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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.

  • Avg. Salary $70,429.00
  • Avg. Wage $45.40
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 36,200
  • In Demand Medium
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) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Community Health Nurse is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Community Health Nurses

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


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


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

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

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).

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
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 19 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Oct 27, 2021 and Jan 11, 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.
Assess patients to identify appropriate nursing interventions
Collaborate to plan, implement, co-ordinate and evaluate patient care
Monitor, assess, address, document and report symptoms and changes in patients' conditions
Personal Suitability: Effective interpersonal skills
Personal Suitability: Accurate
Personal Suitability: Team player
Personal Suitability: Excellent oral communication
Personal Suitability: Excellent written communication
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Personal Suitability: Organized
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

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.

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Nurse - Registered

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


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.

What You Need

Registration requires successful completion of:

  • An approved nursing education program or equivalent
  • The NCLEX-RN national licensing exam

Applicants who have been out of practice for a period of time may have to demonstrate that they are currently competent to practice.

Once registered, members then apply for a practice permit. Annual requirements including minimum number of practice hours and continuing competence must be met to keep the permit active. For detailed official information about registration requirements, visit CARNA.

Working in Alberta

Registered nurses who are registered by and in good standing with a regulatory registered nurse body elsewhere in Canada may apply for registration in Alberta. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory in Canada? and the CARNA website.

To learn about certification for internationally educated registered nurses, see Registered Nurse Registration Process.

Contact Details

College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA)
11120 - 178 St.
Edmonton, Alberta T5S 1P2

Call: 780-451-0043
Toll-free: 1-800-252-9392
Fax: 780-452-3276

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).

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 [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

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.

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 1361 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.

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

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.

Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
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.

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.

Industry Information
Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

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:

Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) website:

College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) website:

Community Health Nurses of Alberta (CHNAlberta) website:

United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) website:

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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