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Occupational Profile

Licensed Practical Nurse

Licensed practical nurses provide care for individuals, families and groups in a variety of health care settings. They may practice independently or as part of a health care team.

Related Video(s)
Licensed Practical Nurse (7:08)

  • Avg. Salary $43,142.00
  • Avg. Wage $29.98
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook Up
  • Employed 8,100
  • In Demand High
Also Known As

Nurse, Practical Nurse

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

74%
74%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Licensed Practical Nurse is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Licensed Practical Nurses
NOC code: 3233.1
METHODICAL

Interest in compiling information by monitoring patients' progress and monitoring established respiratory and intravenous therapy; in evaluating effectiveness of nursing interventions; and in administering medication and observing and documenting therapeutic effects

SOCIAL

Interest in instructing patients and their families by providing safety and health education; in providing pre-operative and post-operative personal and comfort care; and in consulting with members of the healthcare team

OBJECTIVE

Interest in operating medical equipment to perform nursing interventions such as taking vital signs, applying aseptic techniques including sterile dressing, ensuring infection control, monitoring nutritional intake and conducting specimen collection

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 20, 2016

Licensed practical nurses work in a wide range of health care roles such as acute care, long term care, community and primary health clinics, education, occupational health, public health and leadership. Depending on the setting, they may have a variety of nursing care responsibilities and collaborate with registered nurses, psychiatric nurses, physicians, physiotherapists or other health care professionals. Licensed practical nurses carry out many nursing responsibilities independently, depending on the nature and complexity of the client care required and the environment in which they work. In many settings, licensed practical nurses are in leadership roles, assigning care to health care aides and managing client and family concerns.

In general, licensed practical nurses:

  • assess, plan, implement and evaluate nursing care
  • use critical thinking and clinical judgment to provide care for individuals and groups 
  • document and communicate client data to ensure continuity of care
  • work with a variety of health professionals, consulting as necessary
  • advocate for clients
  • educate the public about good health practices
  • participate in research activities.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Licensed practical nursing can be physically, emotionally and intellectually demanding. Licensed practical nurses are often exposed to communicable diseases and may work with hazardous materials. Depending on where they are employed, they may work shifts that include evenings, nights, weekends and holidays. They may be required to lift or move immobile clients or items that weigh up to 20 kilograms.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Licensed practical nurses need the following characteristics:

  • critical thinking, problem-solving and decision making skills
  • good communication and interpersonal skills
  • the ability to work independently and as part of a health care team
  • the ability to motivate others
  • conflict resolution skills
  • a commitment to life-long learning
  • empathy, honesty and integrity
  • professional demeanor.

They should enjoy working with people and operating medical and computer equipment.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 20, 2016

In Alberta, licensed practical nurses must be graduates of approved practical nursing education programs or have equivalent training. Practical nursing programs consist of a combination of classroom and laboratory instruction and clinical experience in various health care settings.


Required Education

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

Columbia College

Lethbridge College

Medicine Hat College

Northern Lakes College

Portage College

Red Deer College


Related Education

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

Saskatchewan Polytechnic

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Nurse - Licensed Practical

Licensed practical nurses apply nursing knowledge, skills and judgment to assess patients' needs and provide nursing care for patients and families. They care for clients throughout the life span and follow a systematic approach to nursing care, through critical thinking and clinical judgement.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Health Professions Act and Licensed Practical Nurses Profession Regulation, registration with the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) is mandatory if you meet identified 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 services to the public. Registered members who are authorized by the College may perform restricted activities specified in the Regulation. Only registered members may call themselves licensed practical nurses.

Education

Registration as a Licensed Practical Nurse requires successful completion of: (1) an approved practical nursing program and (2) an approved national 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. Registration for specialized practice requires completion of specialty education and demonstrated competence. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the CLPNA website or contact the CLPNA.

Working in Alberta

Licensed practical nurses who are registered by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if licensed practical 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 licensed practical nurses, see Licensed Practical Nurse Accreditation Process on the AlbertaCanada.com website.

Contact Details

College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta
13163 - 146 Street
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada  T5L 4S8
Phone number: 780-484-8886
Toll-free phone number (within Alberta): 1-800-661-5877
Fax number: 780-484-9069
Website: www.clpna.com

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 20, 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.

Licensed practical nurses are employed by:

  • acute care hospitals 
  • continuing care facilities
  • community care agencies
  • assisted living centres
  • occupational health departments
  • primary care clinics and physicians' offices
  • schools
  • mental health facilities.

Licensed practical nurses also may work in community health or occupational health and safety teams, or in independent foot care businesses or ophthalmic clinics. To provide expanded services in operating rooms, advanced orthopedics, dialysis or immunization programs, licensed practical nurses must complete additional education and be registered for specialized practice with the CLPNA.

In Alberta, 94% of people employed as licensed practical nurses work in the Health Care and Social Assistance 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 Health Care and Social Assistance industry)
  • 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 8,100 Albertans are employed in the Licensed practical nurse occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 3.7% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 300 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Salaries vary considerably depending on the employer and on the employee's responsibilities, experience and training.

For information about current collective agreements in the public and not-for-profit sectors, see the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) website.

Licensed practical nurses
NOC code: 3233

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
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $24.21 $27.06 $25.81 $25.93
Overall $25.62 $32.05 $29.98 $30.56
Top $28.50 $34.28 $33.25 $33.95

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
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Health Care & Social Assistance
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

74%
74%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

23%
23%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

6%
6%

2015 Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Science
    • Biology
  • 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 20, 2016

College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) website: www.clpna.com

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) website: http://www.aupe.org

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 10, 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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