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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.

  • Avg. Salary $47,642.00
  • Avg. Wage $30.02
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 9,100
  • In Demand High
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) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Licensed Practical Nurse is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Licensed Practical Nurses

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


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


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

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

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.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
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.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Licensed practical nurses
NOC code: 3233

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 13 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Sep 20, 2021 and Oct 19, 2021.

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: Effective interpersonal skills
Personal Suitability: Flexibility
Personal Suitability: Team player
Personal Suitability: Excellent oral communication
Personal Suitability: Interpersonal awareness
Personal Suitability: Dependability
Personal Suitability: Values and ethics
Personal Suitability: Organized
Administer medication and observe and document therapeutic effects
Provide nursing services, within defined scope of practice, to patients based on patient assessment and care planning procedures
Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 20, 2016

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.

Grande Prairie Regional 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.

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.


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.

What You Need

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 learn about certification for internationally educated licensed practical nurses, see Licensed Practical Nurse Accreditation Process.

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

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.

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.

Licensed practical 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 $24.00 $29.21 $26.09 $26.45
Overall $25.00 $34.36 $30.02 $31.04
Top $28.00 $40.39 $34.44 $35.15

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
  • Social, Community and Protective Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 20, 2016

College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) website:

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) website:

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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