The average annual salaries for RPNs or registered practical nurses in Ontario vary between $65,442 and $92,079. These figures are according to the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions. These annual salaries translate to an hourly rate range between $33.56 and $47.22.
According to figures from Indeed, the base hourly rate for RPNs in Ontario is $36.29. Talent.com lists the average RPN salary in Ontario as $58,356.
These amounts likely vary according to the employer, experience level, and location within the province. Educational background may also play a role in RPN salaries, in addition to any professional certifications and courses.
Covid-19 Premium Pay
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ontario government offered full-time and part-time nurses a $4 an hour differential.
The premium pay went into effect for shifts from April 24, 2020, to August 13, 2020.
The pay increase also applied to on-call or temporary nursing staff. In addition to the hourly rate increase, RPNs were also eligible for an additional $250 each month.
While the premium pay is no longer in effect, it impacted data collected from nurses’ unions and online job sites. RPNs were also eligible, according to employers, as only publicly-funded medical facilities were authorized to pay the premium.
Average Pay Comparison RPNs in Canada
Below is a comparison of average hourly rate ranges for RPNs by Canadian province:
- British Columbia: $35.53 to $46.65
- Alberta: $36.86 to $48.37
- Saskatchewan: $35.99 to $46.72
- Manitoba: $35.66 to $42.05
- Quebec: $24.08 to $45.22
- New Brunswick: $32.54 to $39.57
- Prince Edward Island: $34.30 to $41.84
- Newfoundland: $32.98 to $40.83
- Nova Scotia: $35.21 to $41.48
Although Ontario is not one of the provinces with the highest average starting pay rates, it falls somewhere in the middle.
Pay Range According to Experience
According to Talent.com, entry-level RPNs can anticipate earning an average salary of $50,980. Senior or more experienced RPNs typically earn salaries toward the higher end of the curve, around $81,715 per year.
RPNs thinking of switching positions or entering the field should note that different employers may have various pay differentials for experience.
Typically, employees are rewarded for experience by maintaining tenure with a single organization or jumping ship to an employer that offers more.
According to Payscale, entry-level RPNs make 6% less than the median salary. Those who have one to four years of experience earn 3% less than average. Five to nine years of experience is considered the midpoint.
RPNs at the mid-level of their careers make 5% more than the average rate, late-career RPNS make 8% more, and senior-level RPNS make 9% more.
Allowances for Education
If RPNs pursue additional education, they can get paid allowances while completing a course or degree. Post-graduate courses pay $15 a month for their duration. These courses typically take three to six months, but some can take longer than that. Courses that last a year pay $40 a month.
RPNs who pursue a master’s degree can take home an extra $120 a month. If they complete a BSCN degree, RPNs can receive $80 a month.
Ways RPNs Can Increase Their Wages
RPNs can typically increase their annual wages with the following:
- Night shifts
- Evening shifts
- Weekend shifts
- Being on call
- Becoming a traveling nurse
- Engaging in callbacks to patients and co-workers
- Working overtime
- Working on holidays
Night shifts add $2.65 to an RPNs hourly wage. Evening shifts add $2.25 per hour while working the weekends will rake in an additional $2.80 per hour. On-call RPNs will earn an extra $3.45 an hour and an extra $5.05 if they’re on call during a holiday.
RPNs who do callbacks earn 1.5 times their standard rate for at least four hours. If they travel, they can get reimbursed $0.22 a mile or their employer’s mandated rate if it’s greater.
Working overtime will yield 1.5 times an RPNs normal hourly rate if they work during their lunches or meal periods or over their scheduled shift. The average shift is seven hours and 45 minutes. If they receive short notice that their shift is changing or one is added that overlaps with an existing one, an RPN will also earn 1.5 times their normal pay.
RPNs will earn overtime if they come in on their day or weekend off or work more than seven days in a row. Double time or twice the normal rate is paid for working beyond a regular shift on a holiday or one that’s already being paid at 1.5 times the normal wage. Working holidays pay twice an RPN’s normal rate.
Taking on More Responsibility
Another way for RPNs to increase their salaries is to take on more responsibility. Sometimes this means becoming a head nurse, but in Ontario, there are other opportunities. Becoming a team lead or being in charge while on shift will increase an RPN’s hourly rate by $2.
If an RPN mentors other employees or takes on perceptor tasks, they’ll earn an extra $0.60 an hour. Ontario also has something called Responsibility Pay. This differential increases an RPNs wage by $1.50 per hour.
Impact of Specialties
RPNs may develop specialized skills and experience in various areas of healthcare. Individuals who work in geriatrics, wound care, long-term care, and palliative care tend to make less than someone in medicine or surgery. The difference is between $2 and $3 per hour.
The average RPN in Ontario, Canada, can expect to make around $36 an hour. RPNs can increase this average pay by working additional overtime and holidays. They can also take on additional responsibilities or change the scope of their work.
For instance, a mid-level RPN can take courses to earn a specialty certificate. Upon completion, they can start working in surgical units at a hospital. Another common strategy is to bargain for a raise once an RPN acquires additional time on the job.