Written by
Canadian Nurses Association

Apr 1, 2019

Apr 1, 2019 • by Canadian Nurses Association

Registered Nursing in Canada

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 [PDF, 1.2 MB] 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.)