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How much is the RPN Salary in Ontario?

How much is the RPN Salary in Ontario?

Typically Registered Practical Nurses (or RPNs) work on the frontline, caring for a wide range of patients at all stages of life. If you live in Ontario your title is RPN but if you’re anywhere else in Canada you practice under LPN (short for licensed practical nurse). RPNs and LPNs are basically two different names for the same role.

So, how much is an RPN salary in Ontario? As sources vary slightly we’ve gone ahead and compiled the overall average based on some approximate figures to give you a better idea of the overall RPN salary in Ontario. 

Salaries are based on salary survey data collected directly from employers and anonymous employees via nurse avenuenuevo, indeed and nurse unions.

RPN Salary Overview

The RPN salary in Ontario averages around $54,600 or $26.25 -$27.50 an hour. 

As a recent grad you’re looking at a little bit less at around $24/hour but as an experienced RPN your salary can go all the way up $30/hour.

Typically, the average RPN salary starts at around $39,724 and with experience, and of course depending on the facility you’re working at and what type of overtime bonuses you get - you can make all the way up to $71,163 per year.

While the cost of living is pretty high in major cities like Toronto and Ottawa, if you’re living outside of a big city, the RPN salary goes a long way. If you do find yourself working in one of the major cities then working nights or getting in a bit of overtime can help tremendously.

Here’s a breakdown of the hourly RPN salary in Ontario’s biggest cities: 

RPN Hourly Expectations

City  

Average Hourly Salary 

Toronto RPN salary 

$25.10

Ottawa RPN salary

$24

Windsor RPN salary

$23.95

Hamilton RPN salary

$27 

Sudbury RPN salary

$25.28

Thunder Bay RPN salary

$27.76

 

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RPN Salary Expectations 

As you can expect, the average salary is more or less the same. Surprising though, the RPN salary in Toronto isn’t really any higher than anywhere else. If you’re looking to save some money or get a higher hourly rate then try checking out job postings in Thunder Bay or even further north. It’s also important to remember that these are averages, so if you have less experience you may be looking at a buck or two below the average, whereas if you are more experienced you can expect a buck or two more. Likewise - if you’re working in the public sector it might be a bit higher than say a private institute.

How does an RPN salary compare to other Canadian cities? 

As previously mentioned, just how much you’re going to earn or how many pay increases you can expect, really depends on where you are working, for whom and how much experience you have. That being said, compared to other major cities in Canada, Ontario isn’t doing too bad. In other well-populated provinces, like B.C., Quebec, and Alberta, the RPN salary in Ontario pretty much averages overall. 

In B.C., the salary is higher at around $27-$28.40 an hour or $52,541 - $55,381 annually, but the cost of living is also much higher (even when compared to Toronto). In Alberta and Quebec wages are more or less comparable with Ontario, where LPNs bring in around $25/hour or $50,156 annually. However, in Quebec, the average salary for a recent grad is much lower (about $21) when compared to a recent RPN grad (who can expect to earn around $23-$24).

How can an RPN earn more money?

If you’re not satisfied with your current salary or are wondering how you can keep earning more once you’ve hit your earning cap, don’t worry - there’s lots of ways you can continue your career growth - and your earning potential.

The most obvious way to increase your salary is by working night shifts, doubles or overtime. Any variety of these three things can easily add another 10k or more to your salary. While this is great, working more to earn more isn't a long term strategy. Therefore, If you’re looking to advance your career with your current qualifications you can always specialize in one or more of the following areas: 

Clinical Studies RPN

If you’d like to observe and interview your patients you might enjoy a new career path in clinical studies that help pave the road for new medications or healthcare procedures.

RPN Educator

While this involves more schooling, if teaching and training others sounds up your alley it might be the perfect part-time gig to do alongside your RPN job.  You can work in hospitals, post-secondary schools, and small communities.

Travel Nurse

Working as a travel nurse not only allows you to take on temporary small assignments, you can also use it to work in more remote places (like Northern Canada) to really earn some buck. You can even go internationally and go as far as Australia where RPNs make a bit more starting at around $29.

Get a Specialty Certificate

Before, the Canadian nurses association only offered specialty certificates if you were a registered nurse or nurse practitioner, however nowadays as an RPN (or LPN) you’re also eligible for extra certifications in two areas; Gerontology Practical Nurse and Medical-Surgical Practical Nurse.

To be certified you’ll need to prove a certain amount of hours within that specialty (or education requirements) along with an examination. However, once you pass you can proudly use the credentials after your name and start looking for a higher paid position.

Conclusion

In the end, if you’re an RPN working in Ontario you can expect to earn between $53,000 - $54,000. Since this is an average number, depending on the facility and your experience you may earn 5-10K less or even 5-10K more. Keep in mind this is the basic salary, if you’re working nights, doing doubles or putting in any extra hours you can expect some hefty bonuses that will help your salary hit closer to 60K!

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