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How Much is the Average Nursing Salary in Canada?

How Much is the Average Nursing Salary in Canada?

Many jobs in health care, including nursing, are regulated provincially or territorially. This means that things like standards for working conditions, hours, licensing, and nurse salaries can vary depending on where you live.

So, how much do nurses make in Canada? While it largely depends on their career level or specialty, location plays an important factor too. You can expect to make a different salary in Ontario than you would in, say, New Brunswick. Many things determine nursing salaries, for example the type of nurse you are, your years of experience, and your qualifications.

Whether you’re just starting out, midway through your career, or considering retirement in a few years, you may be wondering ‘exactly how much does a nurse make in Canada?’

Maybe you're considering a move and need to know what kind of income you can reasonably expect to make in your new city or town. There are many sources with slightly different stats on this question (such as Neuvoo and Narcity), so we’ve compiled a list for you with some approximate average figures (keep in mind, these stats can change daily and are accurate as of the time of writing).


Nurse Salaries

In Canada, nurses make an average of $78,546 per year or $40.28 per hour. Entry level positions start at around $41,396 per year and students make anywhere from $20-30 per hour.

While most experienced workers make up to about $95,704 per year, the most qualified and experienced nurses in Canada can make $100,000 or more annually.

Here’s a general overview of the highest paying nurse professions out there:

While this video isn’t specific to Canada, it is accurate in that all the specialties listed pay well in Canada too.


Nurses Salary in Canada

Here’s a breakdown of the highest and lowest hourly nursing salaries, along with average nurses salary for each Canadian province and territory.*

You’ll notice Alberta and the Northwest Territories generally offer the highest-paid wages, while Manitoba, PEI, and Nunavut offer the lowest. 

Additionally, for a more specific breakdown check out our article on the Average Nurse Practitioner Salary in Canada

Province Highest hourly wage Lowest hourly wage Average nursing salary

$55.93 (Clinical Nurse Specialist with 9 years’ experience)


$27.68 (undergraduate nurse)





$53.14 (Level 6, or an RN or RPN working for over 9 years)


$27.20 (Level 1, or an LPN working for 1 year or less)





$67.13 (weekend worker, Class 5 with over 20 years’ experience)


$30.58 (LPN in early career)





$52.21 (Class D Registered Nurse with experience level F)


$31.32 (Class A RN starting out or a graduate nurse)





$56.50 (class 37 Nurse Specialist with Level 6 experience)


$31.82 (unregistered or student nurse)





$55.47 (specialty or primary health NPs with over 25 years’ experience)


$20.15 (LPN or Graduate Practical Nurse starting out)





$46.11 (nurses working for over 25 years)


$32.21 (RNs just starting out; excluding overtime/weekend/ holiday premiums)





$56.38 (NP with over 25 years’ experience)


$32.48 (Level 1 RN in early career)





$53.49 (specialty NP with at least 18 years’ experience)


$20.73 (child or baby nurses just starting out)





$58.69 (Step 5 Nurse Practitioner)


$31.07 (unlicensed grads)





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Nursing Salaries for RNs

According to the Canadian Nurses Association, of the 430,000 nurses in Canada, the vast majority (about 70%) are registered nurses (RNs). This could very well be you, whether you’re already an RN (you have passed either the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination or the Quebec examination and have registered with your provincial or territorial regulatory body), or you’re considering becoming this type of nurse.

So, how much does a Canadian RN make?

RNs in Canada make an average of $80,122 per year or $41.09 per hour. Salaries for entry level positions start at around $41,396 per year while more experienced workers can make up to about $94,322 per year.

Here is a breakdown of the average nursing salary for RNs, for each Canadian province and territory.* You’ll generally find the highest paid RNs are in Alberta, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, while the lowest paid RNs are in Manitoba and PEI.

AB $94,322
BC $78,546
ON $76,362
MB $41,396
NB $72,053
NL $78,059
NS $81,896
PEI $69,713
SK $91,640
NT $94,107
NU $94,322
YT $88,869




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Registered Nurse Salaries from MAJOR provinces in Canada

Here’s a quick rundown of RN salaries across major provinces:


Other Nursing Salaries  

If you are a Registered Practical Nurse in Canada, you might expect to make an average nurse salary of $56,407. Canadian Licensed Practical Nurses earn around $55,712, on average, and the salary of Personal Support Workers is about $37,949.

All in All 

So, how much do nurses make in Canada? Ultimately this varies across the country - it depends on things like standards for working conditions and hours, licensing, and specialty. How much nurses make, and how much RNs make, in Canada depends on their nursing specialty or type, years of experience, and qualifications.

Location is key as well - as how much nurses and RNs make in Canada can be quite different across each province and territory. Be sure to consider this if you’re looking to make a move or just want to know where you stack up against your fellow Canadian nurses.

If you’re curious about these and aren’t yet sure what piques your interest most, take a look at these 20 nursing specialties and their average salaries


Related Resources  

The Different Types of Nurses in Canada
11 Nursing Interview Questions & How to Answer them
How to Protect Yourself as a Nurse: Reminders to Keep Yourself Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Easily Find Nursing Jobs

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Author Bio:

Emma Caplan writes and edits client-facing documents and takes pride in making them sales-ready and reader-friendly. She has additional experience in quality control and proofreading. She has written articles and podcast summaries for the Vancouver Real Estate Podcast, edited fiction and non-fiction books, and volunteers as a copy editor for Editors BC’s West Coast Editor and Students for High Impact Charities.

Emma has also earned a certificate in editing and a bachelor of management degree. In her free time, Emma enjoys hiking, travelling, and creating jewelry. Connect with her on LinkedIn