Nurses continue to be in high demand throughout Canada, due to a national shortage of qualified workers. The Canadian Nurses Association predicts that if healthcare needs continue to rise at current rates, the country will need 60,000 nurses to fill its labour shortage by 2022. This is despite a national climate that generally welcomes nurses with competitive wages and working conditions. One of the main reasons cited for this shortage is an aging population that is increasingly in need of health services.

Licensed practical nurses provide nursing care usually under the direction of medical practitioners, registered nurses or other health team members. They are employed in hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, rehabilitation centres, doctors’ offices, clinics, companies, private homes and community health centres. Operating room technicians are included in this unit group.

List of the titles under this occupation:-

  • certified nursing assistant (CNA)
  • CNA (certified nursing assistant)
  • graduate nursing assistant
  • L.P.N. (licensed practical nurse)
  • licensed nursing assistant
  • licensed practical nurse (L.P.N.)
  • medical assistant (licensed practical nurse) – military
  • nursing assistant (registered – Québec)
  • operating room assistant – military
  • operating room technician
  • operating room technician – nursing
  • R.N.A. (registered nursing assistant)
  • R.P.N. (registered practical nurse)
  • registered nursing assistant (R.N.A.)
  • registered practical nurse (R.P.N.)
  • surgical assistant, nursing
  • surgical nursing assistant
  • surgical technician – nursing
  • technician, operating room – nursing
  • technician, surgical – nursing

Eligibility Criteria

  • Completion of a vocational, college or other approved program for licensed practical nurses is required
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required in all provinces and territories
  • Completion of the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination is required in all provinces and territories except Quebec
  • Operating room technicians require either additional academic training in operating room techniques or on-the-job training
  • For further information contact us

Main duties

Licensed practical nurses perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Provide nursing services, within defined scope of practice, to patients based on patient assessment and care planning procedures
  • Perform nursing interventions such as taking vital signs, applying aseptic techniques including sterile dressing, ensuring infection control, monitoring nutritional intake and conducting specimen collection
  • Administer medication and observe and document therapeutic effects
  • Provide pre-operative and post-operative personal and comfort care
  • Monitor established respiratory therapy and intravenous therapy
  • Monitor patients’ progress, evaluate effectiveness of nursing interventions and consult with appropriate members of healthcare team
  • Provide safety and health education to individuals and their families

Operating room technicians perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Prepare patients for surgery by washing, shaving and sterilizing the patients’ operative areas
  • Assist in surgery by laying out instruments, setting up equipment, assisting surgical teams with gowns and gloves and passing instruments to surgeons
  • Clean and sterilize the operating room and instruments


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