Registered Nurses Education in Canada Statistics 2020-2021

The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) is pleased to present Registered Nurses Education in Canada Statistics, 2020–2021.

This annual report supports health human resources planning in both the nursing service and nursing education sectors. It represents the fruit of a strong partnership among national and provincial and territorial bodies and effective collaborative relationships with multiple stakeholders.

The report provides data and statistical analysis of:

  • the number of pre-licensure graduates eligible to apply for initial licensure/registration and enter the registered nurse (RN) workforce;
  • the number of RNs obtaining graduate qualifications;
  • NSFS Chart - Graduatesthe number of nurse practitioner (NP) graduates;
  • innovations in nursing education program access and delivery;
  • the composition of faculty delivering nursing education; and
  • faculty retention and recruitment.


Highlights from the report include the following:

  • 12,780 students graduated from entry-to-practice programs for registered nurses in 2021 (2,302 Quebec diploma and 10,478 baccalaureate) (graph, page 6), representing a continuous trend upward from the 4,833 who graduated in 2000.
  • NSFS Chart - Admissions16,626 students were admitted to entry-to-practice programs for registered nurses in 2020-2021 (3,749 Quebec diploma and 12,877 baccalaureate) (graph, page 5), 753 more admissions than in 2019-2020.
  • Statistics Canada reports the number of vacancies for professional occupations in nursing (which includes “nursing coordinators and supervisors, registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, and graduate nurses”) in 2018-2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, as 11,615 vacancies on average (Q4 2018-Q1 2020).  From September 2020 to December 2021 (this survey’s data range), Statistics Canada reports, on average, 22,641 vacancies.
  • 2020-21 NSFS Chart - VacanciesThere were 616 graduates from nurse practitioner programs in 2021 (graph, page 12).
  • There were 772 admissions to nurse practitioner programs in 2020-2021 (graph, page 11).
  • 35.4% of schools offered an accelerated baccalaureate program (table, page 13).
  • In 2021, schools were unable to fill 52 full-time faculty positions. Schools projected a need to hire 543 full-time faculty (340 permanent positions, 103 contract positions) in 2022.
  • 97 permanent faculty retired in 2021.

Download the 2020-2021 report