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Nursing Salaries Explained in Canada 2021

Salaries for nurses can be a little bit complicated to calculate. That is because each province has a set hourly rate for a nurse which constantly increases due to inflation and years of experience. On top of this, nurses salaries are impacted by the type of work they do and whether they work a day, night or weekend. Therefore in this video I will try to clarify how this all works and show you what the premiums are in each province.


When I was applying to nursing school, I wanted to learn more about the compensation for nurses. Even though you should never do a job for the financial reward, you have to make a decision based on logic and reason. If a job requires you to pay thousands of dollars for training and chooses to pay an amount that does not cover its expenses then it doesn’t make sense for you to pursue a career in that field. Therefore, it is always important to consider whether a job makes enough financially to outweigh its costs. With that being said, let’s talk about how the nursing salary works.

A nurses salary in Canada is based on the province you work in. If you want to learn more about those specific differences, check out my videos talking about that. So each nurse is paid an hourly set rate, this rate increases every year based on the rate of inflation which is 2% and also the your work experience which is predetermined by your nursing union contract agreement.

On top of these two increases each year, a nurse also gets what is called “premiums”. These premiums are based on the type of shift you are working. Typically premiums are given to nurses who work in hospital settings but they are not limited to this. Again, each premium is based on your unions contract agreements. The premiums are based on whether you work a day which goes into an evening, so like a 12 hour day shift, a night shift and a weekend. These premiums are typical 1-3 dollars an hour extra on top of your regular rate.

In addition to premiums, nurses are also paid extra for shifts they work on statutory holidays. This extra bonus is typically two times the hourly rate but can be, in some days like Christmas three times. In addition to this, if you pick up an extra shift, this would be considered overtime and would then be paid double the rate of pay per hour.

So now let’s look at some provinces with premiums considered. I will calculate this as if you are a new graduate nurse with 0 prior nursing experience, so this is the starting salary.

In B.C in 2021 you get paid an hourly rate of 35.53 as a new graduate nurse. If your work goes into evenings which would be from 1530 to 2330, you get an additional 0.70 cents an hour. If you work a night shift which would be from 2330 to 0730 you get an additional 3.50 an hour. If you work a weekend you get an additional 2.30 an hour. So in theory if you work a weekend night which would be Friday or Saturday night you get an additional 2.30 + 3.50 and also a “super shift” premium of 1.00 so in total you get an extra 6.80 an hour from 2330 to 0730. Which would mean your hourly income on a weekend night as a new graduate nurse would be 42.33.

So now lets consider alberta. Alberta you get an hourly rate of 36.86. For nights you get an extra $5.00 an hour. Working evenings gets you $2.75 extra and weekends an extra $3.25. So, as you can see, the hourly rate is a number that is always increasing, but is also increased by the type of shift you are working as well.

Here is a summary for all the provinces wages and wage premiums. Before I show this, I would greatly appreciate it if you give this video a thumbs up as I worked for many hours compiling this list. Thank you, so here is the list.


Hourly Rate




British Columbia



1.00 extra if Friday/Saturday night
























4% of hourly rate

11% of hourly rate
12% of hourly rate

4% of hourly rate

New Brunswick





Nova Scotia





Prince Edward Island





Newfoundland and Labrador





So there you have it! Those are the premiums with salary’s listed for registered nurses in Canada. Now, you might be thinking what is the best province for you to work, and I will do a feature on each province so be sure to subscribe if you want to see those videos. If you enjoyed this video, please consider giving it a thumbs up and I will catch you in the next video. Thanks for watching. Bye.

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