Pathways to Nursing

Options to Upgrade Your Nursing Career

Ontario needs qualified nurses to help our province support Ontarians of all ages and strengthen the healthcare workforce. That's why the Ontario government is supporting the Ontario Colleges Nursing Program Transformation initiative, which provides flexible study options that lead to rewarding nursing careers.

This initiative includes:

  • The Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN) pathway that offers tuition-free flexible upgrading courses for working IENs interested in qualifying as Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) or Registered Nurses (RNs) in Ontario
  • The PSW to PN pathway that offers online courses for Personal Support Workers (PSWs) interested in becoming Registered Practical Nurses (RPN) in Ontario. PSWs have the option to enrol in these online courses, leading to advanced entry into Practical Nursing programs at Ontario colleges
  • A new pathway – expected to be available later in 2023 – currently in development by colleges that will support RPNs interested in becoming Registered Nurses (RNs)

Importantly, all these upgrade courses and programs – which you can learn more about via the links below – are designed to offer flexible study options while you continue to work.

If you're an Internationally Educated Nurse interested in becoming an RPN or RN in Ontario, please click the link to the left. If you're a Personal Support Worker who wishes to become eligible for advanced entry into a public college’s four-semester Practical Nursing program, please select the link on the right.

If you have any general questions about the Nursing Transformation IEN or PSW-PN pathways, or need support with navigating the process, please send an email to the Nursing Transformation Career Readiness Service at

Nursing Transformation: Upgrade Courses for IENs

Nursing Transformations: PSW to PN Pathway. Click to learn more.

This website uses cookies in order to optimize your personalized experience, support website analytics and to deliver advertising. For more information, read our cookie policy.