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The section discusses the following topics :

>What Is a Registered Nurse?

>What Do Registered Nurses do?

>Where do Registered Nurses work?

>Education & Preparation


>Professional Associations

What Is a Registered Nurse?

Nurses are health care professionals whose role is to promote, maintain and restore holistic health for individuals and communities

What Do Registered Nurses do?

The role of the registered nurse is to provide health care to individuals, families, and communities. Nurses provide services designed to promote health, prevent illness, and achieve optimal recovery from or adaptations to health problems. These services include:

  1. Assessment of patients and families health status and needs: physical, emotional, psychological, and social
  2. Monitoring of patients health status, response to treatment, ability to provide self-care, coping with chronic illness, and function in relation to activities of daily living.
  3. Coordination of client care with the patient, family, physicians and other health care professionals through development, and implementation of individualized plans of care
  4. Collaboration with patients to implement a variety of interventions designed to manage pain, improve function, maximize independence, provide education, strengthen coping strategies, and improve access to community resources.
  5. Administration, monitoring and education for patients and families about medications
  6. Evaluation of treatment outcomes and revised patients plans of care accordingly
  7. Advocacy for patients and families with the health care facility, the community, and the legislative arena
  8. Practice from an evidence-base and undertake research in order to improve health practices. (Adapted from Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals statement on The Role of the Registered Nurse in the Management of Rheumatic Disease, 2002).

Where do Registered Nurses work?

Nurses work in a wide range of settings, including hospitals, health units, community clinics, retirement and nursing homes, long-term care facilities, workplaces, doctors, offices, correctional facilities and private homes.

Education & Preparation

New nursing students are currently required to graduate from a 4-year program with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Upon completion of the BScN program, applicants must successfully complete the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination through the College of Nurses of Ontario.


Since nursing is a self-regulating profession in Canada, it delegates the power to regulate nursing to each province/territory. A nurse must apply to be licensed and registered by the appropriate provincial college and/or association.

Professional Associations









Inerprofessional Education Initiatives: Working together across disciplines