Skilled nursing care

Communities with registered nurses on staff

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In the Comfort Life Spotlight

Skilled nursing care facilities in Canada are most closely related to long-term care, but nursing care is also available in assisted living and other retirement homes. As well, families can hire qualified nurses through home care services. In Canada, skilled nurses are better known as registered nurses. 


Long-term care

The Village of Glendale Crossing  

3030 Singleton Avenue, London, Ontario, N6L 0B6

A true retirement hub featuring independent Living Apartments with full kitchens, Retirement Apartments, Full Service Retirement suites with walk out patios, Assisted Care, Memory Care and LTC.

Lifestyle Options: Apartments, Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Long-term care

The Manor Villages StayWell Manor  

174 Ypres Green SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2T 6M2

Staywell Manor Village offers elegant retirement living in the heart of Calgary. Whether you are looking for independent living, assisted living or memory care, we have lifestyle options to meet your needs.

Lifestyle Options: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Long-term care

Berwick House  

4062 Shelbourne Street, Victoria, British Columbia, V8N 3E6

Berwick House offers comfort, security and our usual high standard of affordable luxury. Steps away from a mall, cinema and other conveniences, you’ll find everything you need for an independent and active lifestyle.

Lifestyle Options: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Long-term care

The Village of Humber Heights  

2245 Lawrence Avenue West, Etobicoke, Ontario, M9P 3W3

The Village of Humber Heights in Etobicoke offers different levels of service from independent apartments with meals to assisted living to long-term care.

Lifestyle Options: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Long-term care

The Village at University Gates  

250 Laurelwood Drive, Waterloo, Ontario, N2J 0E2

Now welcoming our Retirement Home Residents to the Village. We offer Waterloo a range of services for today's Senior including Retirement Apartments, Assisted Living, Memory Care and Long Term Care.

Lifestyle Options: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Long-term care

The Village of Riverside Glen  

60 Woodlawn Road East, Guelph, Ontario, N1H 8M8

This elegant Guelph retirement home offers a range of care including assisted living and long term care, serviced by a friendly, caring staff.

Lifestyle Options: Assisted Living, Memory Care, Long-term care

The Village of Winston Park  

695 Block Line Road, Kitchener, Ontario, N2E 3K1

This elegant retirement residence in Kitchener-Waterloo offers a continuum of care from independent living apartments to assisted living, memory care and long-term care.

Lifestyle Options: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Long-term care

Berwick Royal Oak  

4680 Elk Lake Drive, Victoria, British Columbia, V8Z 0B4

Luxurious, Resort-Style Retirement Living where you can age in place; You’re Home at Last at Berwick Royal Oak on Vancouver Island in beautiful Victoria, BC.

Lifestyle Options: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Long-term care

The Village Langley - Verve Senior Living  

3920 198th Street, Langley, British Columbia, V3A1E1

We believe that the desire for fulfillment and living a life with purpose does not diminish with a diagnosis of dementia. We focus on the possibilities of each person, supporting each to live with laughter, love and joy.

Lifestyle Options: Memory Care, Long-term care

Hawthorn Park Retirement Community - Verve Senior Living  

867 KLO Road, Kelowna, British Columbia, V1Y 9G5

Living at Hawthorn Park Retirement Residence means you have choices & can customize the services you need, as you need them. We offer three lifestyle opportunities; supportive living, assisted living & complex care.

Lifestyle Options: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Long-term care

River Ridge Seniors Village  

#4 River Ridge Dr. N.W., Medicine Hat, Alberta, T1A 8V1

A premier Park Place residence in the heart of Medicine Hat offering independent living, supportive living, and long term care options. With spectacular views and services, River Ridge is a warm place to call home.

Lifestyle Options: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Long-term care

Magnolia Gardens  

5840 Glover Rd, Langley, British Columbia, V3A 9K3

An oasis in the heart of Langley City, Magnolia Gardens features bright, spacious suites and a warm, friendly atmosphere. Two choices in senior living: 115 independent living suites, and a 40-suite licensed Care Centre.

Lifestyle Options: Independent Living, Memory Care, Long-term care

Courtyard Gardens - Verve Senior Living  

7051 Moffat Road, Richmond, British Columbia, V6Y 3W2

Courtyard Gardens offers an enriching community, with quality staff & friendly & caring environment. 107 Private & Subsidized suites in Assisted Living, 31 Private Pay Extended Care studio suites & 1 Respite Suite.

Lifestyle Options: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Long-term care

Amica West Vancouver   

659 Clyde Avenue, West Vancouver, British Columbia, V7T 1C8

Tucked away between the North Shore Mountains and Pacific Ocean, our residence offers the best of West Vancouver. Enjoy access to trails and shopping—a comfortable yet sophisticated lifestyle at Amica West Vancouver.

Lifestyle Options: Apartments, Independent Living, Long-term care

The Waterford  

1345 56th Street, Tsawwassen, British Columbia, V4L 2P9

Featuring bright suites surrounded by pedestrian pathways, and a two-acre water feature in Tsawwassen town-centre. Two choices in all-inclusive senior housing: independent living and a licensed Care Centre suites.

Lifestyle Options: Independent Living, Memory Care, Long-term care

The Vineyards Residence  

726 Valley Road, Kelowna, British Columbia, V1V 0E9

The Vineyards approach to assisted living & memory care allows people to go about life as they always have, despite health changes. Beautiful suites & homemade meals. Discover for yourself why we say Life’s Better Here

Lifestyle Options: Assisted Living, Memory Care, Long-term care

Home care companies

Richmond Heights Health Clinic and Home Care  

10520 Yonge Street, Unit 4, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4C 3C7

Richmond Heights Health Clinic & Home Care, provides compassionate 24 hour personalized senior care services with bonded, registered & licensed Nurses / RPN's, in your home, hospital, rehab, LTC & retirement communities.

Lifestyle Options: Respite care, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Long-term care, Home Care

Nurse For Care  

2390 Eglinton Avene East, Suite #224, Toronto, Ontario, M1K 2P5

Nurse for All offers medical and non-medical care support for people of all ages & needs in the GTA, Ontario, Alberta, BC, Nova Scotia at home, hospital, retirement home or long-term care facility.

Lifestyle Options: Respite care, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Long-term care, Home Care

In-Home Assisted Living Inc.  

2 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto, Ontario, M4V 3A1

In-Home Assisted Living offers caregivers and nurses to help seniors and people with medical challenges to remain living in their own home with safety and comfort. Also ask about our hospital bedside support.

Lifestyle Options: Respite care, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Long-term care, Home Care

Skilled nursing care homes like those listed above will feature registered nurses (RNs) on staff, most often around the clock. Today, most registered nurses have a university degree, typically a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a Bachelor of Nursing. Some older nurses may not have been required to have a university degree when they were originally hired, in a very few cases. 

About skilled nursing (RNs) requirements

In the four year Bachelor of Science in Nursing, students take coursework in a wide range of health sciences and related subjects. Study in this field will include microbiology, physiology, anatomy, chemistry, nutritional science, pathophysiology, epidemiology, and related sciences. The four year degree is the minimum to qualify as a registered nurse (RN) in Canada. 

Other registered nurses have acquired higher qualifications like a Master’s Degree. Another, higher qualification seen in some retirement homes listed on, is the Nurse Practitioner. To qualify for this, Registered Nurse as a prerequisite. Additional training qualifies these RNs to perform additional tasks including prescribing medications, as well as ordering tests for patients in their care, and interpreting those test results. 

RNs provide coordination of care for seniors in care communities. Their broader, more comprehensive training and education means they take a stronger leadership role, and deal with a broader range of both patients and care needs. RNs are more highly qualified to deal with everyone from families to administrators, doctors and other health professionals. They are also qualified to understand complex health care changes that impact patients’ needs. RNs determine the course of care for elder patients, and will advise LPNs and RPNs on daily care required for elders in a care setting (see more below). 

Registered nursing care and you

The number of registered nurses on staff at a retirement community can indicate the quality of care available. When paying for private health care, as is the case in many retirement homes, you obviously want to ensure that you are getting the best care available. Rest assured that the presence of an adequate number of highly qualified professionals is a mark of reliable care. 

If you are in an independent living community, the presence of registered nurses gives you peace of mind, a safeguard if something should happen to you. It’s certainly not a requirement for communities, although a great number of Comfort Life’s listings of independent living communities do indeed have registered nurses on site, as well as RPNs. 

Assisted living communities are not necessarily required to keep an RN on staff, though legal requirements may vary from one province to the next. A great many communities listed on our site do indeed offer registered nurses on site 24 hours per day. Check each community’s profile to find out the availability of nursing staff.  

Long term care homes are required to have registered nurses on staff. All communities on our site, as linked in the list above, meet this requirement, of course. 

A note on skilled nursing care at home. If your loved one requires nursing attention, you also have the option of hiring in-home help. Check home care companies listed on our site to discover their staffing of registered nurses and other nursing staff. 

Registered nurses vs. other nursing designations

Four other nursing designations are held by nurses in communities listed at our site. These are Licensed Practical Nurse (outside of Ontario) or Registered Practical Nurse (in Ontario), the Registered Psychiatric Nurse, and the Nurse Practitioner. Here’s a closer look at each of these:  

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Practical Nurse (RPN, Ontario only) are qualified with a two year college degree, though some students complete their program in a shorter time. Programs typically include components and coursework in four key areas: physical and biological sciences, psychology, professional ethics, and therapeutic training. Programs also combine theory with clinical (practical) instruction. 

As their title indicates, LPNs and RPNs are focused on executing the more practical tasks in the care environment of retirement communities. They are the front line nursing care your elder loved one will receive daily. In their own way, LPNs and RPNs are very skilled, of course. 

Registered Psychiatric Nurse is another, related designation. These nurses complete a two to four year nursing education program at college or university. In this, they will study behavioural and social sciences, biological and physical sciences, general nursing, psychiatric theory and a variety of related studies. The presence of a registered psychiatric nurse in a retirement home is another marker of quality for seniors and family members. Care they provide is, as you might expect, attendant to seniors’ mental and emotional needs. 

The value of this, for families, cannot be underestimated. The presence of a Registered Psychiatric Nurse And they can contribute significantly to the creation of a well-rounded care environment providing for all the care needs of seniors in their community. 

Nurse Practitioner is more highly qualified than all of the above.  These are registered nurses with additional education and experience, available at very few retirement communities. They are able to perform some medical procedures, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, and prescribe meditations. They treat the whole person, knowing people's entire medical history, offering health advice and teaching people to manage chronic illness. 

Personal Support Workers are one more nursing aide worth noting. While not qualified as nurses, personal support workers provide critical care to seniors that are, in fact, in nursing care. We take a much closer look in a fuller discussion of personal support workers

Sources and further reading elsewhere

"Seniors Care Nursing Supply and Demand." PDF.

"RN Solutions in the Care of Older Adults." PDF.

Nursing Requirements in Canada.

Nursing in Canada.

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