Masters in Nursing in Canada: Best Colleges, Tuition fees, Admission Eligibility, Course Details, and Jobs

Aishwarya Bhatnagar Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert

Masters in Nursing (MSN) in Canada is both course (MS) and research-based (MSc). It is a 2-year long full-time course that offers applicants a holistic approach in Nursing and its chosen area of specialization. The total cost of studying MSN in Canada for international students is around 37,000 USD per annum. The program is available in more than 20 universities in Canada, including some of the top Canadian universities like UToronto, University of Alberta, UBC, etc. 

More and more international students are opting for MSN in Canada because nurses make up the maximum workforce in the healthcare department. The starting salary is close to 65,000 USD per annum and it is expected that multifold requirements in the field of nursing in Canada would be seen by 2026.

Masters in Nursing in Canada: Course Details and Curriculum

Before choosing MSN in Canada, the applicants must be aware of the course curriculum and the different specializations offered by each university. Masters in Nursing in Canada is a 2-year long program that covers different areas of study. The second-year usually includes a study in the area of specialization along with a thesis submission at the end of the course.

Term 1Term 2
Foundations of Nursing KnowledgeLearning/Teaching in Nurse Education 
Knowledge SynthesisPerspectives on Nursing Leadership
Nursing InquirySkills in Nursing Leadership 
Healthcare PolicyHealthcare Ethics & Decision Making
Perspectives on Nursing EducationTheses 

MSN Specializations in Canada

The following set of specializations are offered by Canadian Universities and, chosen by international students widely:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Practical Nursing
  • Critical Care Nursing
  • Community Mental Health
  • General Nursing
  • Nursing Administration

Best Colleges for Masters in Nursing in Canada

The number of nurses working in Canada has grown by 33% over the last 5 years. It is assumed, that with this kind of growth more and more nurses will be required and so will the salaries go up. Currently, 25 universities offer MSN in Canada, some of them rank globally and nationally. They are as follows:

University NameMacleans Ranking 2019 (national)Top Universities Ranking 2018 (global)
University of Toronto#1#2
University of Alberta#2#17
University of British Columbia #3#20
McMaster University#4#19
University of Calgary#6#51-100
Dalhousie University#9-
York University#12-

Why Study Masters in Nursing in Canada?

An applicant can opt for Masters in Nursing in Canada because it ranks #3 in Canada. The largest number of health workers in Canada include nurses. Thus, growth in demand for nurses will be witnessed maximum by 2026. Along with this, there are other reasons why an applicant can choose to study MSN, they are as follows:

  • The number of nurses required by 2026 will go up by 71% in Canada.
  • More than 8,000 job opportunities are vacant in the field of Nursing for students with an MSN degree in Canada.
  • An estimated salary for a registered and a head nurse in Canada is close to 65,000 USD per annum.
  • Canadian Universities offer approximately 10 popularly chosen specializations like a family practitioner, critical care nursing, gerontology, community mental health, etc.

Cost of Studying Masters in Nursing in Canada

Approximately 37,300 USD is required for one year to study Masters in Nursing in Canadian Universities for international students, all expenses included. This cost also includes one-time payments that are not required to be paid in the second year of study.

Pre-Arrival Expenses

When applying for a Masters in Nursing in Canada, the international applicants will have to spend on the given requirements to be eligible for MSN admission.

ExpensesCost (in USD) 
Application Fee68-113*
Health Insurance401-607
Visa Application Fee235
Transcript Evaluation160

* Varies with each university.

Post-Arrival Expenses

These expenses are usually incurred on the regular requirements of an applicant while they stay in Canada. Some of the costs incurred on a monthly basis by applicants pursuing Masters in Nursing are as follows:

Expenses Cost (USD)
Airfare 1,400
Hotel Accommodation200-800
Meals 45 (per meal in a day)
Travel 25 (per day)
Financial Statement10,000

Annual Expenses

The annual expenses include tuition fees (which excludes one-time payments in the second year), off-campus living expenses and cost to be incurred on books or other educational supplies while pursuing MSN in Canada. Following table shows university wise costs that are to be incurred on a yearly basis:

University NameTuition Fee (in USD)Living Expenses (in USD)Books & Educational Expenses (in USD)
University of Toronto41,00011,350750
University of British Columbia (UBC)20,00012,800900
University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC)6,20012,5001,510
Trinity Western University (TWU)18,0508,2701,130
York University15,0006,4002,710
Dalhousie University15,0008,2001,100
Alberta University8,00010,9001,210

* Overall a 2-5% increase in tuition fee has been recorded for the 2018-2019 admission session, due to a hike in the inflation rate for the current fiscal year.

Masters in Nursing in Canada: Admission Process

Not a lot of seats are offered to international students in the MSN program in Canada. Yet universities receive applications in abundance. like UBC received around 60 applications, out of which only 45 were accepted for 2018 admissions.

Masters in Nursing in Canada: Eligibility

To be eligible for admission, international students must fulfill the following requirements:

  • 4 years of a bachelor's degree is mandatory. Overall 10+2+4 years of education must be attained by the applicant willing to pursue MSN in Canada.
  • 1 year of clinical experience is highly recommended for admission to the course for the applicants.
  • A criminal record verification should also be cleared before attending the university.
  • Applicants would also require a valid nursing license for practice in Canada.
  • In addition to the above requirements, there are some additional requirements that must be fulfilled in order to secure admission in Masters in Nursing in Canada:
UniversityGPA GradeLORsSOPResumeTranscripts
U of TB+2RequiredRequiredRequired
UBCB+3Required Required Required 
York University-3RequiredRequiredRequired
Dalhousie UniversityB+3RequiredRequiredRequired
Alberta UniversityB3RequiredRequiredRequired

English Language Proficiency

International applicants are required to submit either of the tests- TOEFL or IELTS or PTE or MELAB, along with their minimum scores, to be eligible for admission to the MSN program in Canada:

UToronto(IBT): 937.0--
University of British Columbia(PBT): 6006.5-7.0--
University of Northern British Columbia (IBT): 906.56585
Trinity Western University(IBT): 1007.0--
York University(IBT): 100 (PBT): 6007.5--
Dalhousie University(IBT): 927.06585
Alberta University(IBT): 97 (PBT): 5877.0--

Masters in Nursing in Canada: Scope

Masters in Nursing has witnessed a sudden surge in enrolments due to a predicted growth in the field. Nursing is both challenging yet a highly paid job, with an average starting salary of 53,000 USD. The following table shows the different specializations that can be opted by students and their job descriptions along with the annual salaries:

Job ProfileJob DescriptionAnnual Salary
Critical Care NursingResponsible to treat critically ill patients and look after them emotionally.78,400 USD
Gerontology Responsible for assisting senior citizens who are severely ill and bedridden 63,300 USD
Nursing Leadership & ManagementDevise strategies to tackle cases and patients and treat them with understanding.60,710 USD
Palliative CareHelp in recovering from stress and serious illness that a patient suffers.58,650 USD
Coronary Care NursingThese nurses have specialized knowledge in cardiovascular care.56,400 USD
Community Mental HealthThis deals with the mental healthcare of the patient.40,000 USD

Overall despite low application acceptance by Canadian Universities, students are applying for MSN in Canada due to increasing demand for specialized nurses. With a predicted 71% surge till 2026 in requirement of nurses, this can be considered as a competitive option for applicants.

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