Tips | Nursing and Physician Assistant


1. Nursing

Below is a partial list of Ontario universities offering accelerated nursing degree programs.  For a full list of accredited nursing programs visit the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing site.   


Accelerated & Second-Entry Nursing Programs in Ontario

Accelerated programs are shorter in duration (“compressed or fast-tracked”) and available to applicants with existing and relevant university-level studies (varies by school).

Second-entry programs typically run for up to two years and are available to applicants with a completed university degree (requirements vary by school).


McMaster University Nursing 

Queen’s University Nursing 

York University Nursing 

University of Ottawa Nursing 

Western University Nursing 

Trent University Nursing 

For additional degree programs as well as diploma programs visit the Ontario Colleges website


CASPer Test

Many nursing programs use the CASPer test as part of their admissions process. The test is based on situational scenarios requiring judgement and is used by programs to screen potential applicants for key personal and professional characteristics in a fair and reliable way. Check each program’s application processes to know if they require it. 


Gaining Experience

Experience working in medical or human services settings will be useful in demonstrating your transferrable skills and personal qualities required for success as a nurse (E.g. volunteering at a seniors care home, admin roles in health care clinics, first aid responder).


Useful Links


Additional links

To learn about nursing careers including RPN; RN, Nurse Practitioner, please visit the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario.  



2. Physician Assistant

Physician Assistants (PA) are highly skilled health care professionals educated in the medical. PAs graduate from a bachelor's or a master’s degree program that may be affiliated with a medical school. They practice medicine under the supervision of a licensed physician within a patient-centred healthcare team. PAs can work in any clinic setting to extend physician services, complement existing services, and help improve patient access to healthcare. Learn more about this career at Canadian PA.  


PA Programs in Canada

University of Manitoba  (Requires CASPer Test – see the section under NURSING)

University of Toronto 

McMaster University 


Gaining Experience

Significant experience in healthcare-related settings is required before applying to one of the 3 programs in Canada. Here is some advice on what kind of experience to seek out


Useful Links

Canadian Association of Physician Assistants  

More information on PA careers  

Canadian Labour Market Information and Career Information  


Information is subject to change.


Updated August 4, 2022.