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The total supply of regulated nurses (those with an active licence) reached 431,769 in 2018. 

The supply includes 

  • Registered nurses (RNs): 303,146 (including 5,697 nurse practitioners [NPs])
  • Licensed practical nurses (LPNs):* 122,600
  • Registered psychiatric nurses (RPNs): 6,023

The nursing workforce grew by 1.0% between 2017 and 2018, following the same trend as the Canadian population, which saw growth of 1.2%. The annual growth rate has decreased over the last 5 years, down from 2.2% in 2014.

The LPN workforce saw the highest annual growth rate between 2017 and 2018, which was more than 4 times that of the RN workforce. 

Overall, the nursing supply is younger compared with 5 years ago. In 2018, LPNs had the lowest average age (41).

The supply of male regulated nurses grew by 18% over the last 5 years — more than 3 times that of female nurses (5%). 


* In Ontario, LPNs are called registered practical nurses. For the purposes of Nursing in Canada, 2018: A Lens on Supply and Workforce, and to maintain continuity between jurisdictions, they are referred to as LPNs.
† RPNs are currently regulated in the 4 Western provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia) and Yukon. At present, this data set excludes RPNs in Yukon.
‡ The Canadian population growth rate is based on 2016–2017 data. Due to voluntary reporting to CIHI of employment status in Manitoba, RN and NP employment numbers may be understated. Please use with caution.

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