Differences between Canadian and USA nursing?

  1. 2
    Considering working in both the USA *and* Canada.

    Plenty of threads out there about the requirements for licensing etc in each place. But how about the differences and similarities in scope of practice? I read on one of the licensure threads that Canadian nurses have a broader scope of practice, and a greater focus on preventative care.

    Really? Well, ya got me wildly curious.....how? What can Canadian nurses do that US ones can't and vice versa? Who spends more time on paperwork? What are the headaches of pt. advocacy/HR and which ones are different depending on side of the border????

    Looking for a few donations

    Thank you!:heartbeat
    lindarn and virgoupm like this.
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  3. 81 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    But doesn't roles within the US vary from state to state for nurses?

    At the end of the day they are 2 different countries who work totally different as healthcare is provided differently.
    lindarn likes this.
  5. 3
    I'm about to find out the difference, I just moved from Florida to Calgary, Alberta.
    loriangel14, lindarn, and LPNweezy like this.
  6. 3
    I think American nurses spend a lot more time on paperwork. Don't you guys have to charge your pts for everything you use, administer, etc?

    I also think Canadian nurses spend more time at the bedside. Most hospitals I've seen practise total pt care where the RPN or RN provides all the care - bed baths, toiletting, etc.
    Fiona59, Cinquefoil, and lindarn like this.
  7. 3
    Quote from Silverdragon102
    But doesn't roles within the US vary from state to state for nurses?
    It's true that each state regulates nursing separately/independently within its own borders, and has its own Nurse Practice Act, but, realistically, the scope of practice for generalist, "regular" RNs is pretty similar and the differences are hardly worth worrying about across the US. Everyone in the country pretty much agrees about what one can and can't do with an RN license. AFAIK, there are a few states where the scope of practice for LPNs is significantly broader than in most states, and it's in the realm of advanced practice nursing (NPs, CNMs, CNSs, and CRNAs) that you see the most variation among states.
    Altra, p_hawk, and lindarn like this.
  8. 0
    Depends on where in the US and where in Canada.
  9. 0
    OK, granted, it depends where you are.

    I guess what I'm looking for are specific stories and examples from specific locations. Anyone?
  10. 7
    First, if you want to work in Acute Care, you have to wrap your head around joining a union. Get used to paid sick leave, paid vacation, specified paid days off (ie: family emergency) and getting a job by seniority not the fact that you had a relative vouch for you.

    Second, healthcare is funded by the government, so unless you work for a private, contracting agency you will be a government employee.

    Third, patients love the internet and KNOW more than you do because they googled it. I'm serious.

    Fourth, you'll work to full scope in whatever province issues you a practice permit.

    Fifth, our doctors and residents listen to us and value our opinions (at least in my health authority). One surgeon has been overheard telling his residents on more than one occaision "the floor nurses know their stuff, at this stage in YOUR career, listen to them, they know more than you do".

    Sixth, no matter how how you work, a patient or their relative will remind you "I pay your wages" and that "you are overpaid".
    pseudomonas, xtxrn, melsch, and 4 others like this.
  11. 2
    Quote from Pepper The Cat
    I think American nurses spend a lot more time on paperwork. Don't you guys have to charge your pts for everything you use, administer, etc?

    I also think Canadian nurses spend more time at the bedside. Most hospitals I've seen practise total pt care where the RPN or RN provides all the care - bed baths, toiletting, etc.
    I think this can also vary in the US. Where I work, none of my charting has to do with billing. The patient is billed a flat rate per day for the room that covers all general supplies. Pharmacy has a seperate charge that I don't have to deal with.

    And for the total patient care, I work in critical care, so we all do total patient care. It is harder work at times, but I prefer it this way.
    Otessa and Cinquefoil like this.
  12. 4
    One of the things Fiona mentioned pertains to the unions. Fortunately, Canadian nurses are paid reasonably well, in comparison to many of the US States. I have noticed some ridiculously low wages for some US nurses. Also, shifts are not arbitrarily cancelled. We may be required to float, though.
    qt_rn, Cinquefoil, loriangel14, and 1 other like this.


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