Colleges in Canada for Nursing: Best Guide For Beginners



Consistently named one of the most trusted professions in the world, Nursing has been the cornerstone of the healthcare sector. It became even more evident during the recent pandemic when nurses, along with other healthcare workers, risked their lives as frontline healthcare professionals.

It is estimated that the employment opportunities for registered nurses will grow by a whopping 9% in this decade. The number of registered nurses positions is expected to increase from 3.08 million to 3.36 million.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 report, about 276,000 additional registered nurses will be required from 2020 to 2030 in the US alone! As such, those students who are looking to get into the field of medical science or are interested in nursing have higher employability rates than any other profession.

Canada is a land of opportunities – be it medical science, engineering, or arts, the sheer number of universities and the programs that the country offers is far greater than one can imagine. However, picking a college in Canada for nursing may be quite challenging due to a large number of options available in the country.
Here’s a look at the top universities in Canada for nursing.



Why study Nursing in Canada as an International Student?


Studying in Canada as an international student has its own set of benefits ranging from high quality of living, more employment opportunities, universal healthcare, and others. Let’s take a look at why studying nursing in Canada as an international student is worthwhile.

  • Canada has some of the best institutions of higher education in the world.
  • There are more than 10 Canadian universities in the top 150 universities of the world that offer nursing programs.
  • A Canadian nursing degree can open up many doors for those looking to work in different countries across the world.
  • The average salary packages of Canadian nursing school graduates within the country are expected to be exceptionally high – around CAD 50,000 – CAD 105,000 per annum!
  • Those who pursue nursing programs in Canada can expect to be employed within the country due to the large demand for nurses and other healthcare professionals.
  • The nursing courses in Canada offer several specializations including geriatric nursing, midwifery, cardiac nursing, oncology nursing, emergency nursing, and others.
  • Being a nurse in Canada offers a lot of flexibility.

How much does it cost to study at nursing colleges in Canada?


Generally, an international student may require anywhere between CAD 1000 – CAD 3000 (excluding tuition) depending on one’s lifestyle. Some of the common expenses are listed below.

Food

The average cost of food is around CAD 200 to 300 CAD a month.

Accommodation

On average, the accommodation costs in Canada are between CAD 400 to CAD 1,500 a month (from dorms to rooms for rent).

Transportation

The average cost of transportation in Canada is between CAD 100 to CAD 200 a month.

Utilities

The average cost of utilities in Canada is between CAD 90 to CAD 300 a month.

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous expenses in Canada include Insurance, Internet, Books, Leisure, and others. This could come up to around CAD 600 to CAD 700 a month.

Tuition

The average tuition fee for studying nursing in Canada is around CAD 25,000 per year.

What are the scholarship options to study nursing in Canada for international students?


Some of the available scholarships across Canadian universities for those applicants interested in pursuing a Nursing degree include,

What are the eligibility criteria for studying nursing in Canadian Universities?


General eligibility criteria for Undergraduate programs

  • A minimum of 65% to 75% average in 12th-grade level examinations with Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and English as core subjects (depending on the university one is applying to)
  • International applicants who have studied in universities outside of North America need to submit their course evaluation through World Education Services (WES)
  • TOEFL/IELTS scores
  • Statement of purpose
  • Academic transcripts
  • CASPer test (Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics)

General eligibility criteria for Postgraduate programs

  • A few Canadian nursing colleges and universities require international students to be available for residency periods on campus.
  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree in nursing (e.g., BScN, BSN, BN)
  • GPA of 78% (B+) or higher in the last two years of full-time study
  • Must show proof of RN registration in their home country
  • World Evaluation Series (WES) reports monitoring degree equivalency
  • References
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Academic transcripts
  • Essays
  • Must meet English language proficiency requirements (TOEFL/IELTS/PTE etc)

General eligibility criteria for Ph.D. programs

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree in nursing (e.g., BScN, BSN, BN).
  • A master’s degree or a graduate certificate in nursing or another health care-related field.
  • Nurses educated outside of Canada may be asked to submit a WES report to monitor degree equivalency
  • GPA of 78% (B+) or higher
  • Completion of a master’s thesis/research project
  • Ph.D. candidates may have to attend an interview with a panel of core faculty
  • International candidates must satisfy English language proficiency requirements (TOEFL/IELTS/PTE etc)
  • Academic references
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Personal essays
  • Academic transcripts
  • Supervisory agreement (A faculty member of the university must agree for supervision. The faculty member’s research must align with the applicant’s interests)

What are the best colleges in Canada for Nursing?


Canada is one of the best global ed destinations in the world. The country’s academic prowess, coupled with the substantial amount of employment opportunities that it offers has made it an alluring destination for international students.
Today, we take a look at some of the best Canadian universities for nursing.

1. University of Alberta, Edmonton


The University of Alberta was established in 1908. It is considered to be one of the best Canadian universities and is consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the world.

Why is it good to study here?

The Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta is ranked 1 in the country for nursing. It has been ranked 10 globally for nursing-related subjects. The faculty of nursing is renowned for excellence in education, and research.

Fees & Scholarship options

The tuition fee to pursue the four-year BScN program at the University of Alberta is around CAD 116,769.60.
Some of the popular scholarships available at the university include,

Eligibility and Duration

The eligibility criteria for international students who are applying directly from high school include

Courses offered & admission process

The courses offered include,

The application process involves the following steps

  • Reviewing admission requirements and application
  • Submission of university application form uab.ca/apply.
  • Ualberta Launchpad can help applicants to keep track of their application status
  • Apply to CASPer test (Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics) and submit scores
  • Receive student ID and campus computing ID
  • Check the to-do list at launchpad and submit the necessary documents
  • Apply for scholarships, awards, etc
  • Check admission decision
  • Accept offer
  • Pay tuition deposit
  • Review health and safety requirement
  • Pay tuition

2. University of Toronto, Toronto


The university of Toronto is the second largest university in Canada. The university has a very high reputation in the field of medical science and has been constantly producing top-class medical professionals.

Why is it good to study here?

The ranks are amongst some of the premier nursing programs in the world in terms of education and research. The school has a state-of-the-art laboratory and partnerships with top Canadian teaching hospitals to ensure that students receive the best quality education.

Fees & Scholarship options

The first-year tuition fee for BScN at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing is CAD $45,164.88 while the second-year tuition fee is CAD 45,088.88.
Scholarships provided at the University of Toronto include,

Eligibility and Duration

The eligibility criteria for getting admitted into the University of Toronto include,

The duration of the BScN program is 2 years.

Courses offered & admission process

The courses offered include,

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN)
  • Master of Nursing (MN)
  • Post-Master Nurse Practitioner Diploma (PMNP)
  • Collaborative Specializations for MN and Ph.D. Students
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Doctor of Nursing (DN)

The admission process for BScN involves,

  • New applicants need complete the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) 105 Application Form
  • Once an application number has been received, users will have to log into the Join U of T Portal to submit their supplementary application
  • Click Bloomberg Nursing Supplementary Application under Required Documents; then click Start New Application
  • After clicking on “Create Application”, an “Open Application” button will automatically appear, clicking on it will take you to the application portal.
  • Submit a copy of your transcript(s)
  • Submit proof of English facility (if required)
  • Apply for relevant admission awards , if needed.

3. McMaster University, Hamilton


McMaster University was founded in 1887 and has since been the centre of quality education and groundbreaking research. It is one of only four Canadian universities to be consistently ranked among the top 100 universities in the world.

Why is it good to study here?

The School of Nursing at McMaster University has been ranked 3rd in Canada and 21st globally. The school focuses on empowering students to innovate and to lead change in the face of an increasingly challenging health care sector.

Fees & Scholarship options

The tuition fee for pursuing the BScN Basic program is CAD 46,043.70 a year.
Some popular scholarships offered by the university include,

Eligibility and Duration

The eligibility criteria for BScN Basic program include…

  • The following are the minimum Grade 12 U and M requirements under the OSS curriculum:
    • English U
    • Biology U
    • Chemistry U
    • One of Advanced Functions U, Calculus and Vectors U, or Mathematics of Data Management U
    • Two additional Grade 12 U or M courses to a total six courses
  • GPA of at least B in all university degree credit courses taken
  • CASPer assessments

The duration of the BScN Basic program is 4 years while the accelerated and post-diploma RPN streams are 20 months and 3 years respectively.

Courses offered & admission process

The courses offered include,

The admission process includes,

4. University of British Columbia, Vancouver


The University of British Columbia has been ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world. Since 1915, the university has been providing opportunities to thousands across different disciplines.

Why is it good to study here?

The faculty members serve as advisors at the Ministry of Health. Some of the popular clinical partners include Provincial Health Services Authority, Fraser Health, and Providence Health Care. While some of the graduates maintain highly skilled practice, others contribute to health education through research.

Fees & Scholarship options

The average tuition fee is around CAD 56,545.97 for one year.
Some of the popular scholarships include,

  • Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow Award
  • International Impact Award
  • Vantage One Excellence Award
  • International Major Entrance Scholarship
  • Outstanding International Student Award

Eligibility and Duration

The eligibility criteria include…

  • General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) or General Certificate of Education or international baccalaureate or equivalent.
  • English language proficiency test scores

The duration of the BSN program at the Okanagan campus is four years.

Courses offered & admission process

The courses offered at the university include,

  • BSN
  • MSN
  • PhD
  • MN-NP
  • MHLP

The admission procedure includes…

  • Applying through youbc Okanagan.
  • Submission of documents
  • Notification of admission decisions is given to applicants after all necessary documents have been received and evaluated.

5. McGill University, Montréal


McGill university is one of Canada’s most popular institutions of higher education. Founded in 1821, McGill is recognize for its excellence in teaching and research programs.

Why is it good to study here?

The Ingram School of Nursing at McGill University has been providing nursing education since 1920. The school aims to educate current and future nurses while also advancing the state-of-the-art of nursing and healthcare.

Fees & Scholarship options

The average tuition fee for BSc (N) is CAD 29,445.34/year.
Scholarships include,

Eligibility and Duration

Eligibility criteria include…

  • Minimum of 75% to 85% in higher secondary examinations
  • Subjects must include mathematics and two of biology, chemistry or physics in Class 11 and 12.
  • Proof of French proficiency

The duration of the BSc (N) program is 3-4 years.

Courses offered & admission process

The courses offered include,

  • BScN
  • BNI
  • MScA (AN)
  • MScA (N)
  • PhD

The admission process involves

  • Applications can be sent in through McGill’s online application.
  • Evaluate your eligibility
  • Send in application
  • Apply for an entrance scholarship
  • Submit documents and stay in touch

6. University of Calgary, Calgary


The University of Calgary is a public university that was started in 1944 under the university of Alberta before becoming an autonomous university in 1966. The university has 5 campuses and 14 faculty.

Why is it good to study here?

The university’s Faculty of Nursing has been ranked 6th in Canada and 40th in the world by QS rankings in 2022. The school has been producing skillful nurses for the past 50 years.

Fees & Scholarship options

The tuition fee for each term of BN is CAD 2,440.80.
Scholarships offered at the UCalgary include

  • UCalgary International Entrance Scholarship
  • the University of Calgary International Baccalaureate Diploma Entrance Scholarship
  • President’s Admission Scholarship

Eligibility and Duration

The eligibility criteria include

  • Required courses of admission include English, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology
  • IB courses or Advanced Placement courses are accepted
  • English Language Proficiency

Courses offered & admission process

The courses offered include,

  • Bachelor of Nursing (BN, Indigenous community route, or rural community route)
  • DN
  • Nursing – Cert
  • Nursing – MN (course or thesis-based)
  • PhD

The admission process includes…

  • Starting the application
  • Submission of application along with the fee of CAD 145
  • Submission of required documents
  • Admission decision

7. Western University, London


Western University was founded in 1879 and was opened to the public in 1881. Upon its inception, the university had four faculties, including arts, divinity, law, and medicine. Today, the university has 12 faculties, including the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Medicine, Business, Law, and Engineering, among others.

Why is it good to study here?

The Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing at Western University focuses on educating nurses who are reflective practitioners and possess relevant competency in nursing theory and practice, research, learning, and policy advancement.
The compressed time frame BScN program helps those students with prior university experience for careers as RNs and also acts as a qualification for graduates to apply for registration with the College of Nurses of Ontario.

Fees & Scholarship options

The tuition fee for the Western-Fanshawe College collaborative BScN program is CAD 50,000.
Popular Scholarships offered at Western University include

  • A.M.F.G. Award in Nursing (Western-Fanshawe Collaborative Nursing program)
  • Arthur Labatt Family Undergraduate Scholarships in Nursing (for BScN [CTF] program)

Eligibility and Duration

The admission requirements for the BScN Western Fanshawe Collaborative Program include…

  • International applicants who are looking to practice as RNs in Ontario must review the residency requirements for the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO).
  • CASPer test (Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics)
  • TOEFL/IELTS scores
  • Minimum of 70% overall average for those who apply from a university with less than 10 full courses
  • Minimum of overall average in last 10 full courses for those who apply from a university with more than 10 full courses
  • Must have completed the equivalent of the following Ontario high school courses with a minimum grade of 65%
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Biology

The duration of the BScN Western-Fanshawe Collaborative Program is 4 years.
The duration of the BScN CTF program is 19 months.

Courses offered & admission process

The courses offered by the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing at Western University include

Students must apply through Ontario Universities’ Application Centre where they can apply through both Western University as well as Fanshawe College since the program is a collaborative venture between the two.

8. Queen’s University at Kingston, Kingston


Established in 1841, Queen’s University is highly ranked in Canada for student experience. It is among Canada’s oldest universities. The university is ranked 246th in the QS university rankings list for 2022.

Why is it good to study here?

The school of nursing at Queen’s University has ranked 8th in Canada and within the top 100 institutions for nursing globally. The school ensures that the nursing program curriculum is current and relevant. It is part of the Faculty of Health Sciences, providing inter-professional learning opportunities.

Fees & Scholarship options

The tuition fee is CAD 26,786/year.
The scholarships offered by the school include

  • First-Entry Undergraduate Financial Aid
  • Queen’s General Bursary (QGB)

Eligibility and Duration

Eligibility criteria include

  • High school transcripts
  • English language proficiency scores
  • Minimum of 75% at XII with English, Biology, Mathematics, and Chemistry

The duration of the BNSc program is 4-years.

Courses offered & admission process

The school offers courses including

The admission process includes

  • Check admission requirements
  • Apply online
  • Activate NetID
  • Submit supplementary information
  • Check to-do list

9. University of Ottawa, Ottawa


The University of Ottawa was founded in 1848 and is one of Canada’s oldest and most prestigious higher education institutions. Globally, the university has been ranked 232nd by QS rankings of 2022.

Why is it good to study here?

The four-year honours BScN degree helps students to prepare for the challenges that bug the healthcare sector. The program is offered across different campuses, including Ottawa, Woodroffe, and Pembroke.

Fees & Scholarship options

The fee to pursue BScN is CAD 19,346.02/term.
Some of the popular scholarship options include,

Eligibility and Duration

The eligibility criteria include,

  • Check if the language requirements are satisfied
  • All prerequisite courses of secondary studies must be completed
  • Additional supporting documents depending on the program.

The Honours BScN program’s duration is 4 years.

Courses offered & admission process

The courses offered include

The admission process includes

  • Keeping track of deadlines
  • Begin the application process through ouac.on.ca
  • Submit necessary documents
  • Request study permit
  • Apply for housing and paying fees
  • Submission of original transcripts

10. University of Manitoba, Winnipeg


The University of Manitoba has been consistently ranked among some of the top Canadian and global institutions. Founded in 1877, the university has campuses across Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene.

Why is it good to study here?

The college of nursing at the University of Manitoba focuses on producing nurses of high quality, with the ability to provide compassionate care and care for patients’ wellness. The BN program is offered at Winnipeg and The Pas and Thompson through collaborations with the University College of North.

Fees & Scholarship options

The tuition fee for the BN program is CAD $20,600.
Some of the popular scholarship options include

  • International Undergraduate Student Entrance Scholarships
  • International Undergraduate Student Scholarships
  • University of Manitoba General Entrance Scholarships
  • Chown Centennial Scholarship
  • The Asper Foundation Entrance Bursary

Eligibility and Duration

The eligibility criteria include

  • Required courses for admission
  • Adjusted Grade Point Average (AGPA) calculation and requirements
  • Written English and mathematics requirements
  • Humanities, Social Sciences, and Science electives
  • Proof of English language proficiency

The BN program’s duration is 28 months.

Courses offered & admission process

The courses offered include

The admission process involves

  • Begin application online here
  • Submission of necessary documents
  • Pay the application fee of CAD 120
  • Admission decision
  • Fee payment

Are there 2 years nursing programs in Canada for International Students?


One-year and two-year programs are quickly becoming more popular amongst the latest crop of graduates. In Canada, there are several two-year courses offered across levels, including diplomas, masters, graduate diplomas, and others.
Most of the two-year courses that are offered across Canadian universities require students to attend them on-campus, thereby increasing the scope of hands-on training. Some of the top colleges and universities in Canada that offer two-year nursing programs include,

  • Georgian College – Practical Nursing Ontario College Diploma program (2.5 years)
  • Stenberg College – Practical Nursing (76 weeks/1.5 years includes 23 weeks of hands-on training)
  • Durham College – Practical Nursing (5 semesters/2.5 years)
  • Thompson Rivers University – Practical Nursing Diploma (2 years)
  • Fanshawe College – Practical Nursing (63 weeks)
  • Humber College – Practical Nursing (4 semesters)
  • Conestoga College – Practical Nursing (2 years)
  • University of Windsor – Master of Science in Nursing Degree (2 years)
  • University of Saskatchewan – Master of Nursing (2 years)

The average cost of pursuing a two-year nursing program in Canada ranges from CAD 10,000 to CAD 170,000, depending on the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) level that students choose.
Some of the common subjects covered in two-year nursing programs include

  • Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing
  • Microbiology
  • Fundamentals of Nursing
  • Genetics
  • Personal Hygiene,
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Nutrition
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Critical Care Nursing,
  • Pharmacology and Medication Management,
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology

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Date added
11.01.2023

Filed under:

Global Ed

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