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Registered Nurse

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

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Registered Nurse (6:09)

  • Avg. Salary $65,492.00
  • Avg. Wage $43.23
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook above avg
Also Known As


NOC & Interest Codes
The Registered Nurse is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
General Duty Registered Nurses
NOC code: 3152.1

Interest in speaking to collaborate with members of an interdisciplinary health team to plan, implement, co-ordinate and evaluate patient care in consultation with patients and their families; may teach and counsel patients and their families on health-related issues in collaboration with other health care providers


Interest in compiling information to monitor, assess, address, document and report symptoms and changes in patients' conditions; and in administering medications and treatments as prescribed by physicians or according to establish policies and protocols


Interest in operating medical apparatus or equipment; and in supervising licensed practical nurses and other nursing staff; may develop and implement discharge planning process on admission of patients

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 Apr 10, 2017

Registered nurses may work independently or as members of a health care team. Key roles include:

  • providing direct nursing care
  • assessing the needs of individuals, families, groups or communities throughout the lifespan
  • planning, implementing, evaluating and documenting nursing care
  • co-ordinating patient care
  • health counselling and teaching
  • managing and implementing patient care plans, leading and supervising nursing teams and advocating for clients.

In hospitals and other health care settings, these roles may include activities such as:

  • co-ordinating and supervising the activities of multi-disciplinary teams responsible for planning and implementing patient care
  • facilitating case management by co-ordinating health care
  • observing, assessing and monitoring patient symptoms, and evaluating reactions and progress
  • independently implementing nursing interventions as needed
  • collaborating with other members of health care teams regarding patient treatments and examinations
  • administering medications, injections and intravenous therapy
  • preparing patients and assisting surgeons during operations
  • assisting in childbirth, managing labour and caring for newborns and their families
  • preventing or treating injuries or illness, and managing chronic diseases 
  • educating patients about health care
  • managing nursing services
  • leading and participating in research activities.

Registered nurses may specialize in providing a particular type of care (for example, emergency or trauma care or critical care) or in working with a particular type of patient (for example, working with children or with individuals who have heart disease).

Increasingly, nurses are employed in community and workplace settings as well as traditional health care settings. For more information, see the Community Health Nurse and Occupational Health Nurse profiles.

For information about nursing duties specific to psychiatric units and facilities, see the Psychiatric Nurse occupational profile.

Working Conditions
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Nursing can be intellectually, physically and emotionally demanding. Nurses often are exposed to infectious diseases and chemicals. In acute care settings, they work with very sick patients. They routinely handle items that weigh up to 20 kilograms and help lift patients.

In institutional settings, nurses work shifts that include nights, weekends and holidays.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Registered nurses need the following characteristics:

  • problem solving and critical thinking skills
  • effective verbal and written communication skills
  • organizational skills
  • good judgment and the ability to make decisions quickly, especially in stressful situations
  • patience, understanding and a caring attitude
  • flexibility and enthusiasm
  • the ability to lead and work co-operatively with others
  • general good health.

They should enjoy working with and consulting others, solving problems, providing care and directing the work of others.

Educational Requirements
Updated Apr 10, 2017

In Alberta, registered nurse status requires a bachelor's degree in nursing.

Immunizations, health assessments, CPR and Standard First Aid training and security clearance may also be required.

Required Education

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

Grant MacEwan University

Mount Royal University

University of Calgary

University of Lethbridge

Related Education

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

Athabasca University

Lethbridge College

Saskatchewan Polytechnic

University of Lethbridge

Vancouver Community College

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Nurse - Registered

Registered nurses assist individuals, families, groups and communities to achieve their optimal physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health and well being; assess, diagnose and provide treatment and interventions and make referrals; prevent or treat injury and illness; teach, counsel and advocate to enhance health and well being; co-ordinate, supervise, monitor and evaluate the provision of health services; teach nursing theory and practice; manage, administer and allocate resources related to health services; and engage in research related to health and the practice of nursing.


Under Alberta's Health Professions Act  and Registered Nurses Profession Regulation registration with the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) is mandatory if you meet the 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 professional services to the public. Registered members, who are authorized by the College, provide restricted activities specified in the Regulation. Only registered members may call themselves registered nurses or nurses.

What You Need

Registration requires successful completion of: (1) an approved nursing education program or equivalent, and (2) the Canadian Registered Nurse 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. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the CARNA website or contact the CARNA.

Working in Alberta

Registered nurses who are registered by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered 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 registered nurses, see Registered Nurse Registration Process on the website.

Contact Details

College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta
11620 - 168 Street
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada  T5M 4A6
Phone number: 780-451-0043
Toll-free phone number: 1-800-252-9392
Fax number: 780-452-3276

Employment & Advancement
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Registered nurses are employed by:

  • regional health authorities
  • clinics (ambulatory, medical, dental and community)
  • primary care settings
  • nursing homes
  • home care agencies
  • large corporations and insurance companies
  • government services (for example, penitentiaries, outpost nursing, the foreign service, the Canadian Armed Forces)
  • educational institutions.

Some nurses are self-employed.

Advancement to supervisory or administrative positions may require a master's degree in nursing.

Registered 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 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 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.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Salaries for nurses vary depending on the employer and the nurse's hours, educational qualifications, experience and responsibilities. 

Registered nurses are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 3012: Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses.

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses occupational group earned on average from $35.02 to $47.58 an hour. The overall average wage was $43.23 an hour. For more information, see the Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
  • Social Studies
  • 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 Apr 10, 2017

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

Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) website:

Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) website:

United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) website:

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 11, 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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