

Defined as a registered nurse (RN), a nurse practitioner is one with an advanced university qualification capable of providing a whole range of medical services to families, individuals and communities. With the qualifications and skills to work outside the scope of practice for an RN, a nurse practitioner will be able to:

  • Perform physical check-ups

  • Diagnose and treat common acute illnesses

  • Prescribe some medications

  • Order and interpret laboratory tests

  • Manage stable and chronic diseases

  • Make referrals

There are a lot more medical services that registered nurse practitioners are skilled and qualified to undertake, on top of the regular practices within the scope of a registered nurse. Additionally, nurse practitioners often work with physicians, nurses and other medical professionals.

Get Expert Advice to Become an NP in Canada!

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Canada?

Now that you know what the role entails for any aspiring for it, to become a nurse practitioner in Canada, you will have to follow certain processes and get the necessary educational qualifications. Highlighted below, are the steps you need to complete to become a nurse practitioner in Canada.

Get an NP Degree

As stated above, it is important for any aspirant to first get the appropriate Nurse Practitioner (NP) degree in Canada. Being a graduate degree, candidates must first enrol themselves in an appropriate undergraduate degree like an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing, or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

Once you have received your BSN or equivalent degree, you will have to register yourself as a Registered Nurse. The process involves taking a registered nurse examination conducted by the National Council Licensure Examination - Registered Nurse (NCLE-RN). Once the test has been cleared, you will have to meet other requirements which include presenting your language fluency in either English or French, proof of PR or Canadian Citizenship and eligibility to register under the jurisdiction where you completed your nursing programme.

Upon becoming a registered nurse in Canada, you can then either choose to pursue a nursing career and take up a part-time approved nurse practitioner course or pursue a full-time nurse practitioner course in Canada. It should be noted that aspirants will be able to choose their specialisations like psychiatry care, gerontological, oncology, pediatric or acute care.

Display Safe Nursing Practices

As a requirement to be registered as a nurse practitioner in Canada, aspirants will have to work and practice safe nursing for a minimum of two years out of 5 years of work experience. Additionally, aspirants will be required to have an experience of one year of advanced practice nursing as well.

According to GraduatesNursingEdu.org, the advanced practice nursing experience should include the following advanced practice clinical competencies:

  • Prevention of injury, illness and other complications;

  • Therapeutic intervention;

  • Health assessment and diagnosis;

  • Health promotion; and

  • Healthcare management.

In addition to these roles, you must be able to present proof of the minimum safe nursing practice hours requirement by your employer. The employer reference should include the horse of safe nursing practice in numbers, the level of safety in your practice, the role you undertook and a copy of your job description.

Attempt and Clear Nurse Practitioner Exam in Canada

Once you have completed your approved course, you will have to take the Nurse Practitioner exam in Canada. But first, it is important to meet the minimum requirements mentioned above. However, each province and territory in Canada will set individual requirements to attempt the test.

The process of being certified as a Nurse Practitioner in Canada involves an evaluation of your nursing knowledge and skills, proof of your clinical experience along with a final examination. Upon clearing these steps, you will become eligible to register as an NP and build your career as a Nurse Practitioner in Canada.

Salary of Nurse Practitioners in Canada

As outlined above, there are specific areas of specialisation that nurse practitioners in Canada can get into once they are registered. Among them include pediatric nurse practitioners, acute care nurse practitioners, neonatal nurse practitioners, women’s health nurse practitioners, oncology nurse practitioners, orthopaedic nurse practitioners and many more.

Listed below are the salaries earned by nurse practitioners in Canada, differentiated by role and province in the country.

Nurse Practitioner Salary in Canada - Provincial List

The table below highlights the average median salaries earned by nurse practitioners across Canadian provinces and territories.

Province

Median Salary (CAD/Hour)

Saskatchewan

58.69

Ontario

55.91

Newfoundland and Labrador

51.92

Nova Scotia

50.66

Manitoba

50.00

Alberta

48.88

New Brunswick

46.15

British Columbia

45.00

The nurse practitioner salaries in Canada as listed in the table above have been taken from the official website of the Government of Canada. Therefore, they are subject to change after every new survey.

Nurse Practitioner Salary in Canada - Profile-wise List

The table below will reveal the average salaries earned by nurse practitioners in Canada employed in different job roles.

Nurse Practitioner Role

Average Salary in Canada

Oncology Nurse Practitioner

CAD 162,560 per year

Cardiac Nurse Practitioner

CAD 51.00 per hour

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

CAD 111,402 per year

Family Nurse Practitioner

CAD 111,402 per year

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

CAD 53,654 /per year

The numbers posted in the table above have been taken from the latest survey by Indeed.com and are subject to change as per trends. Therefore, use the information provided above only as a reference.

And thus, if you choose to become a nurse practitioner in Canada, then you need to ensure that you meet the necessary requirements before applying for a nurse practitioner course. Moreover, every nurse practitioner student must abide by the provincial requirements in order to become registered as a nurse practitioner in Canada. While the process of becoming one may seem exhausting, the job role is one of the more rewarding roles you can take up in the country.

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FAQs

Is being a nurse practitioner worth it?

If you are interested in providing help to your fellow citizens and members of your community, then becoming a nurse practitioner can be one of the best jobs you can prepare for. As nurse practitioners, you will be able to provide a wide range of medical services outside the scope of a registered nurse, such as prescribing certain medicines as well.

Is nurse practitioner a stressful job?

As a job, being a nurse practitioner can be stressful, however, it depends on several factors including the demand for a nurse practitioner, the level of help a patient requires and much more. Nevertheless, being a nurse practitioner can be a highly rewarding career as well since you are able to provide a wide range of medical services without being a physician.

Is becoming a nurse practitioner in Canada difficult?

The level of difficulty of becoming a nurse practitioner in Canada will be determined by the NP specialisation you choose, your skills and knowledge of being a registered nurse and much more. However, the process of becoming a nurse practitioner can be long as candidates need to present valid experience, especially in safe nursing practice, to become registered as a nurse practitioner in Canada.

How long is the nurse practitioner programme in Canada?

Depending on the type of course you choose to pursue, it can take anywhere from 2-3 years to complete an NP course in Canada. In other words, if you choose to study NP as a full-time course, you will complete the degree in 2 years, meanwhile, a part-time NP course in Canada will take 3 years to complete.

How much is a nurse practitioner paid in Canada?

 

The salary of a nurse practitioner in Canada will vary according to the job role they opt for and the location of their practice. For instance, an Oncology Nurse Practitioner in Canada makes CAD 162,560 a year, according to Indeed.com. Meanwhile, a majority of NP roles like Cardiac care, Acute care, and Orthopedic nurse practitioners can earn upto CAD 111,402 a year.

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