Are you considering a career in nursing and want to know how much it pays?
Nursing is one of the fastest-growing careers in Canada, and the career field has seen over 10% growth since 2020. As the demand for skilled nurses increases, many Ontario residents are actively pursuing a career as a registered nurse, nurse practitioner, or registered practical nurse.
So how much do nurses make in Ontario? I’ll go over it below, explain the difference between various nursing certifications, and explain how a nurse’s pay is determined.
Although nurses aren’t full-fledged doctors or surgeons, skilled nurses possess many of the same life-saving skills that their more educated counterparts have. Nurses must also be able to withstand the rigorous, fast-paced environment of working in a hospital.
Because of this, nurses in Ontario are paid quite well, with the average registered nurse (RN) earning $38.92 per hour, according to Statistics Canada.
This equates to an annual salary of just under $78,000, which makes nursing one of the highest-paid jobs you can get with a bachelor’s degree.
Nurse pay throughout Ontario is pretty much the same, no matter what city you’re in. This is mostly thanks to the fact that 90% of nurses in Ontario are part of a union, which ensures fair and equal pay.
With that in mind, here is the average salary for RNs in Ontario, ranging from low to high:
- Low pay: $26 per hour
- Median pay: $38.92 per hour
- High pay: $48 per hour
Now, let’s compare these to the average nurse salary in Canada as a whole:
- Low pay: $27.03 per hour
- Median pay: $40 per hour
- High pay: $49 per hour
If you’re not quite sure what career you want to pursue yet, nursing is a challenging and rewarding career worth considering.
The amount you can earn as a nurse in Ontario depends heavily on the type of nurse that you are. The highest-paid nurses typically have advanced certifications working in specific areas, while the lowest-paid nurses may fill a less demanding role.
If pursuing a four-year bachelor’s degree doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you may consider a career as a registered practical nurse. To become an RPN, you’ll only need to obtain a two-year degree in nursing.
RPNs typically don’t deal with more advanced patients. Instead, they work with more stable patients or in lower-risk environments, such as:
- Family medicine
- Doctor’s reception office
Registered nurses are the most common in Ontario and comprise the primary working base of nurses. To become an RN, individuals must earn a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in nursing.
RNs undergo far more comprehensive training than RPNs and are typically (but not always) found in hospitals and clinical practices.
A nurse practitioner is a highly-skilled nurse who has undergone advanced training and obtained specialized experience working in demanding environments. All NPs start off as RNs, often becoming NPs as a way to advance in their careers and earn more money.
While RNs typically perform generalized work in hospitals and clinics, NPs possess specialized skills that allow them to assist surgeons and perform advanced non-surgical procedures.
Because of this, NPs are often viewed as the right-hand of doctors and surgeons and are often found in demanding high-stress environments.
A number of factors determine a nurse’s salary. If you’re interested in joining the ranks of Ontario’s highest-paid nurses, here are some of the key salary determinants you’ll need to keep in mind.
The more real-world experience you have working as a nurse, the more you can expect to get paid. As a young nurse fresh out of school, there may be a steep learning curve as you begin applying your scholastic knowledge to real-life situations.
As you become more proficient and confident, you’ll be eligible for steady pay raises through the institution you work in.
Once you’re a confident, well-paid RN, you may consider pursuing advanced specialization as a nurse practitioner (NP). This can often come with a significant pay raise, as you’ll be responsible for performing advanced procedures, assisting surgeons, and may be required to deal with life-or-death situations.
Most nurses in Ontario are part of a union which advocates for fair pay. If you’re not in a union, then you might not be paid as much money unless you find a position working with a high-paying private practice.
If you want to become a nurse in Ontario (or anywhere else in Canada, for that matter), you’ll need to earn your bachelor’s degree of science (BS) in nursing. This intense degree typically requires four years of study and training.
After you graduate, you can begin searching for a job as an RN at professional medical facilities and hospitals.
Nursing is an excellent career choice. Not only does it provide the opportunity for steady advancement, but it’s also an in-demand industry that’s steadily growing and offers great job security.
If you’re thinking of attending nursing school in Ontario, be sure to check out my post on the average cost of living for students next!