Job prospects Licensed Practical Nurse (L.P.N.) in Canada

People working as a licensed practical nurse (L.P.N.) have different job prospects depending on where they work in Canada. Find out what the future holds for them in your province or territory. These prospects are applicable to all Licensed practical nurses (NOC 3233).

Note that these employment prospects were published in December 2019 based on information available at that time. You can read our new special report to learn about the impact of COVID-19 on some occupations in your province or territory. You can also visit the Canadian Online Job Posting Dashboard to find the latest data on the demand and work requirements for this occupation.

Job opportunities over the next 3 years

Explore future job prospects by province and territory.

Location Job prospects
Newfoundland and Labrador Fair Fair
Prince Edward Island Good Good
Nova Scotia Good Good
New Brunswick Good Good
Quebec Good Good
Ontario Fair Fair
Manitoba Fair Fair
Saskatchewan Fair Fair
Alberta Good Good
British Columbia Good Good
Yukon Territory Undetermined Undetermined
Northwest Territories Undetermined Undetermined
Nunavut Undetermined Undetermined
Legend: The job opportunities can be: Undetermined Limited Fair Good

You can also look at this data on a map. Go to LMI Explore

Labour market conditions over the next 10 years

Take a closer look at the projected labour demand and supply for this occupation over the 2019-2028 period. For more information on future job trends, go to the Canadian Occupational Projections System.

Summary

SHORTAGE: This occupational group is expected to face labour shortage conditions over the period of 2019-2028 at the national level. The section below contains more detailed information regarding the outlook for this occupational group.

Employment in 2018

79,300

Median age of workers in 2018

41

Average retirement age in 2018

62.0

Detailed analysis

In order to determine the expected outlook of an occupation, the magnitude of the difference between the projected total numbers of new job seekers and job openings over the whole projection period (2019-2028) is analyzed in conjunction with an assessment of labour market conditions in recent years. The intention is to determine if recent labour market conditions (surplus, balance or shortage) are expected to persist or change over the period 2019-2028. For instance, if the analysis of key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was insufficient to fill the job openings (a shortage of workers) in an occupational group in recent years, the projections are used to assess if this situation will continue over the projection period or if the occupation will move towards balanced conditions.

Over the 2016-2018 period, employment in this occupational group increased at a similar pace than the average for all occupations. The unemployment rate decreased significantly reaching a new historical low of 1.5% in 2018, well below the national average of 5.8%. As the unemployment rate fell, the number of job vacancies rose consistently, and as a result the number of unemployed workers per job vacancy fell to just one worker per two vacancies in 2018. This signaled that employment growth was restricted by a lack of available workers. Hence, analysis of key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was insufficient to fill the job openings in this occupational group.

For Licensed practical nurses, over the period 2019-2028, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 33,500 , while 28,000 new job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) are expected to be available to fill them.

The labour shortage conditions seen in recent years are expected to persist into the 2019-2028 period, and could even become more acute as the projected number of job openings is expected to be substantially larger than the projected number of job seekers over that period. Job openings are projected to arise from both employment growth and retirements. Similar to most occupations in the health sector, the aging population will demand more health care workers, including licensed practical nurses. Indeed, the increase in the number of seniors, coupled with a longer life expectancy, should lead to a higher demand for hospital centers for long-term care. In addition, the importance of auxiliary nurses in providing home care services is expected to also contribute to this growth. As a result, employment is expected to grow above the average for all occupations. Additionally, more than 45% of the job openings are projected to result from the need to replace workers who retire. Yet, pressures arising from these departures are anticipated to be in line with the national average. Indeed, workers in this occupational grouping are generally younger than in other occupations, but tend to retire at an earlier age in their career. With regard to labour supply, school leavers are projected to account for the vast majority of job seekers. To be allowed to practice in this occupational grouping, workers need to be registered with a provincial or territorial regulatory body and successfully complete the national examination, imposing barriers to new job seekers. Despite the barriers to entry, over 20% of job seekers in this occupation are expected to be new immigrants. However, a significant number of workers are anticipated to leave this occupation to seek jobs in other related nursing occupations, mostly because of the difficult working conditions (night and weekend shifts, part-time work, and physically demanding working conditions, among others). As a result, this occupational group is expected to be in shortage during the projection period.

Source Canadian Occupational Projections System – ESDC

Labour Market Information Survey
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