Work-life balance, salary and allowances for nurses

Find information on how the Government of Canada recognizes the importance of work-life balance and offers a competitive leave and benefits package to its employees as well as flexible work schedules.

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Working as a nurse for the government of Canada

There are many advantages when you work for the Government of Canada as a nurse in a remote or isolated First Nations community. For example, nurses working in these posts receive a base salary and allowances that add up to a well-paid compensation package. Nurses are also eligible for overtime, callback and standby pay.

Leave benefits

The amounts below assume one works full time in the community. Leave entitlements are pro-rated for employees who work part time.

Vacation leave

One year equals 1,950 hours of service.

  • 0 to 1 year of service: 15 days per year
  • 1 to 16 years of service: 20 days per year
  • 16 to 17 years of service: 22 days per year
  • 17 to 18 years of service: 23 days per year
  • 18 to 27 years of service: 25 days per year
  • 28 years of service or more: 30 days per year

Other types of leave

The Government of Canada recognizes that sometimes we get sick or have family related needs that must be addressed. Various types of leave are available to employees and offer:

  • maternity or parental leave: 93% of your weekly rate of pay
  • sick leave: up to 15 days per year
  • bereavement leave: up to 10 calendar days off when a member of one's immediate family passes away
  • leave for family related responsibilities: up to 5 days of paid leave per year for full-time employees. This is used when family related responsibilities arise (such as medical appointments or arranging for care of elderly or sick family members)
  • 15 hours of personal leave per year that does not count against vacation or sick leave credits

Other benefits for nurses

As a nurse working in a remote and isolated First Nations community, you may qualify for the following benefits.

Student Loan forgiveness

The student loan forgiveness for family doctors and nurses can amount to as much as $20,000 over 5 years

Health benefits

Government of Canada nurses are members of the Public Service Health Care Plan. This plan includes coverage for dental care, vision care, prescription drugs, sick leave benefits and more.


Government of Canada nurses who work on average at least 12 hours per week contribute to the Public Service Pension Plan. This is one of the most generous pension plans in Canada.

Employee Assistance Program

We all have challenges in our personal and professional lives. The Government of Canada offers access to an Employee Assistance Program, a free and completely confidential service available 24/7/365, with dedicated professionals available to provide crisis and counselling services in addressing matters such as grief or loss, debt management, workplace issues, interpersonal conflict and more.

Salary and allowances for nurses

Apart from allowances and benefits, nurses receive an annual salary, depending on the type of nursing job.

For nurses working in remote and isolated posts:

You may also qualify for these allowances:

Based on the salary ranges and applicable allowances above, here is the approximate salary range for a full-time, permanent nurse with a baccalaureate degree in nursing working in a remote or isolated post:

Amounts exclude overtime, standby or call back pay. All income, including allowances, is taxable.

In addition to salary and applicable allowances, nurses working in remote and isolated First Nations communities are eligible to receive an isolated post allowance, which mitigates the cost of living in a community and varies from place to place and on how often you work in the community. Rates depend on the classification of the isolated post and whether employee status is single or with dependents, ranging from $5,500 to $18,084 for single status and $9,167 to $31,340 with dependents (the more remote or isolated the post, the higher the allowance). For more information on the isolated post allowance, please refer to the Isolated Posts and Government Housing Directive (IPGHD).

Disclaimer information

This page provides general details that are subject to change. For the most up–to-date information about employee entitlements, please visit these Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) web pages:

If the information provided here does not match the TBS website information, TBS is the prevailing authority.

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