Canada's health-care system couldn't function without registered nurses (RNs). They interact with patients more than doctors and care for the whole person, including their physical, intellectual and social needs. RNs use high-tech equipment, perform complex procedures and lead and manage staff. RNs can further their education and be rewarded with even greater career opportunities.
Nurses work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centres, clinics, community agencies, research and policy centres, correctional services and businesses. Salaries of RNs, licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered psychiatric nurses (RPNs) range from about $40,000 to $80,000 depending on location, education and level of responsibility. Canada has an ongoing shortage of nurses, so it's a great time to enter the profession.
Browse the resources on the right to learn more about nursing in Canada.
Registered nurses include nurses who have passed either the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination or the Quebec examination (examen professionnel de l'OIIQ) and have registered with their provincial or territorial regulatory body. RNs can specialize in many areas of care. Read Framework for the Practice of Registered Nurses in Canada for a more detail.
Registered psychiatric nurses provide nursing care, supportive counselling and life skills programming to patients in psychiatric hospitals, mental health clinics, long-term care and community-based settings.
Licensed practical nurses provide nursing care usually under the direction of medical practitioners, registered nurses, or other health team members. (The term licensed practical nurse is used throughout Canada, except Ontario, where registered practical nurse is used and in Quebec, where nursing assistant is used.)
Public policies in many areas can have negative consequences for the health of our populations. Yet governments can help avoid these problems by taking health into account when developing legislation, policies and programs.
The next move: leading interprofessional collaboration
Collaborative practice is becoming the norm but to achieve this goal changes are needed in attitudes, in operations and in systems. We all have to recognize the importance of working with government, unions, regulators and other stakeholders.
Influenza is a serious illness that disproportionately affects certain populations who have a higher risk of complications. Influenza immunization, as the most effective method of preventing the flu, allows health-care workers to protect themselves, their families and those in their care.
The resources within this section are offered to inform your cultural awareness, competency, and safety so as to enhance your capabilities to work with your clients in addressing their health and wellness needs