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Community Health Nurse

Community health nurses provide professional nursing services for individuals, families, communities and groups in a variety of settings.

  • Avg. Salary $65,492.00
  • Avg. Wage $43.23
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook above avg
Also Known As

Nurse, Public Health Nurse

NOC & Interest Codes
The Community Health Nurse is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Community Health Nurses
NOC code: 3152.3
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

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 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 More

Duties
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Community health nurses' duties vary considerably from one job to another and may vary from one assignment to another in the same job. In general, they:

  • assist in the development of public health policies and support the development of healthy communities
  • develop and deliver health promotion, disease prevention and education programs
  • facilitate the development of support groups and community solutions to local health problems
  • deliver preventive programs such as immunization and screening programs for tuberculosis or breast cancer
  • assess the needs of individuals, families, groups or communities throughout the lifespan
  • provide health support and counselling services for people in crisis and help them access appropriate resources
  • develop and implement chronic disease management programs
  • assist in the control of communicable disease outbreaks
  • assist in the care and management of resources in emergency and disaster situations
  • plan, implement, evaluate and document nursing care
  • co-ordinate patient care
  • provide direct nursing care
  • manage, lead and supervise nursing teams
  • advocate for clients
  • visit and provide health care services to new mothers and elderly patients
  • ensure continuity of care as clients move from one part of the health care system to another.

Community health nurses may work with a wide variety of people or specific groups in the community. For example, they may work primarily with:

  • children (newborns, preschool, school age, adolescents)
  • children who have long-term disabilities
  • families
  • women preparing for childbirth
  • seniors in good health
  • elderly people whose ability to function independently is diminishing
  • disadvantaged individuals or groups
  • community organizations (schools, churches, housing and social service agencies)
  • individuals with chronic disease.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Community health nurses counsel and advise clients over the telephone and may travel to see clients in their homes. They may work weekday hours or be required to work some evenings and weekends.

Community health nurses face the same occupational hazards as other nurses (exposure to infectious diseases and chemicals, back injuries and muscle strains from moving patients). They also must work relatively independently and deal with issues of personal safety because they work outside the controlled environment of a hospital. Those who work in isolated communities may be the only health professionals who live in the community.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Community health nurses need the following characteristics:

  • flexibility and adaptability
  • physical and emotional stamina
  • good communication skills 
  • problem-solving and critical thinking skills
  • 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 independently as well as in a team environment
  • the ability to react quickly and effectively to unexpected or unusual situations
  • the ability to supervise paraprofessional and non-professional staff.

They should enjoy advising individuals and groups about promoting and maintaining good health, taking a methodical approach to compiling information and administering treatments, and directing the work of others.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

In Alberta, registered nurse status requires a bachelor's degree in nursing.


Required Education

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

Grant MacEwan University

Mount Royal University

University of Calgary

University of Lethbridge


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Grande Prairie Regional College

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Nurse - Registered

Registered nurses assist individuals, families, groups and communities to achieve their optimal physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health and well being; assess, diagnose and provide treatment and interventions and make referrals; prevent or treat injury and illness; teach, counsel and advocate to enhance health and well being; co-ordinate, supervise, monitor and evaluate the provision of health services; teach nursing theory and practice; manage, administer and allocate resources related to health services; and engage in research related to health and the practice of nursing.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Health Professions Act  and Registered Nurses Profession Regulation registration with the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) is mandatory if you meet the competency requirements and provide professional services directly to the public, teach the practice of the profession to members or students of the profession, or supervise registered members who provide professional services to the public. Registered members, who are authorized by the College, provide restricted activities specified in the Regulation. Only registered members may call themselves registered nurses or nurses.

What You Need

Registration requires successful completion of: (1) an approved nursing education program or equivalent, and (2) the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination. Applicants who have been out of practice for a period of time also may have to demonstrate that they are currently competent to practice. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the CARNA website or contact the CARNA.

Working in Alberta

Registered nurses who are registered by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered nurses in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

To find more information on the certification process for internationally educated registered nurses, see Registered Nurse Registration Process on the AlbertaCanada.com website.

Contact Details

College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta
11620 - 168 Street
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada  T5M 4A6
Phone number: 780-451-0043
Toll-free phone number: 1-800-252-9392
Fax number: 780-452-3276
Website: www.nurses.ab.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Community health nurses are employed by:

  • regional health authorities
  • primary care settings
  • organizations such as the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) private nursing agencies
  • charitable organizations and churches
  • businesses that provide services related to health care.

Some self-employed community health nurses work on a contract basis.

Advancement for community health nurses may take the form of specializing in a particular type of health care service (for example, palliative care, health education, communicable disease control, genetic counselling, teen sexual health, community development) or in serving the needs of a particular client population (for example, seniors, school children).

Community health nurses are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 3012: Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses.  In Alberta, 96% of people employed in this classification work in the Health Care and Social Assistance (PDF) industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 45,000 Albertans are employed in the Registered nurses occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 3.6% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 1,620 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As community health nurses form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for community health nurses.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Salaries for community health nurses vary considerably depending on the employer, location and the nurse's hours, qualifications and responsibilities.

Community health nurses are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 3012: Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses.

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses occupational group earned on average from $35.02 to $47.58 an hour. The overall average wage was $43.23 an hour. For more information, see the Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Community Care Services
    • Health Care Services
    • Human and Social Services
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 15, 2016

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

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

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

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

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Apr 09, 2014. 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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