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Registered Nurses

What they do?

General duty registered nurses perform some or all of the following duties:

A. May teach and counsel patients and their families on health-related issues in collaboration with other health care providers.

B. Registered nurses may specialize in areas such as surgery, obstetrics care, psychiatric care, critical care, pediatrics, geriatrics, community health, occupational health, emergency care, rehabilitation or oncology.

C. Nurse practitioners are independent care providers with a broader scope of practice relative to registered nurses.

D. Occupational health nurses develop and implement employee health education programs and provide registered nursing care in private businesses and industry.

E. Community health nurses provide health education and registered nursing care in public health units and through home visits, manage complex home care cases, participate in community needs assessment and program development, conduct disease screening and deliver immunization programs.

F. Psychiatric nurses provide nursing care, supportive counselling and life skills programming to patients in psychiatric hospitals, mental health clinics, long-term care facilities and community-based settings.

G. Nursing consultants provide consultative services to institutes, associations and health care organizations regarding issues and concerns relevant to the nursing profession and nursing practice.

H. Nursing researchers engaged in research activities related to nursing are self-employed or are employed by hospitals, public and private organizations and governments.

I. Clinical nurses provide leadership, advice and counsel on the provision of research-based care for specific patient groups within the care of particular health care organizations.

J. Assess patients to identify appropriate nursing interventions

K. Collaborate with members of an interdisciplinary health team to plan, implement, co-ordinate and evaluate patient care in consultation with patients and their families

L. Administer medications and treatments as prescribed by a physician or according to establish policies and protocols

M. Monitor, assess, address, document and report symptoms and changes in patients' conditions

N. Operate or monitor medical apparatus or equipment

O. Assist in surgery and other medical procedures

P. May supervise licensed practical nurses and other nursing staff

Q. May develop and implement discharge planning process on admission of patients

Where they find work?

1. Health care and social assistance - 96.0%

What education do I need?

1. Registered nurses

2. Registered psychiatric nurses

3. Completion of a college or other registered psychiatric nursing program is required.

4. Registration with a regulatory body is required in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

5. Completion of a university, college or other approved registered nursing program is required.

6. Additional academic training or experience is required to specialize in a specific area of nursing.

High School Subject that will help:

1. Math
2. English
3. Chemistry
4. Biology

What can you expect to make:

The average hourly wages for Registered Nurses is $25.92/HR, which is above average for occupations in the health sector and close to the average for all professional occupations. These wages grew at an average rate from 2002 to 2004.

Average Wage

Registered Nurses wages

Expected Wage by Age

Registered Nurses Wage By Age


1% of Registered Nurses are unemployed. This rate is below the average for professionnal occupations.


Registered Nurses Unemployment

Trends in Unemployment

Registered Nurses Trends in Unemployment

Current Job Outlook:

The job outlook for Registered Nurses is considered Above Average because:

1. Employment grew at an average rate.

2. The retirement rate is above average, and the number of retiring workers contributes to job openings.

3. Hourly wages ($25.92) are above the average ($18.07), and the rate of wage growth is close to the average.

4. The unemployment rate (1%) is below the 2004 average (7%).

Future Job Prospects:

Your job outlook will continue to be Above Average because:

1. The employment growth will likely be above average because of a growing and ageing population that requires increased health services and increased government funding for health care.

2. The retirement rate will likely be above average and the number of retiring workers should contribute to job openings.

3. The number of job openings will likely exceed the number of job seekers.

Highest Concetration:

The highest concentrations Registered Nurses are found in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island while the lowest concentrations are in Alberta and British Columbia.

Unionization Rate:

The unionization rate (84%) is above the average (32%) for all occupations.

Useful Experience:

1. Personnel management

2. Committee work

Part Time Workers

Registered Nurses Part Time Workers

Part time workers:

28% of Registered Nurses are employed only on a part-time basis. There were 243,000 workers employed in these occupations in 2004, an increase of 25% since 1997.

Age Demographics

Registered Nurses Age Demographics

Age Demographics:

The earlier-than-average retirement age (59) combined with an expected older-than-average age (43) of worker will likely result in an above-average retirement rate to 2009.

Self Employed

Registered Nurses Self Employed

Self Employed:

Roughly 1% of Registered Nurses are self-employed. This is considered Average for the industry as a whole.

Men vs Women

Registered Nurses Men vs Women

Men vs Women:

92% of the individuals employed as Registered Nurses are women. Compared to other industries, this is Above average.