How to become a PACU nurse in Canada?


Hi everyone!

I'm currently in my second year of study to become an LPN, and I'm incredibly interested in becoming a PACU (Post Anaesthesia Care Unit) nurse in the future, but I have no idea where to start. I've tried emailing the CLPNA (I'm in Alberta) but they haven't been much help...

My main question is this: What prior work experience would most employers require/expect before they would even consider hiring me as a PACU nurse? For example, would they require me to have worked in a particular environment, such as ER/ICU, for a few years first?

Secondly, can I even be a PACU nurse as an LPN or would I have to be an RN? I know the scope of practice for LPN's is pretty huge in Alberta, so I imagine I should be fine, but if anyone could shed some light on this it would help a lot!

Any other advice/insight on how to become a PACU nurse would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!


243 Posts

Your best bet might be to contact some PACU managers and ask what their requirements are. I know in BC, LPNs are not hired to critical care areas and generally must complete a 8 month critical care advanced certificate to be considered. Best of luck


8,343 Posts

Has 18 years experience.

There have been postings in the last six months with AHS for PACU LPNs. Watch the boards.

Surgical experience is required and it's not for new grads.

Specializes in NICU. Has 9 years experience.

I know where I am, PNs are not in the PACU. But seeing from previous posts it appears that Alberta is much more progressive with their LPNs than here in Ontario (we don't have RPNs in PACU, ICU, NICU, L&D or any paediatric least in the GTA). Good luck and I hope you can go where you feel led!