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About registered nurses

Registered nurses (RNs) are self-regulated health care professionals who work autonomously and in collaboration with others to enable individuals, families, groups, communities and populations to achieve their optimal levels of health. At all stages of life, in situations of health, illness, injury and disability, RNs deliver direct health care services, coordinate care and support clients in managing their own health. RNs contribute to health care systems through their leadership across a wide range of settings in practice, education, administration, research and policy.Reference1

Advanced practice nursing (APN) is an umbrella term for RNs who integrate graduate nursing educational preparation with in-depth, specialized clinical nursing knowledge and expertise in complex decision-making to meet the health needs of individuals, families, groups, communities and populations. 2 APN roles are recognized in Canada: nurse practitioner (NP) and clinical nurse specialist (CNS).Reference2

CIHI collects record-level, standardized, comparative data on the supply, demographics, geographic and distribution characteristics, and education and employment details of RNs in Canada. To find out more about CIHI’s RN data, visit the Health Workforce Database metadata page.

Learn more about RNs in our recent releases on nursing in Canada and Canada’s health care providers.