Working in health care provides an opportunity to:

  • develop a broad skillset to meet the growing needs of Ontarians across the province
  • work as part of a highly specialized team
  • develop long-lasting relationships with both patients and their families

Professions in health care are in high demand all across Ontario. See what opportunities are available for a future career in health care and the supports available to help you along the way.


Become a registered nurse (RN)

Registered nurses (RN) working in health care provide comprehensive care to patients with ever-increasing levels of complex needs.

They are clinical leaders in assessment, care planning, carrying out care and measuring what’s working or not for all patients. Registered nurses are also responsible for leading patient care teams, which can include a number of different designations and specialities.  

To become a registered nurse, you must:

  • complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree offered by a university, college or through a college-university partnership
  • complete the national registration examination
  • be registered and in good standing with the College of Nurses of Ontario


In Ontario, Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs are provided by:

  • university stand-alone programs
  • collaborative university-college programs
  • college stand-alone programs

Click here to find a nursing program.

Admission generally requires:

  • an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent
  • a minimum academic achievement average
  • individual college or university program prerequisites

Programs are typically four years in length. However, some compressed and accelerated options are available for students with prior education and experience.

Financial aid may be available. Find more information about:

Next steps

Become a registered practical nurse (RPN)

Registered practical nurses provide comprehensive care to patients across multiple health care settings. The level of autonomy they may exercise in practice can vary depending on such things as patient complexity, their own individual level of experience and competence and the nature of the environment in which they work (such as practice supports and consultation resources).

To become a registered practical nurse, you must:

  • complete an approved program of practical nursing
  • complete the national registration examination
  • be registered and in good standing with the College of Nurses of Ontario


Registered practical nurse programs approved by the College of Nurses of Ontario, are offered at publicly-assisted colleges, as well as some Indigenous institutes in partnership with publicly-assisted colleges.

Admission generally requires:

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent academic achievement
  • individual college or program prerequisites

Programs are two-years long and lead to an Ontario college diploma.

Financial aid may be available. Find more information about:

Next steps

Supports for a career in nursing

Supervised Practice Experience Partnership (CNO)

For Internationally Educated Nurses, this partnership program between the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO), Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ontario Health (OH) offers internationally trained nurses the opportunity to undertake a supervised practice experience to demonstrate current nursing knowledge while allowing them to meet their evidence of practice and/or language proficiency requirements to enter practice as a nurse.

Learn more about the Supervised Practice Experience Partnership

Enhanced Extern Program

This program supports hospitals in building capacity and health workforce by offering clinical learners an employment opportunity to work as externs in hospitals across Ontario. Hospitals recruit and onboard clinical learners to work as part of a team under the supervision of a regulated health care professional. Externs work in an unregulated care provider role and can build on their training and experience working in a hospital-setting.

To learn more about the Enhanced Extern Program, contact Ontario Health.

WeRPN Bridging Program

The Bridging Educational Grant In Nursing (BEGIN) initiative is jointly offered by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Long-Term Care and the WeRPN (Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario) to provide tuition support to personal support workers and registered practical nurses so they can pursue further education to become registered practical nurses and registered nurses respectively.

Eligible personal support workers will receive up to $6,000 a year and eligible registered practical nurses will receive up to $10,000 a year in financial support. Candidates with additional needs may also be eligible for further supports that include a maximum of $5,000 per year to cover subsidies for course materials, tutoring, childcare, and travel costs.

Applicants to the BEGIN Program would be required to sign a Return of Service Agreement committing to working in the long-term care or home and community care sectors following graduation.

Learn more about the WeRPN Bridging Program

Critical Care Nursing Upskilling (RN Certification Program)

This program allows nurses to train to work in critical areas of hospital service delivery. Ontario will fund specialized nursing education in critical care for 500 more nurses across the province. We are working with seven colleges and universities on programing to upskill nurses at priority hospitals to work in critical care.

Learn more about Critical Care Nursing Upskilling

Nursing Enrollment Expansion

This program will add 1,500 registered practical nurses (RPNs) and 1,000 registered nurses (RN) to the health care system by 2026.

Beginning fall 2022 and winter 2023, 500 RPNs and 1,000 RN education seats will be added to college and university nursing programs across the province.

Learn more about Nursing Enrollment Expansion

Clinical Scholar Program

This program pairs an experienced front line nurse as a dedicated mentor with newly graduated nurses, internationally educated nurses and nurses wanting to upskill to ensure they have the support they need to confidently transition into the nursing profession. Nurses interested in the program should contact their hospital organization's management and Professional Practice team.

Learn more about Clinical Scholar Program

Personal support workers (PSW)

Personal support workers are the backbone of the health care sector. On a day-to-day basis, they make the biggest difference to the patients’ quality of life and are involved in every aspect of care planning, including:

  • personal care
  • social and emotional well-being
  • housekeeping
  • culturally-specific supports

Given the support they provide across a wide range of needs, becoming a personal support worker in health care is a great opportunity to develop a wide range of valued skills like inter-personal communications, teamwork, adaptability and collaboration.

To become a PSW you must have:

  • a high school diploma or equivalent (such as mature student status)
  • a personal support worker program certificate


Personal support worker education programs are offered by:

Programs take from five months to a year to complete.

Find more information about:

Supports for a career as a PSW

PSW Education Financial Incentive and Enrollment Expansion

In 2021-22, the government invested more than $200 million in financial assistance for students at publicly-assisted colleges, private career colleges and district school boards to train up to 16,200 new PSWs in the health and long-term care sectors. 

The government’s 2021 Fall Economic Statement announced additional funding to support training another 8,000 PSWs in 2022-2023.

Supportive Care Worker Program

This tuition-free, employer-driven model of training is delivered at Conestoga College and is designed to prepare students to provide basic supportive care services and increase the pool of trained supportive care workers for the home and community care and long-term care sectors.

Graduates of the Supportive Care Worker program are eligible for advanced standing in Conestoga College’s PSW program.

Learn more about the Supportive Care Worker program


As a physician in Ontario, you’ll join a diverse profession of regulated health care providers that offer safe, professional and ethical care to patients across the province.

To become a physician, you must:

  • complete an undergraduate degree offered by a university or college
  • complete a postgraduate medical degree from an approved medical school
  • pass all necessary qualifying exams of the Medical Council of Canada
  • be licensed to practise medicine in the province of your practice


All physicians practising in Ontario must be registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO).

Learn more about licensing


Medical education in Ontario includes undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing professional development.

Undergraduate medical education is a three-year or four-year program of classroom learning and clinical training (clerkship). Graduates receive a Medical Doctor, or MD, degree.

Postgraduate residency programs provide clinical training in an area of specialization (for example, family medicine, surgery or psychiatry). Residents work and are paid during their training. Those who successfully complete their residency become eligible to take the national certification exams, which are necessary to enter practice.

The following universities offer both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education in Ontario:

Supports for a career as a physician or physician assistant

International Medical Graduates (IMG)

IMGs are a valuable part of Ontario’s health care system and play an important role in providing care to Ontarians. There are a range of supports for IMGs seeking to practise medicine in Ontario.

Learn more about International Medical Graduates (IMG)

Physician Return of Service (ROS) Programs

These programs are part of Ontario’s strategy to help ensure a stable physician supply, improve retention and enhance distribution to provide better care for Ontarians.

Learn more about Physician Return of Service (ROS) programs

Northern and Rural Recruitment and Retention Initiative

The Northern and Rural Recruitment and Retention (NRRR) Initiative offers taxable financial incentives to each eligible physician who establishes a full-time practice in an eligible community of the province. The grants range between $80,000 and $117,600 paid over a four-year period. The grants will be awarded based on eligibility criteria and considerations related to total NRRR Initiative budget allocations.

Learn more about the Northern and Rural Recruitment and Retention Initiative

Practice Ready Ontario Program 

This program breaks down barriers for internationally educated physicians by removing the requirement to complete lengthy re-education programs, allowing them to practice in Ontario immediately. This program will add more than 50 new physicians to the province’s workforce by 2024.

Learn more about the Practice Ready Ontario program

Ontario Health-HealthForceOntario

Ontario Health-HealthForceOntario helps health care professionals find employment opportunities in Ontario communities.

Learn more about Ontario Health-HealthForceOntario.

Practice Ontario

Practice Ontario is a free career-planning service for postgraduate medical residents created by the Ontario Health-HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency.

Learn more about Practice Ontario

Supplemental Emergency Medicine Experience

The Supplemental Emergency Medicine Experience is funded through the Ministry of Health and the University of Toronto to provide family physicians practising in smaller and rural communities with a three-month, full-time, remunerated fellowship in emergency medicine.

Learn more about the Supplemental Emergency Medicine Experience

Physician Assistant Career Start Program

Helps recent graduates from Ontario’s Physician Assistant programs find positions in the province’s health care system.

Learn more about the Physician Assistant Career Start program

Other professional development opportunities

Other organizations offering professional development opportunities include:

As of Right rules

As of Right rules allow physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and medical laboratory technologists registered in other Canadian provinces and territories who meet specific conditions to immediately start working in Ontario, without having to first register with one of the province’s health regulatory colleges. These changes will help health care workers overcome bureaucratic delays and begin caring for Ontarians sooner.

Read the guidance.