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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.

Also Known As

Nurse, Practical 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: Licensed Practical Nurses (3233.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Licensed Practical Nurses (D233) 
  • 2011 NOC: Licensed practical nurses (3233) 
  • 2016 NOC: Licensed practical nurses (3233) 
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.

Licensed Practical Nurses

2006 NOC: 3233.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
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

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 Dec 20, 2016

Licensed practical nurses work in a 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 perform many different tasks. They may work with  other health care professionals (such as registered nurses, psychiatric nurses, doctors and physiotherapists). Licensed practical nurses carry out many nursing duties independently. Their work depends on the nature and complexity of the care clients need. In many cases, licensed practical nurses are in leadership roles. They assign tasks to health care aides and manage client and family concerns.

In general, licensed practical nurses:

  • assess, plan, deliver and evaluate nursing care
  • use critical thinking and clinical judgment
  • document and share client data to ensure continuity of care
  • work with other health professionals, consulting as needed
  • speak on behalf of clients
  • teach the public about good health practices
  • take part in research.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 20, 2016
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Nursing can be physically, emotionally and intellectually demanding. Licensed practical nurses are often exposed to contagious diseases and may work with hazardous materials. They may work shifts, including evenings, nights, weekends and holidays. They may need to transfer patients with decreased mobility, or lift items weighing up to 20 kilograms.

Traits & Skills
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Licensed practical nurses need to have:

  • critical-thinking, problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • good communication and people skills
  • the ability to work on their own and as part of a health care team
  • the ability to motivate others
  • conflict resolution skills
  • a commitment to lifelong learning
  • empathy, honesty and integrity
  • a professional attitude.

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

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Licensed practical nurses

2011 NOC: 3233

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 45 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Oct 28, 2021 and Sep 23, 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: Team player
Personal Suitability: Excellent oral communication
Personal Suitability: Flexibility
Personal Suitability: Effective interpersonal skills
Personal Suitability: Organized
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Personal Suitability: Dependability
Provide nursing services, within defined scope of practice, to patients based on patient assessment and care planning procedures
Personal Suitability: Client focus
Monitor patients' progress, evaluate effectiveness of nursing interventions and consult with appropriate members of healthcare team
Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 20, 2016
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary

In Alberta, licensed practical nurses must graduate from an approved practical nursing education program, or complete other education considered equal by the Registrar of the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA). Practical nursing programs combine classroom learning, lab instruction, and clinical experience in different health care settings.

Legislation requires licensed practical nurses who specialize to complete an approved program or advanced certification. The CLPNA must authorize them to perform in that capacity. Specialties may include perioperative nursing / operating room, advanced orthopaedics, dialysis, immunization or advanced foot care.


Required Education

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


Related Education

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

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 Dec 20, 2016
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

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.

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 20, 2016

Licensed practical nurses work for:

  • acute care hospitals
  • continuing care facilities
  • community care agencies
  • assisted living centres
  • occupational health departments
  • primary care clinics and physicians’ offices
  • independent foot care businesses
  • ophthalmic clinics
  • schools
  • public health agencies
  • mental health facilities.

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 that affect overall employment (especially in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry)
  • 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.

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

In Alberta, the 3233: Licensed practical 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, 485 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

Related Alberta Job Postings
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 Government of Alberta website.

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.

Licensed practical nurses

2016 NOC: 3233
Average Wage
$30.17
Per Hour
Average Salary
$48,364.00
Per Year
Average Hours
30.7
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 3233 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 $24.00 $27.73 $26.29 $26.45
Overall $24.00 $32.88 $30.17 $31.23
Top $25.00 $35.88 $33.58 $34.63

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
63%
63%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
55%
55%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
16%
16%
Vacancy Rate
3%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
  • Social, Community and Protective Services
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: www.aupe.org

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

Updated Mar 19, 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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