Becoming A Registered Nurse

Where can I study to become an RN?

In Alberta, students must graduate from an approved nursing education program and pass the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination to become eligible to practice as a registered nurse. Once you have successfully completed those two steps, you then apply to the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) for registration and a practice permit which gives you the right to use the registered nurse or RN professional designation and practice in Alberta. Approved nursing education programs in Alberta are listed here.

Financial support?

For information regarding funding, scholarships and student loans, contact the nursing education programs. Once you have obtained RN status with CARNA, you become eligible for a variety of funding supports available exclusively to CARNA members.

What is CARNA?

The College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) regulates and supports the professional practice of more than 33,000 knowledgeable, skilled and dedicated registered nurses (RNs) in Alberta. Every practicing RN in Alberta is required by law to be registered and hold a valid permit with CARNA. CARNA endeavors to ensure that all Alberta RNs provide safe, competent and ethical nursing care, and promotes public and agency policies that utilize the knowledge and skills of RNs.

What Do RNs earn?

Employers respect the education and skill it takes to become a registered nurse, and compensate RNs accordingly. In some communities, where demand for skilled RNs is particularly strong, employers also offer incentives and bonuses. For up to date information on typical salaries and benefi ts, visit the United Nurses of Alberta website at Check the website of Alberta Health and Wellness for links to current nursing opportunities which provide an indication of the type of positions and incentives offered to RNs by a variety of employers.

Education Required

As of Jan. 1, 2010, Alberta requires a baccalaureate degree in nursing as the minimum educational preparation for new RNs.

Thinking of a career as a registered nurse?

Save a life? Assist in the birth of a baby? Help someone recover from an injury or stroke? As a registered nurse (RN), you can have these experiences and more. A career as an RN allows you to touch the lives of others while you work in a variety of settings, earn a competitive salary and enjoy excellent employment mobility. As an RN, you'll have the education and skills to advance in your profession and the ability to shape your own future.RNs are skilled, educated members of health-care teams who share their expertise in many ways, including:

  • assessing and monitoring the sick or injured
  • promoting wellness
  • supporting nursing practice through research
  • offering education and counseling
  • managing health-care services and supervising staff

What does a registered nurse do?

In today's complex, ever-changing health system, RNs have varied roles and responsibilities:
From direct care, and disease prevention, to education, research, policy development and management, RNs play a pivotal role in leading, preparing and implementing changes that will infl uence the health of individual Albertans and overall health-care delivery. As an RN, you can be involved in virtually every aspect of health care and with some years of experience and continuing education, you could branch out in almost any direction imaginable.

Where do registered nurses work?

Everywhere and anywhere. RNs are needed in multiple, diverse settings including:

  • hospitals
  • continuing care
  • community health
  • cancer care
  • family practice
  • mental health
  • educational facilities
  • public health
  • occupational health
  • armed forces
  • industrial projects
  • correctional institutions
  • home care
  • and more….

Are there jobs for registered nurses?

Across Canada and around the world, demand for these highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals exceeds the number of available RNs. In Alberta, the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) predicts that more than one third of its registered nurse members will retire before 2016. That means employers will rely on new graduates like you to fi ll RN positions.

What are you waiting for? Take a closer look at a career in registered nursing.