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Unit Group

3012 Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses

This unit group includes registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses and graduates of a nursing program who are awaiting registration (graduate nurses). They provide direct nursing care to patients, deliver health education programs and provide consultative services regarding issues relevant to the practice of nursing. They are employed in a variety of settings including hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, rehabilitation centres, doctors' offices, clinics, community agencies, companies and private homes, or they may be self-employed.

Example Titles

clinical nurse
community health nurse
critical care nurse
emergency care nurse
intensive care nurse
nurse researcher
nursing consultant
occupational health nurse
private duty nurse
public health nurse
registered nurse (R.N.)
registered psychiatric nurse (R.P.N.)

View all titles

Main duties


General duty registered nurses perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Assess patients to identify appropriate nursing interventions
  • Collaborate with members of an interdisciplinary health team to plan, implement, co-ordinate and evaluate patient care in consultation with patients and their families
  • Administer medications and treatments as prescribed by a physician or according to established policies and protocols
  • Monitor, assess, address, document and report symptoms and changes in patients' conditions
  • Operate or monitor medical apparatus or equipment
  • Assist in surgery and other medical procedures
  • May supervise licensed practical nurses and other nursing staff
  • May develop and implement discharge planning process on admission of patients
  • May teach and counsel patients and their families on health-related issues in collaboration with other health care providers.
  • Occupational health nurses develop and implement employee health education programs and provide registered nursing care in private businesses and industry.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Nursing consultants provide consultative services to institutes, associations and health care organizations regarding issues and concerns relevant to the nursing profession and nursing practice.
  • Nursing researchers engaged in research activities related to nursing are self-employed or are employed by hospitals, public and private organizations and governments.
  • 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.

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.

Employment requirements

Registered nurses
  • Completion of a university, college or other approved registered nursing program is required.
  • Additional academic training or experience is required to specialize in a specific area of nursing.
  • A master's or doctoral degree in nursing is usually required for clinical nurse specialists, clinical nurses, nursing consultants and nursing researchers.
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required in all provinces and territories.
Registered psychiatric nurses
  • Completion of a university or college registered psychiatric nursing program is required.
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and the Yukon.

Additional information

  • Nurses trained exclusively as registered psychiatric nurses (RPN) are regulated in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. In all other provinces and territories, registered nurses (RN) may work as psychiatric nurses without separate registration.
  • Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses may progress to supervisory and managerial positions with experience.

Classified elsewhere

  • Nurse practitioners (in 3124 Allied primary health practitioners )
  • Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors (3011)
  • Nursing service managers (in 0311 Managers in health care )
  • Registered practical nurses (in 3233 Licensed practical nurses )

Classification Structure - 3