Licensed Practical Nurses - NOC Code 3233

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If you are interested in working as a Licensed Practical Nurse in Canada, you will be pleased to know that the job outlook for your occupation in Canada is extremely positive. You can use this overview of the Canadian employment prospects in your field to start planning your immigration and settlement in Canada.

To find out if you qualify for a Canadian immigration (permanent resident) visa please fill out our free eligibility assessment.

Licensed practical nurses provide nursing care usually under the direction of medical practitioners, registered nurses or other health team members. They are employed in hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, rehabilitation centres, doctors' offices, clinics, companies, private homes and community health centres. Operating room technicians are included in this unit group.

(Description from Employment and Social Development Canada's National Occupation Classification, used by Canadian immigration officers, to assess an applicant's work experience.)

  • Provide nursing services, within defined scope of practice, to patients based on patient assessment and care planning procedures
  • Perform nursing interventions such as taking vital signs, applying aseptic techniques including sterile dressing, ensuring infection control, monitoring nutritional intake and conducting specimen collection
  • Administer medication and observe and document therapeutic effects
  • Provide pre-operative and post-operative personal and comfort care
  • Monitor established respiratory therapy and intravenous therapy
  • Monitor patients' progress, evaluate effectiveness of nursing interventions and consult with appropriate members of healthcare team
  • Provide safety and health education to individuals and their families

Operating room technicians perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Prepare patients for surgery by washing, shaving and sterilizing the patients' operative areas
  • Assist in surgery by laying out instruments, setting up equipment, assisting surgical teams with gowns and gloves and passing instruments to surgeons
  • Clean and sterilize the operating room and instrument
  • certified nursing assistant (CNA)
  • CNA (certified nursing assistant)
  • graduate nursing assistant
  • L.P.N. (licensed practical nurse)
  • licensed nursing assistant
  • licensed practical nurse (L.P.N.)
  • medical assistant (licensed practical nurse) – military
  • nursing assistant (registered – Québec)
  • operating room assistant – military
  • operating room technician
  • operating room technician – nursing
  • R.N.A. (registered nursing assistant)
  • R.P.N. (registered practical nurse)
  • registered nursing assistant (R.N.A.)
  • registered practical nurse (R.P.N.)
  • surgical assistant, nursing
  • surgical nursing assistant
  • surgical technician – nursing
  • technician, operating room – nursing
  • technician, surgical – nursing

Why your job prospects in Canada are excellent:

  • Health care is Canada’s fastest growing sector, and offers unparalleled diversity and employment opportunities for immigrants in the nursing field with up to 31,000 nursing jobs last year alone.
  • An aging population and a trend towards providing more health-care services in nursing homes have dramatically increases the need for Licensed Practical Nurses.
  • The government is also implementing faster credential recognition for immigrants with backgrounds in the nursing field, which will make finding employment even easier for immigrants.
  • The current critical shortage of registered nurses is also creating vacancies for Licensed Practical Nurses who may be recruited to perform some related duties.
  • A recent move in the industry towards more "Team Nursing" is also causing a demand for greater numbers of licensed practical nurses.
  • The construction of new retirement and nursing homes and the expansion of existing ones should create local employment opportunities. However, employment in this occupation is dependent to a great extent on provincial government funding for health care.
  • With the ongoing shortage of health care workers in Canada, Canadian colleges and governments are beginning to invest more in these types of educational programs.
  • A new website,, provides internationally-educated health professionals with online tutorials to help prepare them for the Canadian health system and culture before they arrive in Canada.

Find out about the salary ranges for Licensed Practical Nurses in different Canadian cities with our Canada Salary Calculator

Some areas where your occupation is in demand:

Licensed Practical Nurses are in demand all over the country. 

British Columbia
  • Industry sources report there is strong demand for LPNs across the Province.
  • Demand has tended to be higher in areas with more extended care and long-term care facilities or larger acute care hospitals.
  • Many jobs for LPNs will be in specialty areas, such as emergency and paediatric wards, and operating rooms.
  • LPNs who have completed an immunization certification course and the leadership post certificate course will have better job prospects.
  • The legislated scope of practice for LPNs has not changed in recent years; however, the range of competencies that LPNs are using has expanded. New competencies include mental health, community and pharmacology studies.
  • Projected new jobs between 2010 and 2015 are estimated at 2,140. While projected vacancies due to retirements during the same period are predicted to be 1,400.

  • The overall average wage for licensed practical nurses has been increasing over the last five years.

Athabasca / Grande Prairie / Peace River, Alberta:
  • Employment prospects are good in these local areas.
  • With an ageing population in the province, demand for registered nurses will continue to rise.

Calgary / Banff / Jasper / Rocky Mountain House, Alberta:
  • Employment prospects are good in these local areas.
  • Employers reported having hiring difficulties when looking to hire licensed practical nurses.

Edmonton, Alberta:
  • Employment prospects are good in this local area.
  • Local aging population will contribute to an increase in demand for this occupation.

Red Deer, Alberta:
  • Employment prospects are good in this local area.
  • Local aging population will contribute to an increase in demand for this occupation.
  • More opportunities will also arise due to health care delivery moving to community based care and long term care from institutionalized care.

  • Employment prospects are considered to be good throughout the Province.

Regina Area, Saskatchewan:
  • High demand for LPNs in this local area.
  • Increasing health needs of an aging population, as well as an aging workforce of nurses favour employment prospects.
  • In addition, this is a large group of workers, thus many positions are created through replacement needs.

Saskatoon and Rural West, Saskatchewan:
  • Future opportunities in this occupation will remain positive given the region's aging population.

South-West Saskatchewan:
  • Employment prospects are good in this local area.
  • There is especially high demand in community health centers and nursing homes, to cope with the healthcare needs of the growing elderly population.

  • Employment prospects for licensed practical nurses are expected to be good in the period 2010 to 2014.
  • Employment in Manitoba in 2010 is estimated at 2,030.
  • The long term shift from hospital to community care for chronic patients means that employment opportunities will be increasingly more available in community based nursing and residential care facilities for the elderly and chronically ill.
  • The speedy discharge of patients from hospitals, the increasing number of elderly patients with medical needs and the availability of mobile health care equipment will create greater need for LPNs to provide medical services for patients in their homes.
  • LPNs with experience in geriatrics and home care will be in greatest demand.

Northeastern Ontario:
  • Employments prospects are good in this local area.
  • Ongoing expansion in community health care services and in nursing home and retirement home capacity throughout the area, as well as retirements and other types of attrition, will create a good number of new jobs each year.

Northwestern Ontario:
  • Employments prospects are good in this local area.
  • As the local population ages, demand for LPNs will continue to increase.

Nova Scotia
  • The future employment outlook for Licensed Practical Nurses in Nova Scotia is expected to be good over the next 5 years.

Annapolis Valley (Kings, Annapolis & West Hants), Nova Scotia:
  • Employment prospects are considered to be good in this local area.
  • Specifically, Annapolis Valley District Health Authority has identified Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) as being in shortage with numerous job vacancies for LPN’s and an anticipation of an increased number of opportunities in the near future as the region has and will continue to see an increase in the number of long term and nursing beds.
  • Opportunities for LPNs should also be generated from retirements, as the Canadian Institute for Health Information lists almost one third on Nova Scotia LPN workforce as 50 years of age or older. All of these things combine to increase the demand for LPN’s.

Antigonish / Pictou / Guysborough, Nova Scotia:
  • There are many employers locally in this occupation from hospitals to long-term care and home care agencies creating good opportunity for employment in this area.
  • Demand is strong and local newspapers, job banks and health authority websites consistently advertise vacancies for Licensed Practical Nurses.

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia:
  • Employment prospects are good in this local area.
  • An ageing population will continue to create opportunities for Licensed Practical Nurses.
  • In addition, many opportunities for LPNs will be generated from retirements in the near term, as the Canadian Institute for Health Information listed almost one third of Nova Scotia LPN workforce as 50 years of age or older.

Colchester / Cumberland, Nova Scotia:
  • The main reason why employment prospects for this occupation are good is that there are a large number of hospitals and nursing care facilities in the area which hire for this occupation.
  • There are many job postings for this occupation and more are anticipated with the trend toward an aging population.

Halifax and surrounding areas, Nova Scotia:
  • Employment prospects in this local area are good.
  • The health needs of an aging general population continue to create opportunities. A significant amount of turnover also exists in such a large occupation, as people leave, retire, etc.
  • The role of the licensed practical nurse appears to have broadened, it now includes a wider range of duties, and difficulties in hiring nurses make them even more indispensable in health care settings.

South Shore (Lunenburg & Queens Counties), Nova Scotia:
  • Employment prospects are good locally because of the growing opportunity in non-institutional settings, an aging population, an above average number of advertised job opportunities compared to the size of the occupation and substantial turnover.

Southwest Nova Scotia (Yarmouth, Shelburne & Digby Counties), Nova Scotia:
  • Employment prospects are good in this local area.
  • Continued new construction and expansion of retirement, assisted living homes and institutional settings is expected to increase demand for this occupation.

Prince Edward Island
  • Employment prospects are considered to be good throughout the Province.
  • While there is high demand for LPNs in hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics, LPNs may also create opportunities for self-employment by offering their services on an individual basis.

You can start looking for a job in Canada as a Licensed Practical Nurse by using our Canada Job Search Tool.

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