A Profile of Registered Nurses in Rural and Remote Canada


  • Norma J. Stewart
  • Carl D'Arcy
  • J. Roger Pitblado
  • Debra G. Morgan
  • Dorothy Forbes
  • Gail Remus
  • Barbara Smith
  • Mary Ellen Andrews
  • Julie Kosteniuk
  • Judith C. Kulig
  • Martha L. P. Macleod


Research on nursing practice issues in rural and remote areas of Canada is very limited. This report describes the method and initial results of a comprehensive survey of registered nurses (RNs) practising outside the commuting zones of large urban centres, designed to determine: who practises nursing in rural and remote Canada; the nature and scope of their nursing practice; and their satisfaction with their work, community, and practice supports. Using a mailed questionnaire with persistent follow-up, the data-collection frame included a stratified random sample of rural RNs and the full population of RNs who worked in the northern territories and outpost ("remote") settings. The analyses focus on regional comparisons of demographics and primary work settings and on provincial comparisons of satisfaction levels related to work and community. The survey is part of a larger multi-method project intended to inform policy on rural nursing practice in Canada.