Study Nursing in Canada

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Nursing Studies in Canada

The country of Canada is consistently praised by the international community for the quality of its health care system and the people who staff it, including thousands of licensed nurses.  The quality of this health care system can be greatly attributed to Canada’s excellent universities, which provide the in-depth education and hands-on training that is required for students who intend to pursue the noble calling of nursing as a profession.  These universities also welcome the presence of international nursing students—people who’ve decided to pursue at least a portion of their education, usually a semester or one academic year, via a study abroad program.
Located in the northern portion of the North American continent, Canada is a country consisting of 10 provinces and 3 territories.  The vast country extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northwards to the Arctic Ocean, just 800 miles shy of the north pole.  Encompassing nearly 10 million square kilometers, Canada is the world’s second-largest country by total area (after Russia); however its population, totaling just about 35 million as of the last census, makes it one of the least-densely populated countries on the globe.  Directly to the south of Canada is the United States, with which it shares the world’s largest land border between two countries.

The land that is now Canada has been inhabited for several millennia by various Aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French colonies were established on the region's Atlantic coast. As a consequence of various conflicts, the United Kingdom gained and lost North American territories until it was left in the late 18th century with what mostly comprises Canada today. On July 1, 1867, three British colonies joined to form the federal dominion of Canada. They were later joined by other colonies and the remainder of Britain’s lands were transferred to Canada.

Today Canada is organized as a federal parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II of England as its head of state. Canada is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The country is officially bilingual (English and French) and is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries throughout its history.  Its advanced economy is one of the largest in the world, relying almost wholly upon its abundant cache of natural resources and well-developed trade networks. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture.

Nursing Education in Canada
Nursing education programs, at least at the undergraduate level, are offered by the majority of universities in Canada, mostly because all registered nurses (RNs) in the country must possess, at minimum, a baccalaureate degree. Many universities also offer graduate nursing programs that lead to the Master of Science degree in Nursing (MSN).  These programs allow registered nurses to further their education in a certain nursing specialty, such as pediatric nursing, oncology nursing, or community health nursing.  Bachelor degree programs in nursing generally take four full years to complete, while the MSN program usually takes an additional two to three years depending on course availability.
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in Canada are not required to earn a four-year Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN); however they must complete a one to two year program at the local community college of their choice.
In Canada, the nursing profession is regulated in the public interest and, by law, nursing education programs must prepare graduates to meet the professional standards and competencies set by the regulatory nursing organizations.  One of the ways that regulatory nursing organizations ensure the public is protected is to set standards for education programs. This ensures that graduates will be able to pass the Canadian nursing entrance test and meet all nursing standards of practice required in the nursing profession.
International students may also study nursing in Canada, but first they are required to submit any prior transcripts and proof of experience so that they can be placed correctly into the appropriate programs.
In general, basic registered nursing education must include a sufficient number of hours of both nursing theory and practice. Some of the content students will encounter along the way includes:
  • biological sciences
  • social sciences
  • physical assessment
  • health assessment
  • problem solving
  • research
  • legal and ethical issues in nursing
  • social and political trends affecting health care
  • health promotion and illness prevention
  • leadership theory
  • communication, specifically therapeutic communication
Once students earn their Bachelor of Science degree in nursing they are free to sit for the national nursing licensing examination, on which a passing score is required before being allowed to practice in the country.
Why Study Abroad in Canada
Home to maple syrup, Mounties and the Maple Leaf flag, Canada is a grand place in which to pursue a study abroad education.  Canada offers international students one of the top settings in which to study. The country has been built on immigration and diversity, meaning that when it comes to education, new perspectives and ideas are always welcomed. Canada is internationally-renowned for its work in computer and information technology, and is also a leader in aerospace engineering, health care, biotechnology and environmental industries.

International students who elect to study in Canada will quickly discover the country’s immense natural beauty, as well as the bounty of sights, attractions and activities the country offers outside of the classroom.  From watching the polar bears in Manitoba, to skiing in the Canadian Rockies, to dancing the night away in a steamy Toronto nightclub, Canada offers students a countless number of fun and interesting adventures.  A couple of the more popular destinations in the country include:

Niagara Falls Canada

Known throughout the world for its roaring splendor and beauty, Niagara Falls is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the globe, attracting millions of visitors each year.  The large falls are situated in the province of Ontario, stretching from the Great Lakes to the Hudson Gulf.  Niagara Falls is considered the natural wonder of the North American continent—a wonder that, according to specialists, was formed some 12,000 years ago during the Ice Age.  It is without a doubt one of the most spectacular attractions in Canada.  Visitors can view the falls from a variety of parks, platforms and observation towers.  In the immediate area there are also plenty of shopping outlets, restaurants and bars, and even wedding chapels for those looking to tie the knot under the awesome spray of the falls.

Algonquin Provincial Park

Located between the Georgian Bay and the Ottawa River, Algonquin Provincial Park is as vast as it is beautiful, measuring approximately half the size of Prince Edward Island.  The park is situated between the heavily-populated centers of Toronto and Ottawa, and because of this proximity, it has become one of the more popular and most oft-visited attractions in Canada today.  The area that plays host to the park is heavily protected by the Canadian government, and its stunning beauty makes it a favorite spot among nature watchers and photographers.   Algonquin Provincial Park is home to many year-round outdoor festivals and activities, and is equipped with roughly 1,200 RV and tent-based campsites. A visitor center allows tourists to learn more about the natural and cultural history of the park and the country.  People can also enjoy activities such as fishing, boating, skiing and horseback riding, although some choose to simply kick back and take in all the beautiful landscapes from the panoramic Algonquin Room.

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