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Nursing Statistics

Access to nursing care and optimizing the nursing workforce are crucial for achieving the best person- and family-centred outcomes.

Highlights from the latest pan-Canadian statistics on regulated nurses from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) show that in 2016:

  • More registered nurses are entering the profession (19,124) than leaving it (17,107)
  • The supply of registered nurses since 2007 grew by 8.9% (from 274,274 in 2007 to 298,743 in 2016) 
  • Since 2013, there has been a decline (3.2%) in the number of RN graduates obtaining a licence to practise in Canada
  • The growth in supply of RNs/NPs has slowed to 0.7% (down from 1.2% growth in 2015)
  • The proportion of RNs and NPs among regulated nurses has declined across multiple care settings since 2007
  • There was an 8.7% increase in the proportion of nurses younger than 35 (compared with 2007)
  • There was an 8.9% decrease of regulated nurses age 35-55 across all nursing professions (compared with 2007)
  • 80% of NPs are employed full time, the highest percentage of all regulated nurses (a 5.8% increase over 2007)

Overview of CIHI’s nursing workforce statistics:
British Columbia
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Northwest Territories/Nunavut
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island

CIHI’s annual reports offer a historical look at RN and NP trends and statistics in Canada from as far back as 1980.