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Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses with graduate education and training in advanced clinical practice. They conduct comprehensive health assessment, diagnose health conditions, and treat and manage acute and chronic illness within a holistic model of care. NPs order and interpret screening and diagnostic tests, perform procedures, and prescribe medications and therapeutic interventions.

Nurse practitioners can act as primary care providers within their stream of practice. They work independently across the spectrum of health services, such as acute care, primary care, community health, long-term care, specialty areas of health and emergency care.

Also Known As

Nurse, Advanced Practice Nurse, Primary Healthcare Practitioner

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: Registered Nurses (3152) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Registered Nurses (D112) 
  • 2011 NOC: Allied primary health practitioners (3124) 
  • 2016 NOC: Allied primary health practitioners (3124) 
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.

Registered Nurses
2006 NOC : 3152

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

SOCIAL

Interest combinations are unique to each of the occupations in this National Occupational Classification (NOC) group. Please consult the 2003 NOC Career Handbook for further information.

METHODICAL

Interest combinations are unique to each of the occupations in this National Occupational Classification (NOC) group. Please consult the 2003 NOC Career Handbook for further information.

DIRECTIVE

Interest combinations are unique to each of the occupations in this National Occupational Classification (NOC) group. Please consult the 2003 NOC Career Handbook for further information.

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

Duties
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Duties and responsibilities vary from province to province. In Alberta, nurse practitioners may:

  • complete advanced, thorough and focused health assessments
  • diagnose health problems
  • support and counsel patients regarding health problems
  • manage and carry out patient care on an ongoing basis
  • manage complex chronic illness
  • order and interpret diagnostic tests
  • research and critically evaluate evidence for the best care available
  • read, compile and integrate research into their work
  • refer patients to other health care providers as needed
  • prescribe medications and therapeutic interventions
  • consult and work with physicians and others
  • engage in programs to promote community health.

Nurse practitioners are registered in one of three streams of practice. These include Adult, Child (with or without a neonatal specialty), and Family / All Ages.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 15, 2016
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Nurse practitioners work in a range of health care settings, sometimes in remote areas. They may work regular clinic hours and be on call for emergencies. They might work shifts including nights, weekends and holidays.

Nurse practitioners are often exposed to infectious diseases and chemicals. They may need to handle items weighing up to 20 kilograms. Their work can be mentally, emotionally and physically demanding.

Traits & Skills
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Nurse practitioners need to have:

  • problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
  • excellent speaking and writing skills
  • organizational skills
  • the ability to make good decisions quickly under stress
  • patience, understanding and a caring attitude
  • flexibility and enthusiasm
  • the ability to lead and work with others on a team
  • good health
  • initiative to evaluate and improve outcomes.

They should enjoy:

  • working with and consulting others
  • solving problems
  • providing care
  • directing the work of others.
Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016
  • Minimum Education 6 years post-secondary

Nurse practitioners start their careers as registered nurses. They must complete 4,500 hours of work in clinical registered nursing before applying for a nurse practitioner education program. The program must be approved by the Nursing Education Program Approval Board (NEPAB). After registered nurses have a master’s degree in advanced nursing practice, they must pass the nurse practitioner registration exam for their chosen stream of practice.


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 15, 2016
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have advanced training in health assessment, health promotion and illness prevention. They diagnose and treat health problems, order and interpret tests, and prescribe drugs.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Health Professions Act [pdf] and Registered Nurses Profession Regulation [pdf], only members of the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) on the nurse practitioner register may call themselves or practise as Nurse Practitioners or NPs. Only members of the College can provide restricted activities specified in the Regulation, and only if they have the competencies to do so.

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Nurse practitioners work in many different health care facilities. These may include hospitals, community-based health centres and clinics. Many work in small or remote areas that do not have local doctors.

Nurse practitioner is not an entry-level position.

Nurse practitioners are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 3124: Allied primary health practitioners. In Alberta, 92% of people employed in this classification 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.

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 nurse practitioners form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for nurse practitioners.

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

Nurse practitioners are exempt from nursing unions and therefore negotiate their own salaries.

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.

Allied primary health practitioners

2016 NOC : 3124
Average Wage
$54.68
Per Hour
Average Salary
$96,502.00
Per Year
Average Hours
33.9
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 3124 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
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $41.58 $48.27 $46.63 $48.27
Overall $50.43 $55.76 $54.68 $55.70
Top $55.25 $62.91 $60.78 $62.91

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
Health Care & Social Assistance
ALL INDUSTRIES
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

0%
0%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

N/A

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

8%
8%

Vacancy Rate

3%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 15, 2016

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

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

Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta (NPAA) website: albertanps.com

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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