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The nursing workforce is an integral part of the Canadian health care system. Nurses are the largest professional group within the health care workforce in Canada.

CIHI produces reports and analyses on wide-ranging issues affecting today’s nursing workforce, using data sources including

CIHI works with provincial and territorial regulatory bodies to develop national standards and data dictionaries.

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Nursing information

 Reports and analyses
 Databases and data sources
 Related content

Reports and analyses

Databases and data sources

CIHI’s Nursing Database includes database includes data for the three groups of regulated nursing professionals in Canada:

  • Registered nurses (RNs), including nurse practitioners (NPs)
  • Licensed practical nurses (LPNs)
  • Registered psychiatric nurses (RPNs)

This database contains demographic, education and employment information on RNs (including NPs), LPNs and RPNs in Canada.

The RN and LPN data contains pan-Canadian demographic, education and employment information on RNs and LPNs in Canada. The RPN data contains the same information from the four western provinces. RPNs are regulated separately in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and Yukon. Data collected by CIHI does not include RPNs in Yukon. The NP data has become available as provincial/territorial NP legislation has come into effect.

The data is collected under the terms of agreements with the provincial/territorial regulating authorities for the licensure of each type of nurse.


Metadata is information about data. It helps users understand and interpret data from a specific source.

Find out more about metadata in the following data source:


Provincial/territorial regulatory authorities are responsible for data collection, which occurs during the annual registration process. The data file is submitted to us in a standardized format.

Not all data elements collected from the registration forms are sent to us. Each authority collects additional information for its own administrative or research purposes, apart from the elements outlined in the agreement.

We organize all the data we receive and calculate variables by combining data elements. For example, Birth Year is subtracted from Data Year to create the variable Age.

Data dictionaries

Data dictionaries are tools to describe how we process data. They also help data providers develop submissions to us. For information on the data dictionaries, please contact us at