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Become a nurse…
Better yet, become a Canadian Nurse!


It is true that everyone, at some point in
their life, will need the services of a nurse. As a vital part of the
healthcare system, nurses care for people when they are at their most
vulnerable and even in times of great joy. With lives in their hands, nurses
have a unique ability to support, inform, empower, and engage the people
entrusted to their care. Intellectually challenging, rewarding, flexible, and
diverse, the nursing profession is more than just a job… it’s a distinguished

Nurses provide holistic upstream (i.e. illness
prevention and health promotion) and downstream (i.e. illness recovery and
peaceful palliation) care to individuals, families, and populations and their
actions are always supported by current, high-quality research. Often dubbed a
resource in the pursuit of health, nurses build trusting, therapeutic relationships
with their clients and employ adept critical thinking skills to help their
clients reach their health-related goals.

A nurse’s work is never dull! Throughout his or her career span, a nurse may
participate in one or many areas of the vast array of healthcare settings. In
Canada, nurses work in hospital departments such as medicine, surgery,
intensive care, emergency, maternity, psychiatry, pediatrics, geriatrics, and
palliative. In the community, they can fill nursing roles in public health,
military, outpost, home care, camp, and street outreach settings, to name a few.
Nurses are committed to professional growth and lifelong learning; All Canadian
nurses continually upgrade their education in current best practices, many
obtain advanced accreditation for their area of nursing expertise, and some
nurses even pursue nursing education at the master’s level to become nurse
practitioners, nurse educators, nurse researchers, and nurse administrators. In
all areas of practice, nurses participate in political advocacy to influence
the policy that shapes the means by which quality healthcare is delivered in
Canada and around the world.

Canadian nursing education involves
supported clinical practice experiences paired with in-class courses in
clinical skills, nursing theory, ethics, research, pathophysiology, growth and
development, psychology, sociology, and much more. In short, curricula offered
by all accredited Canadian nursing schools impart the knowledge, skills, and
attitudes needed to become a competent, professional nurse. Canadian nursing
programs enable students to develop their ability in the many roles that nurses
fill, be it leader, team member, teacher, or even advocate. By graduation,
nursing students possess a firm foundation of technical, professional, and
humanistic competencies that enable them to enter the dynamic and challenging
Canadian healthcare system with confidence.

Canada is the ideal study destination for
aspiring nurses for many reasons. For one, Canadian nursing schools offer
baccalaureate education, the level of education deemed necessary to prepare
nurse for the challenges of current healthcare demands (College of Nurses of
Ontario, 2004). Furthermore, Canadian nursing students hone their skills in
diverse clinical practice settings famous for constructive inter- and
intra-disciplinary collaboration (Henderson, 2006); this model of
non-hierarchical teamwork fosters healthy work environments and improves patient
outcomes. Most important, Canadian nursing students learn and develop their
professional competence within a healthcare system that operates by the Canada Health Act, Canada’s federal
legislation that declares comprehensive, publicly funded healthcare a basic
human right entitled to all Canadians, regardless of income or other
difference. In this setting, nurses gain true appreciation that healthcare for
everyone, not just the wealthy, improves the health of the entire population
(Wilkinson & Marmot, 2003).

All in all, Canadian nursing education
prepares nurses for a challenging, dynamic, and personally rewarding career.
These nursing graduates are prepared to not just survive, but thrive in today’s
ever-changing healthcare system and provide high-quality care to people from
all walks of life. At the profession’s very core, nurses are endowed the
greatest responsibility and honour of all… touching lives!




Director of
Communications/Directrice des communications 2009-2010

Canadian Nursing
Students’ Association (CNSA)/Association des étudiant(e)s infirmier(ère)s du Canada


Canadian Nurses’
Association & Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing. (2006). Registered nursing education in Canada: 2004
. Retrieved on September 20, 2009, from

College of Nurses
of Ontario. (2004). Fact sheet:
Registration baccalaureate education for registered nurses
. Retrieved on
September 20, 2009, from

Department of
Justice Canada. (2009). Canada health act. Retrieved on September 20, 2009,

Henderson, V.
(2006). The concept of nursing. Journal
of Advanced Nursing, 53
(1), 21-34.

Wilkinson, R.
& Marmot, M. (Editors). (2003). Social
determinants of health: The solid facts
. Denmark: World Health



Page last updated: February 27, 2011

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