Frequently Asked Questions
In partnership with the Government of Ontario, WeRPN’s BEGIN program builds bridges for Personal Support Workers (PSWs) and Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) to explore new professional pathways in the Long-Term Care (LTC) and Home and Community Care (HCC) sectors in Ontario. BEGIN provides tuition reimbursements to eligible students enrolled in PSW-RPN and RPN-RN programs, removing the financial barriers for them to invest in their future.
Eligible PSWs enrolled in an PN program can receive a tuition reimbursement of up to $6,000 per year (maximum of $15,000).
Eligible RPNs enrolled in an RN program can receive a tuition reimbursement of up to $10,000 per year (maximum of $30,000).
Some participants (based on demonstrated need) may qualify for additional financial assistance to receive up to $5,000 per year while enrolled. This assists with costs, such as: caring for dependents, tutoring and travel.
Direct tuition fees are covered, ancillary fees are not covered.
The BEGIN Program is open to Personal Support Workers (PSWs) and Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) who are currently enrolled in accredited and approved Ontario Colleges and Universities (PSW to RPN or RPN to RN). Applicants must have Canadian citizenship or permanent resident/landed immigrant status, reside in Ontario, and be willing to work in Long-Term Care or Home and Community Care sectors for a period of time after graduation.
Yes, if you’re already enrolled in an approved and accredited PSW-RPN or RPN-RN program, you can apply to BEGIN, no matter how close to graduation.
Yes, any RPN can apply to BEGIN for tuition reimbursement if they are enrolled in an accredited RPN-RN bridging program, even if they have already applied to NEI.
No. The BEGIN program is intended only for PSWs and RPNs looking to expand their careers with new pathways in the Long-Term Care (LTC) and Home and Community Care (HCC) sectors in Ontario. After graduating, program participants agree to commit to a year of employment in either the LTC or HCC sectors, for every year, or portion of a year, which BEGIN funding was received.
No. BEGIN is a tuition reimbursement program for PSWs or RPNs enrolled in an accredited and approved program, not a nursing education program.
Not right now. However, once you’ve been enrolled in or accepted into an approved and accredited Ontario program, then you can apply. The BEGIN program is open until March 31, 2025.
No. However, upon graduation, you’ll commit to one year of employment in the LTC or HCC sector in Ontario for every year, or portion of a year, you received funding.
No. To be eligible for the BEGIN program you must be enrolled in an accredited and approved Ontario nursing program in a Canadian university or college, be a Canadian citizen, or permanent resident/landed immigrant and reside in Ontario.
See How to Apply
You can apply once you’ve been enrolled in or have been accepted into an approved and accredited PSW-RPN or RPN-RN program in Ontario.
No. Once you’re accepted, you don’t need to apply each year. However, each year you need to submit proof of paid tuition fees and proof of enrollment.
Please login to your BEGIN account using your username and select forgot password to reset. You can also email email@example.com for assistance.
If you have a demonstrated need for non-tuition costs, you may qualify for additional financial assistance of up to $5,000 per year while enrolled. This support is intended to assist with costs such as care for dependents, tutoring, and travel incurred while completing your educational program.
All participants of the BEGIN program are eligible to apply. Only those with demonstrated need may qualify.
You must have been accepted into the BEGIN program in order to apply. Even if you’re about to graduate, you may still apply.
Yes, additional financial assistance is available for multiple years, and yes, you have to re-apply each year.
No, however, all BEGIN applicants will have access to a no-cost, online NCLEX or REx-PN exam preparation course.
If you have questions on how your OSAP funding may be impacted, or on what information you may need to provide to OSAP if you are approved for BEGIN supports, you should contact the financial aid office at your postsecondary institution.
EMPLOYMENT COMMITMENT (RETURN OF SERVICE)
Also known as a Return of Service, it’s an agreement that you commit to one year of full-time employment in your new designation in either the Long-Term Care or Home and Community Care sectors in Ontario for every year you receive BEGIN funding (up to three years).
Yes, the pay process is no different from any other job.
No. You are free to work anywhere once your commitment is completed.
The BEGIN Team will work with you and your employer to track the amount of time you work during the commitment period. Once you’ve completed your commitment, you will receive a formal notification that you have fulfilled the terms of your agreement.
You’ll have to pay back in full the tuition grants and additional financial assistance you’ve received. However, if you partially complete your post-graduation employment commitment, the remaining years become repayable on a prorated basis. For example, if your commitment is three years and you complete one, then you’ll repay the tuition grants and any additional financial assistance received for two.
Yes. You will need to pay back the tuition grants and any applicable interest. Interest charges will start to accrue 30 days after the person leaves the BEGIN program for whatever reason, without completing the post-graduation employment commitment.
For those interested in a career in Long-Term Care, please search the job ads at Advantage Ontario and Ontario Long-Term Care Association.
For those interested in a career in Home and Community Care, please search home care agencies in your area, for example: Spectrun, SE Health, Closing the Gap, VHA and Paramed.
Additionally a LTC/HCC job board will be available to BEGIN applicants.
The majority of LTC and HCC workplaces are eligible places of employment for BEGIN candidates. An eligible LTC home is one with licensed beds. Eligible HCC companies are those with service contracts with HCCSS – Home and Community Care Support Services. If you have any questions, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEGIN has established an online portal/job board to connect participants with increased FT employment opportunities in the Long-Term Care (LTC) and Home and Community Care (HCC) sectors in Ontario.
The BEGIN program is accepting applications for the current school year. Ready to BEGIN?
Still have questions?