Personal Support Worker Continuing Education – Part 2

Choosing the career of a Personal Support Worker (PSW) means you have an interest in helping others. Attending to basic daily needs of patients is a great part of the job done by these health care professionals every day. However, if you are currently working as a PSW, you may also further your career through continuing education.

Learning more about the options for your career is important. Personal support workers have several opportunities for advancing to better paying and more challenging careers.


Paving your way to being a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) or Registered Nurse (RN) or other medical position is easier when you have already been in the medical field as a PSW. The work students do as PSWs prepares them for important aspects of a medical professional’s career: basic care and one on one interaction with patients. Gaining experience in a clinical care setting builds a strong foundation for careers in other areas of the medical field.


The first step for a personal support worker in earning a higher degree is applying to school. In many cases, PSW employers will offer programs for you to continue your career as a Personal Support Worker or for gaining a higher degree.

You will need to earn a diploma as a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN). Many colleges and universities offer PSW to RPN bridging.

Once completing the RPN program, then go on to earning a degree to become a Registered Nurse.

Please note that in order to become a Registered Nurse, completing a RPN program is not necessary. You can directly enrol into the Bachelor of Nursing program also.

Bear in mind all nursing professionals working in Ontario will need to be a member of the College of Nurses (CNO) before being legally able to work.


Earning a Registered Nurse degree lays the foundation for you to enter other medical careers. Taking the time to find out the direction you need to go is important. Many schools offer great information for answering these kinds of questions and guiding you to the door of the right degree for you.

Many nurses enjoy working with children and young adults. Pediatric nursing is in high demand and offer great rewards. Your desire to work in pediatrics will require you to earn a degree as a Registered Nurse. Only Registered Nurses can work in pediatrics. Seeking your degree in Registered nursing is much easier when you have practical care experience and are already working in the medical field.

You may have an interest in other areas of medicine like neurology and geriatrics. Depending upon the healthcare facility, sometimes a specialized certificate is required to work in these areas.


Moving towards a career as a Nurse practitioner in the Canadian healthcare system will also mean you gaining a Registered Nurse degree. Registered Nurses can enter a Nurse practitioner program. Students may be required to take prerequisite courses. The school that you choose for earning your Nurse practitioner degree can be stepping a stone to a great paying salary and many other benefits.

Starting out in the field of medicine as a PSW will allow you a great deal of hands on experience that will be beneficial throughout your entire career. Your courses, clinical coursework and patient experience will be greater as a Registered Nurse when you have your time as a PSW on your side.

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Avlin is passionate about helping aspirants become better personal support workers. He is an entrepreneur and runs a clinic in Toronto.

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  1. Hello , my name is Chioma Owunna, am currently working as a PSW, though am a Nurse from my Country, now I want to switch to RPN to function well in the health care services .
    I did my PSW program here in Toronto.

    • Chioma…there are many colleges that offer bridging programs for PSWs. You can click here to view all the colleges that offer bridging to nursing.

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