Are you a Personal Support Worker (PSW) and looking to become a Nurse?
If you answered yes…
you have come to the right place.
You will find all the details you need to upgrade from a PSW to a practical nurse.
There are many benefits of advancing your clinical practice.
Job opportunities for RPNs are becoming especially prevalent as the geriatric aging population in Ontario is growing, thus demonstrating a need for qualified nursing care in:
- acute care settings,
- community health agencies, and
- long-term care facilities.
The Government of Ontario is also actively supporting and funding the training and recruitment of 27,000 Registered Nurses (RNs), Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs), and PSWs.
As a Registered Practical Nurse, you will also be entitled to job benefits such as higher pay and greater job satisfaction.
Upon enrolling in a Practical Nursing (PN) program, those with a PSW certificate are usually given a credit.
There are many colleges that offer Personal Support Worker to Practical Nursing bridging programs.
In this article you’ll learn:
- Which colleges offer this program?
- The cost
- Intake, and
- Direct links to college websites.
Subsequently, this article will equip you with valuable information that you will need in order to make an informed decision regarding enrolling in a bridge program.
Where are the Programs Offered?
Many institutions in Ontario offer continuing education and bridging programs for Personal Support Workers to enable them to become Registered Practical Nurses.
Following is a list of colleges that offer this bridging program in Ontario, Canada.
This program is specifically designed for those who have completed a certified PSW course in order to advance into the second semester of the Practical Nursing program.
The program emphasizes collaborative learning alongside clinical training, theory, and lab work.
Following the completion of the Practical Nursing diploma program, graduates are eligible to take the Canadian Registered Practical Nurse Examination (CRPNE), administered by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO).
To apply for this Mohawk PSW to PN bridging program, you will need to:
- Submit proof of completion of Grade 12 English C or U,
- Grade 11 or 12 Mathematics C, M or U (M or U recommended),
- Grade 11 or 12 Sciences, and
- Evidence of completion of a Personal Support Worker Certificate program from an accredited Ontario college since 2006.
Once you meet the above requirements, you will also be asked to take the Health Occupation Aptitude Examination (HOAE) test with the Mohawk Pre-Admission Testing Centre for a $50 fee.
Please note that this is a very competitive program and you must apply as early as possible.
The estimated cost for the first year of the Practical Nurse program is $6,152.10.
Mohawk also offers specialized Practical Nurse training for Aboriginal communities. The cost of this program is $5,962.87 for one year.
Additional costs for both programs include pre-clinical placement clearance costs such as:
- hepatitis injections,
- CPR training,
- facial mask fitting, and
- police clearance.
There is no distance education program currently offered, but some non-nursing courses are available online.
For more details about the Practical Nursing (PSW to PN bridging stream) at Mohawk College, visit the Mohawk College website.
The courses are housed under the Fleming College Continuing Education & Online Learning program.
You must successfully complete the following bridging courses:
- Bridge PSW to PN filed placement
- Clinical Nursing Informatics
- Communications I (English I),
- Bridged Nursing Theory,
- Anatomy & Physiology,
- Math for Nursing, and
All these courses can be taken part-time however the PN program is a full-time day program offered only at the Sutherland Campus in Peterborough.
Upon completion of the bridging courses, you will be eligible for the second semester of the full-time PN program.
Courses are registered and paid for individually.
All courses take place on their Sutherland campus, cost $5.40 per course hour, and range from 15-60 hours. Courses, therefore, range between $ 104.70 and $ 418.80 each in total.
Find out more details about the Personal Support Worker bridging to Practical Nursing at Fleming College.
***Please note that this program is currently on hold however you may qualify to be admitted directly into the Practical Nursing Program at Algonquin College. ***
This academic pathway can potentially allow PSW course graduates to immediately enter Level 2 of the Practical Nursing program.
Hence, it is classified as a pathway and not a program.
Students are required to complete a series of classes and if they are successful, will be permitted to apply to Level 2 of the Practical Nursing curriculum without having to take further high school classes or equivalences.
The pathway is designed to provide eligible students with a higher level of knowledge and practice through which they can potentially advance their nursing careers.
All applicants to this pathway:
- Must have the equivalent of one year of full-time practice hours as a PSW which totals 1750 hours.
- Are also expected to have a minimum of 30% of the hours in a Home for the Aged and/or Long Term Care agency.
- Applicants must also have a reference letter from a current or recent employer which describes their work experience.
- Applicants who have graduated from a community college must have a minimum GPA of 70% or have obtained a minimum of 70% in their Personal Support Worker program.
- Applicants who have completed their PSW program from a private college or Vocational High School must have 70% overall.
With an entry in May of each year, this program comprises the following courses:
- Introduction To Psychology,
- PSW to PN Nursing Theory and Seminar, and
- Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology for PSW to PN Bridge
Courses are to be taken individually for $374 to $389 each. The total tuition fee for the course is approximately $1470.
The course itself lasts one semester and practical nursing students are required to obtain at least 63% in all courses.
A minimum of 55% is required on the Health Occupations Aptitude Exam (HOAE) test which you will be required to take after completing the pathway.
Ten places in the Practical Nursing (PN) program are reserved for students who earn the highest marks with the remaining applicants being placed in a pool to be chosen for the course based on availability.
The program is offered at the school’s Woodroffe Campus.
Find out more details about the Algonquin College PSW to Practical Nursing pathway.
Classes must be taken in a specific order as per guidelines.
This program is offered on a part-time basis with classes being offered one day per week. The bridging course at Conestoga College takes approximately two years to complete.
Some of the highlights of the program are:
- There is only 1 intake into the program that takes place in the winter term,
- Applications open in August of each year, and
- The deadline to apply to this program is in November.
Students who complete this bridging program will then be offered the opportunity to undertake the third semester of the PN program part-time.
There is also a possibility of transferring to full-time if space is available in the full-time program.
The fourth semester of the PN course contains a clinical element and must be taken full-time.
Therefore the bridging courses, in addition to the final two semesters of the PN program, will take between three to four years to complete.
The process might seem to be a bit confusing.
It is best to contact the program facilitator to get more information.
The current program contact is Karen Towler and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Applicants must have:
- A Personal Support Worker Certificate from an Ontario accredited college,
- You must be currently employed as a Personal Support Worker,
- The following Ontario Secondary School courses (or equivalents), with a minimum cumulative average of 75% are required:
- Grade 12 compulsory English, C or U, or equivalent, OR Conestoga College Preparatory CommunicationsGrade 12 Mathematics, C or U, or equivalent, OR Conestoga College Preparatory MathematicsGrade 11 or 12 Biology, C or U, or equivalent, OR Conestoga College Preparatory BiologyGrade 11 or 12 Physics or Chemistry, C or U, or equivalent, or Grade 11 or 12 Science, OR Conestoga College Preparatory Physics or Preparatory Chemistry
As the program is offered on a part-time basis, course fees are individual and charged per class.
The course is offered at the school’s Doon Campus in Kitchener, Ontario.
Find out more details about the Personal Support Worker to Practical Nursing bridge.
In addition, we also collected all information you need to know if you are at the beginning of your PSW career. In short, these are the things you can find there:
Resources you need as a Personal Support Worker
On this page, you can find anything there is to know about how to become a personal support worker, how to succeed as one, and how to continue your education. This is the place to come to and look for all the PSW resources and information that you may need on your journey as a Personal Support Worker.
PSW job interview questions
If you’re determined to pass your next PSW interview with flying colors, we’re here to help. PSWHQ has put together a thorough online guide with PSW interview questions and appropriate sample answers to these questions that hit the target, and are concise and supportive.
Guide to finding PSW jobs
After you have decided to become a Personal Support Worker and completed the course you are now at a point to start looking for work. It is important that you explore all the jobs listed under different job titles, which is why you should go through our ultimate guide to finding PSW jobs.
Advertising with PSWHQ
Over the past few years, PSWHQ has achieved a dominant ranking in major search engines such as Google and Bing. As a result, we offer a limited number of advertising opportunities to individuals, colleges, companies, and organizations we see as a good fit for the unique audience of PSWHQ.
What Are You Waiting For?
There are so many opportunities for you as future healthcare workers to advance your career and there is absolutely no reason you should not.
Once you have determined the right kind of program to suit your lifestyle, you will find that the investment you make in one of these courses will greatly enhance your professional life.
Every attempt is made to ensure that information contained in this article is current and accurate. PSWHQ has provided this information in the best interests to inform the readers and is not liable for any actions taken by any party based on the information provided.
Image credit: “Nurse” used under a Creative Commons Attribution from waltstoneburner on Flickr.
1. Can PSW become RPN in Ontario?
Yes, a PSW student can pursue a career as an RPN. A variety of continuing education and bridge programs are available at several institutions in Ontario to help you make the move from PSW to RN or RPN as smoothly and quickly as feasible. They take advantage of students’ past knowledge and education to assist them in learning a new set of skills while also maintaining their current employment.
2. What can I study after PSW?
You can study a variety of different things after PSW. If you are interested in the healthcare field, you could go on to become an occupational therapist or a physical therapist. If your interest is more in social work, you could go on to get your Master’s degree and be a counselor or psychotherapist.
3. Is an LPN the same as a PSW?
No, they are not the same. An LPN is a licensed practical nurse, and PSW stands for Personal Care Worker. These are two different professions.
4. Are PSW considered nurses?
Yes, they are considered nurses. They can work in a hospital setting or at home with patients who need assistance.
5. What is bridging program for nurses?
The Bridge to BSN program prepares students with enhanced skills and knowledge that will allow them to provide a higher degree of patient care in a range of healthcare settings after graduation. A fundamental component of nursing education is the development of the theoretical foundation for nursing practice, with an emphasis on the critical interrelationships between theory, practice, policy, and investigation.