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If you are interested in working as a Registered Nurse or Registered Psychiatric 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.


Important statistics for this occupation:

  • Job prospects in this field are good and it is expected that the number of registered nurses will increase significantly in future years as a result of a continuation of recent trends including an increase in needs and government priorities in health care and an increase in the number of graduates.
  • The majority of job opportunities in this occupation result from retirement, employment increases, and promotions to supervisory and management positions.
  • To work as a registered nurse in Quebec, individuals must meet the requirements of the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec.
  • Many immigrants have trouble getting recognition for the credentials they have earned outside Quebec and must go back to school in order to become members of the Ordre, however, the Ordre is aware of this and has prepared tools to assist nurses trained outside Canada in entering the occupation.
  • The median yearly income for Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses is $30,000 in Canada, with high incomes reported in the range of $85,000.

Duties for Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses

This unit group includes registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses and graduates of a nursing program who are awaiting registration (graduate nurses). They provide direct nursing care to patients, deliver health education programs and provide consultative services regarding issues relevant to the practice of nursing. They are employed in a variety of settings including hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, rehabilitation centres, doctors' offices, clinics, community agencies, companies and private homes, or they may be self-employed. Registered nurses may specialize in areas such as surgery, obstetrics care, psychiatric care, critical care, pediatrics, geriatrics, community health, occupational health, emergency care, rehabilitation or oncology.

Description of Main Duties

General duty registered nurses perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Assess patients to identify appropriate nursing interventions
  • Collaborate with members of an interdisciplinary health team to plan, implement, co-ordinate and evaluate patient care in consultation with patients and their families
  • Administer medications and treatments as prescribed by a physician or according to established policies and protocols
  • Monitor, assess, address, document and report symptoms and changes in patients' conditions
  • Operate or monitor medical apparatus or equipment
  • Assist in surgery and other medical procedures
  • May supervise licensed practical nurses and other nursing staff
  • May develop and implement discharge planning process on admission of patients
  • May teach and counsel patients and their families on health-related issues in collaboration with other health care providers.
  • Occupational health nurses develop and implement employee health education programs and provide registered nursing care in private businesses and industry.
  • Community health nurses provide health education and registered nursing care in public health units and through home visits, manage complex home care cases, participate in community needs assessment and program development, conduct disease screening and deliver immunization programs.
  • Psychiatric nurses provide nursing care, supportive counselling and life skills programming to patients in psychiatric hospitals, mental health clinics, long-term care facilities and community-based settings.
  • Nursing consultants provide consultative services to institutes, associations and health care organizations regarding issues and concerns relevant to the nursing profession and nursing practice.
  • Nursing researchers engaged in research activities related to nursing are self-employed or are employed by hospitals, public and private organizations and governments.
  • Clinical nurses provide leadership, advice and counsel on the provision of research-based care for specific patient groups within the care of particular health care organizations.

Example job titles for Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses:

  • Clinical nurse
  • Community health nurse
  • Critical care nurse
  • Emergency care nurse
  • Intensive care nurse
  • Nurse researcher
  • Nursing consultant
  • Occupational health nurse
  • Private duty nurse
  • Public health nurse
  • Registered nurse (R.N.)
  • Registered psychiatric nurse (R.P.N.)

Find out about salary ranges for Senior Managers in different Canadian cities with our Canada Salary Calculator.

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