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How to Find a Nurse in Canada

How to Find a Nurse in Canada

Are you employed by a hospital, clinic, or other health care facility that hires nurses? Maybe your organization is growing and you’ve been tasked to hire some new nurses. Whether this is new territory for you or it’s been a while and you’re looking for a refresher on how to find a nurse in Canada, you’ve come to the right place. 

As the Canadian Nurses Association points out, registered nurses (RNs) practice in all of Canada’s provinces and territories across five domains: administration, clinical care, education, policy, and research.

Provincial or territorial legislation and regulations are used to grant qualified nurses the legal authority to use the title “registered nurse” or “RN”. Since there are so many regulated and unregulated care providers in Canada, it’s critical for hospitals, clinics, and other health care employers to clearly understand RN competencies and contributions as well as to know when RN care is the most appropriate.

Finding a nurse using online public registers is considered best practice because the registers minimize the risk of illegal practitioners fraudulently obtaining employment, and are a more accessible way to check a professional’s registration status.

To help you out with this, we’ve outlined the process to find a nurse in a few popular jurisdictions (for others, you can simply visit the website of your province or territory’s nursing association or college), and also provided some tips and best practices for creating nursing job postings.

 

Ontario: College of Nurses of Ontario

The College of Nurses of Ontario provides an easy-to-use cno find a nurse tool with detailed information about nurses in Ontario. You can find out if a nurse is allowed to practice nursing in Ontario and if there are any restrictions on her or his practice. It also provides important information about a nurse’s disciplinary history and business contact information.

You can search the ‘find a nurse cno’ tool by:

Name

Use either or both the first and last name of the nurse. You may refine this search by adding the facility or city where the nurse is employed and the category or class of registration. You can search by a nurse's current name or former name. You must enter a minimum of 2 characters for either the first name or the last name.

Registration Number

Enter the registration number of the nurse. This number can be found on the nurse's Certificate of Registration.

Health Profession Corporation

Select the name of the incorporated business where the nurse is an owner or shareholder.

Practice Information

Select one of the practice information options to see all nurses with that information. (e.g. current practice restrictions, agreements and disciplinary history, etc.)

See the screenshots below for an example search, where practice information = current practice restrictions.

  • Click on a name 
  • Look through the General, Registration History, Practice Information, and Employment Information tabs (we've blacked out some information in our screenshot example below) 

General

 

Registration History


 

Practice Information


 

Employment Information

 

Alberta: College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta

In Alberta, you can find a nurse by accessing the public or employer registers. As an employer, you can request a login and password to gain access to the database to verify the nurses at your facility or those you’re considering hiring.

Members of the public can access the database by first agreeing to the terms and conditions. From there, they are given the option to search by first and/or last name only.

 

British Columbia: British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals

In BC, you can find a nurse by accessing the database and first agreeing to the terms and conditions. You are then given the options to search by nurse name, ID, or type.

Name Field 

In the name field, you need at least a partial last name, but you can also include a first name. Uncheck "exact match" to broaden your search if you're unsure of how to spell the last name.

Name Type 

The nurse type field will return all individuals who are or were that type of nurse. If you select “nurse practitioners", you can narrow your search by checking one of the boxes under "NP Category". Every nurse practitioner will be within one of these categories.


A search of nurse type=licensed practical nurse returned over 10,000 records, with 500 records displayed per page:

 

Then, you can sort alphabetically by first or last name. You can find out more information about a nurse by clicking on their name. 

 

If you’re looking for routine bulk verification of registrants' current and/or future registration status, you can email your list of Nurse IDs to nurse_lookup@bccnp.ca. The BCCNP will respond to these requests within five business days.

 

Manitoba: College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba

NurseCheck is tool to help members of the public identify whether a person providing services as a registered nurse, registered nurse (nurse practitioner), graduate nurse, or graduate nurse practitioner in Manitoba is registered with the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba and whether there are any conditions or restrictions on that nurse's practice. It also shows their certificate of practice expiry date.

You can find a nurse by accessing the public or employer registers. As an employer, you can complete the Employer Verification form by providing registration numbers and names in one of the formats shown below.

Members of the public can access the database by first agreeing to the terms and conditions. From there, they are given the option to search by partial first and/or last name (former names work, too), or registration number.

 

Best Practices for Writing Nursing Job Postings 

JazzHR and Monster offer some great tips and tricks for writing nursing job postings.

Job Titles

Your job title should not only catch the attention of your ideal candidate but it needs to describe the role you’re filling too. Ensuring these things are in place will make your posting easy to find online and allow you to capture as many candidates as possible. Keep the following in mind when composing your job title:

  • Job titles should be straightforward, simple, and concise. Avoid internal titles that don’t accurately describe the job and phrases like “superstar” or “guru” that people are less likely to search for (for instance, simply say “Registered Nurse”).

  • Typical job titles are between 10 and 35 characters - if your title is too long or too short, it will not rank well in search results.

  • Avoid using all capital letters.

  • Don’t include special characters in your title, as it will be easier to read and more likely to match the search queries from job seekers.

  • If asking job seekers to visit your website, use regular links, bit.ly links won’t capture correctly in google or certain job boards

Job Descriptions

With nursing job descriptions, you need to find the fine balance between being concise and providing just enough detail so that job seekers can self-qualify.

Open with a strong, attention-grabbing paragraph. Explain why your hospital, clinic, or health care facility is a great place to work and why this is a great opportunity. Think like your ideal candidate by asking yourself questions like:

Who is the person I’m looking for?
Where do they spend their time?
How do they speak?

Doing this will allow you to target your search to reach who you’re looking for, where they’re spending their time, and in a way that captures their attention.

Clearly state specific requirements and if something is just a preference, indicate so. By asking that candidates only apply if they meet your requirements, you’ll deter unqualified applicants and create a better qualified pool of candidates to choose from.

Who are your best nurses right now?

Understanding what you like about these nurses will help you recognize great candidates. Then, add these qualities to your description.

Other tips to keep in mind:

  • Provide the specific job location and your health care facility’s name.

  • Give applicants a sense of the organization’s style and culture. This could include an overview of employee benefits, salary, schedule, and other perks.

  • Be honest. Don’t exaggerate or underplay the responsibilities of the role. If there’s a specific area of focus, state what this is so you attract the most qualified candidates.

  • Discuss what the day-to-day activities would be like.

  • Specify how many years of experience you’re looking for.

  • Indicate how the job functions within the organization or who the job reports to so candidates understand how their role will impact your organization.

  • Aim for about 700 to 2000 words. This will give the job seeker a good idea of what the role is and the voice/tone of your company. 

  • Break up paragraphs with lines to make the posting easy to read. Avoid large blocks of text and use bulleted lists instead.


A strong job posting will be key to finding quality nursing candidates. And if you’d like to be proactive and find candidates yourself, you can search for nursing candidates directly through our searchable database. 

 

All in All

In closing if you’re needing to find nurses in Canada, you can use the process outlined above for the major jurisdictions. Also, keep in mind the tips and best practices for creating nursing job postings so you only get qualified candidates. 

If you haven’t already, create an employer profile and start listing jobs today. Your jobs are shared on your Facebook page, in our networking community and sent to our email list of job alerts. 

 

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