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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.

  • Avg. Salary $80,129.00
  • Avg. Wage $42.88
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed 42,600
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As


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: General Duty Registered Nurses (3152.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Registered Nurses (D112) 
  • 2011 NOC: Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (3012) 
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 Registered Nurse is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
General Duty Registered Nurses

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.

Grande Prairie Regional College

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

Grande Prairie Regional College

Saskatchewan Polytechnic

University of Lethbridge

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


Under Alberta’s Health Professions Act [pdf] and Registered Nurses Profession Regulation [pdf], registration with the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) is mandatory. Only registered members who have an active practice permit may provide the restricted activities specified in the Regulation and call themselves registered nurses or use the initials RN.

What You Need

Registration requires successful completion of:

  • An approved nursing education program or equivalent
  • The NCLEX-RN national licensing exam

Applicants who have been out of practice for a period of time may have to demonstrate that they are currently competent to practice.

Once registered, members then apply for a practice permit. Annual requirements including minimum number of practice hours and continuing competence must be met to keep the permit active. For detailed official information about registration requirements, visit CARNA.

Working in Alberta

Registered nurses who are registered by and in good standing with a regulatory registered nurse body elsewhere in Canada may apply for registration in Alberta. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory in Canada? and the CARNA website.

To learn about certification for internationally educated registered nurses, see Registered Nurse Registration Process.

Contact Details

College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA)
11120 - 178 St.
Edmonton, Alberta T5S 1P2

Call: 780-451-0043
Toll-free: 1-800-252-9392
Fax: 780-452-3276

Employment & Advancement
Updated Apr 10, 2017

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 and registered psychiatric 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 $36.86 $38.09 $36.97 $36.86
Overall $42.59 $44.64 $42.88 $42.61
Top $48.37 $50.67 $48.76 $48.37

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
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration

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
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 call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports 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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