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Community Health Nurse

Community health nurses provide nursing care. They may work in public health, home health care, or community-based health services.

Also Known As

Nurse, Public Health Nurse, Registered Nurse

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Community Health Nurses (3152.3) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Registered Nurses (D112) 
  • 2011 NOC: Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (3012) 
  • 2016 NOC: Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (3012) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Community Health Nurses
2006 NOC : 3152.3

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
SOCIAL

Interest in instructing to advise individuals and groups about health education and disease prevention, to teach maternal care, child care and other subjects related to individual and community welfare; and in participating in community needs assessment and program development

METHODICAL

Interest in compiling information to keep patient records and to help prepare special studies; and in managing complex home care cases

DIRECTIVE

Interest in operating medical equipment to perform disease screening and administer treatments; and in assisting persons with social, emotional and other problems to secure aid through community resources

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2018

The duties of a community health nurse can vary from one job to another. They can also vary from one assignment to another in the same job. In general, community health nurses:

  • advance public health policies
  • support communities to become healthy
  • promote health (to prevent disease) and run education programs
  • help support groups develop community solutions to local health problems
  • deliver preventive health programs (such as vaccinations or screening programs)
  • consider the needs of individuals, families, groups, or communities in all stages of life
  • provide health support and counselling for people in crisis
  • help people in health-related crises access resources
  • develop and introduce programs to manage chronic diseases
  • help control outbreaks of infectious disease
  • provide care and manage resources during emergencies and disasters
  • plan, provide, evaluate, and document nursing care
  • co-ordinate patient care
  • manage, lead, and supervise nursing teams
  • advocate for clients
  • visit and care for individuals from all walks of life
  • ensure seamless care as clients move around in the health care system
  • work with others to design care plans
  • co-ordinate resources to help people stay in their own homes safely (and prevent unnecessary hospital visits)
  • provide acute, chronic, and end-of-life care to people in their own homes and supportive living settings

Community health nurses may work with a variety of people. Or they may focus on specific groups in the community. For example, they may work mostly with:

  • children (newborn, preschool, school-age, adolescent)
  • children with disabilities
  • families
  • women preparing for childbirth
  • healthy seniors
  • seniors struggling to live on their own
  • people or groups with disadvantages
  • community groups (such as schools, churches, housing, and social service agencies)
  • individuals with acute or episodic illnesses
  • people with chronic disease who need end-of-life support
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2018
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Community health nurses work in many settings:

  • They work with First Nations and in schools and workplaces.
  • They work in primary care networks and family clinics.
  • Some work in remote communities.

They may be the only health care provider in that community.

Community health nurses may:

  • Counsel clients over the phone.
  • See clients in clinics and in their homes.
  • Work regular weekday hours.
  • Work some evening and weekend work.

Many home care nurses provide on-call support to clients and informal caregivers.

Community health nurses face the same workplace hazards as other nurses. They may be exposed to infectious diseases and chemicals. They may sustain back injuries and muscle strains from moving patients. They often work alone (beyond the controlled setting of a hospital).

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Community health nurses need to possess:

  • the ability to be flexible and adaptive
  • physical and emotional stamina
  • speaking, listening, and writing skills
  • the ability to think critically and solve problems
  • the ability to work well with individuals, families, and groups from diverse social and cultural backgrounds
  • the ability to motivate people
  • the ability to work both alone and as part of a team
  • the ability to react quickly to unexpected situations
  • the ability to supervise others who may or may not be adequately trained

They should enjoy:

  •  giving advice to individuals and groups
  • promoting and maintaining good health
  • taking a methodical approach to gathering information and providing treatments
  • directing others’ work

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses

NOC code: 3012

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 85 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Oct 27, 2021 and Jul 05, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Personal Suitability: Excellent oral communication
Personal Suitability: Excellent written communication
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Personal Suitability: Organized
Personal Suitability: Flexibility
Assess patients to identify appropriate nursing interventions
Personal Suitability: Effective interpersonal skills
Personal Suitability: Accurate
Personal Suitability: Team player
Personal Suitability: Client focus
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary

In Alberta, registered nurse (RN) status requires a bachelor’s degree in nursing. To work more closely with doctors and prescribe medicine, consider a master of science in nursing to become a nurse practitioner.


Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.


To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Nurse - Registered

Registered nurses provide professional nursing services, deliver health education programs and provide consultative nursing services to promote, maintain, and restore patient health.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Health Professions Act [pdf] and Registered Nurses Profession Regulation [pdf], registration with the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) is mandatory. Only registered members who have an active practice permit may provide the restricted activities specified in the Regulation and call themselves registered nurses or use the initials RN.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Nurse - Registered.

Additional  Information

Registered nurses who wish to work as community health nurses may consider a Canadian Certificate in Community Health (CCHN-C) through the Canadian Nurses Association.

CCHN-C certification indicates an advanced level of professional competence in the field of community health.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Community health nurses work for:

  • regional health authorities
  • private nursing agencies (such as the Victorian Order of Nurses) 
  • charitable organizations and churches
  • health care-related businesses

Some work in primary care settings. Others are self-employed and work on a contract basis.

Advancement may mean focusing on a certain type of health care service (such as palliative care, health education, genetic counselling, or teen sexual health). It could also mean serving a specific client population (such as seniors or school children).

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 3012: Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses occupational group, 95.8% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 3012: Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 3.6% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 1361 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Earnings for community health nurses vary. They depend on the employer, location, and the nurse’s hours.  They also depend on the nurse’s qualifications and responsibilities.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses

2016 NOC : 3012
Average Wage
$45.40
Per Hour
Average Salary
$70,429.00
Per Year
Average Hours
29.8
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 3012 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $35.47 $37.60 $36.48 $36.86
Overall $40.00 $47.05 $45.40 $46.38
Top $46.30 $56.44 $53.60 $56.22

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Public Administration
ALL INDUSTRIES
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
65%
65%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
35%
35%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
13%
13%
Vacancy Rate
3%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) website: www.nursesunions.ca

Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) website: www.cna-aiic.ca

College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) website: www.nurses.ab.ca

Community Health Nurses of Alberta (CHNAlberta) website: chnalberta.ca

United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) website: www.una.ab.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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