Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional links

Unit Group

3124 Allied primary health practitioners

This unit group includes nurse practitioners, physician assistants and midwives who provide primary health care and treatment in conjunction with physicians and in collaboration with other health professionals. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants provide a range of health services to patients delivering preventive and continuous care toward the management of patients' health. Midwives provide full-course care to women and their babies during the pre- and post-natal period. Nurse practitioners are employed in community health centres, hospitals, clinics and rehabilitation centres. Physician assistants usually work in private practice, including group or team practices, hospitals and clinics. Midwives are employed in hospitals, clinics, birthing centres or in private practice.

Example Titles

anesthesia assistant
midwife
nurse practitioner
nurse practitioner – extended class
physician assistant

View all titles

Main duties


Nurse practitioners perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Examine patients and take their medical histories and consult with physicians and other medical practitioners to evaluate patients' physical and mental health
  • Order laboratory tests, X-rays and other diagnostic procedures
  • Inoculate and vaccinate patients
  • Advise patients and their families on health care including health promotion, disease, illness and accident prevention
  • Collaborate with members of an interdisciplinary health team such as family physicians, therapists and nutritionists to plan, implement, co-ordinate and evaluate patient care in consultation with patients and their families.

Physician assistants perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Conduct patient interviews, physical assessments and take medical histories
  • Perform or order diagnostic tests and interpret results
  • Formulate and implement treatment plans and monitor patients' progress
  • Inoculate and vaccinate patients
  • Perform and assist in minor surgery
  • Provide health maintenance education
  • May participate in research activities.

Midwives perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Provide primary, full-course, care to women and their babies during pregnancy, labour, birth and the post-natal period including monitoring the health of mother and baby
  • Manage labour and spontaneous normal deliveries
  • Care for, assess and monitor the health of newborns and refer infants to appropriate medical services as required
  • Provide advice and guidance regarding care for newborns and young infants.

Employment requirements

  • Nurse practitioners usually require a master's degree in nursing; or completion of a nursing program with additional advanced or extended primary health care nursing education; and several years of practice as a registered nurse.
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required for nurse practitioners in all provinces and territories.
  • Physician assistants require completion of a university degree in a physician assistant program.
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required for physician assistants in Manitoba.
  • Midwives require completion of an undergraduate university degree program in midwifery or its equivalent and a period of supervised practical training.
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required for midwives in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.

Additional information

  • There is no mobility between these occupations without further training.

Classified elsewhere

  • General practitioners and family physicians (3112)
  • Managers in health care (0311)
  • Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating (3125)
  • Practitioners of natural healing (3232)
  • Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (3012)
  • Specialist physicians (3111)

Classification Structure - 3