May 28, 2020 — Our data examines the transformations that have occurred in Canada’s 4 groups of regulated nursing professionals. All groups work both independently or in collaboration with health care teams to provide care to individuals. Canada’s nursing workforce includes nurse practitioners (NPs), registered nurses (RNs), registered psychiatric nurses (RPNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs). Each province and territory has its own legislation governing nursing practice, as well as its own body that regulates and licenses its members.

This year, CIHI acknowledges the International Year of the Nurse and the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, a pioneer in health care data visualizations that remain in use today.

Use our Quick Stats tool and the chartbook to explore nursing data and pan-Canadian trends that influence the labour market and provide insight for effective planning and management of health care delivery across the country.

Key findings

  • The total supply of regulated nurses in Canada reached 439,975 in 2019. This represented 6,159 nurse practitioners, 300,669 registered nurses, 6,050 registered psychiatric nurses and 127,097 licensed practical nurses.
  • The total number of regulated nurses in the workforce was 396,085, indicating that over 90% of the overall nursing supply was employed in 2019. Of these nurses, more than 9 out of 10 provided direct care to patients.
  • In 2019, there were 37,370 internationally educated nurses licensed to practise in Canada, representing 8.9% of Canada’s regulated nursing supply. RNs had the highest proportion (9.4%), with a total of 28,306 internationally educated nurses.

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