Nursing Practice in Rural and Remote Canada

The goal of this project is to better understand the nursing workforce and nursing practice in rural and remote Canada so that health care planners and policy makers can work to improve nursing services and access to care in rural and remote Canada. People who live in rural and remote parts of Canada (including the North) tend to have more health challenges than people living in urban areas. Rural and remote communities also experience limited numbers and chronic shortages of health care workers, including nurses. In order to keep improving health services and to support nurses in rural and remote communities, planners and policy makers need up-to-date information. Nursing Practice in Rural and Remote Canada II is a study that provides that information.

There are four major research activities planned for the four year period (2012-2016) during which Nursing Practice in Rural and Remote Canada II study is being implemented:

  1. An analysis of the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s 2010 Nursing Database (NDB) data
  2. An analysis of policy documents
  3. A national survey of nurses in rural and remote areas across Canada
  4. The production and distribution of knowledge translation materials that report the study’s findings

Research Team

Dr. Pertice Moffitt is one of thirteen a co-investigators working with Martha MacLeod (University of Northern British Columbia), Norma Stewart (University of Saskatchewan) and Judith Kulig (University of Lethbridge) on this research initiative.


This work is ongoing until 2016.  Current research results are available by clicking here.


The Rural and Remote Nursing Practice: An Updated Documentary Analysis is now available for download. This report provides an update of a documentary analysis of relevant reports (grey literature, government documents) regarding rural and remote nursing practice. The overall goal was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the current policy environment and determine if, and how, it impacts nursing practice.

The Fact Sheet on Nursing Employment in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut provides information specifically on the nursing in the NWT.