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Practising as an RN or RPN in Ontario

Becoming a member of the College of Nurses is a legal requirement for anyone who wishes to practise nursing in Ontario.

Only members of the College can practise nursing in Ontario and use the titles “nurse,” “Registered Nurse,” “Registered Practical Nurse,” “Nurse Practitioner,” “RN,” “RPN,” or “NP.” It is illegal for anyone to practise nursing or use any of these titles in Ontario without a valid certificate of registration issued by the College of Nurses.

Your status as an RN or RPN informs the public that all individuals who identify themselves as nurses have gained the knowledge, skill and judgment required to provide safe and ethical nursing care.

The majority of nurses applying to the College enter the General Class, the most common class of registration for nurses in Ontario.

Applicants who wish to begin nursing before they receive the result of their registration examination also have the option of joining the Temporary Class, provided they meet the requirements for that class. (See Temporary Class for more on that class, which members can join for a maximum of six months.)


Page last reviewed January 01, 2013