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

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    Bhavya Rawal

    Study Abroad Expert


    Masters in Nursing (MSN) in Canada 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.

    Why Study Masters in Nursing in Canada?

    • 10 nursing colleges in Canada rank in the top 100 nursing colleges globally, in the QS World Rankings of 2020.
    • Nursing jobs in Canada are expected to rise by 3.4% by 2035. The number of nurses required by 2026 will go up by 71% in Canada.
    • The number of internationally educated nurses has grown by 7.8%, representing almost 8.5% of the total Canadian registered nurses population.
    • The average annual salary for nursing jobs in Canada starts from 104,000 CAD and can go up as high as 201,000 CAD.
    • According to Statistica, the number of graduates in nursing who registered for studying in Canada has increased by almost 30% in the 2007-2017 stretch.
    • Canadian Universities offer approximately 10 popularly chosen specializations like a family practitioner, critical care nursing, gerontology, community mental health, etc.

    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. With more around 10 Canadian universities ranking gloablly for masters in nursing, listed below are these nursing colleges of Canada. The table also gives their global ranks (QS subject-wise ranking) and the program fees. 

    University Name QS Subject-Wise Rankings Approx. Program Fees (USD)
    University of Toronto #7 39200
    McMaster University #15 25600
    McGill University #21 19600
    University of Alberta #23 15150
    University of British Columbia #38 7280
    Western University #45 41750
    University of Calgary  #51-100 11656
    University of Ottawa #51-100 47800

    Nursing colleges in Canada offer a master’s degree as a normal MSc course or a research-based MSN course. These popular graduate programs in Canada ensure that the student can work as a registered nurse in Canada. 

    What is Masters in Nursing in Canada all About?

    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 1 Term 2
    Foundations of Nursing Knowledge Learning/Teaching in Nurse Education 
    Knowledge Synthesis Perspectives on Nursing Leadership
    Nursing Inquiry Skills in Nursing Leadership 
    Healthcare Policy Healthcare Ethics & Decision Making
    Perspectives on Nursing Education Theses 

    MSN Specializations in Canada

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

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

    Masters in Nursing in Canada: Admissions

    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:
    University GPA/Percentage LORs SOP Resume Transcripts
    U of T B+ 2 Required Required Required
    McMaster University B+ 3 Required  Required  Required 
    McGill University B 2 Required  Required  Required 
    UAlberta B 2-3 Required  Not mandatory Required 
    UBC 76% 3 Required Required Required
    UWO 78% 2 Required Not Mandatory Required
    University of Calagry B 2 Required Not Mandatory Required
    University of Ottawa 70% 2 Not Mandatory Not Mandatory Required

    English Language Proficiency

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

    University TOEFL IELTS
    U of T 93 7.0
    McMaster University 92 7.0
    McGill University 100 7.5
    UAlberta 97 7.0
    UBC 100 6.5
    UWO 100 7.0
    University of Calagry 97 7.0
    University of Ottawa 97 7.0

      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.

      Expenses Cost (in USD) 
      Application Fee 68-113*
      Health Insurance 401-607
      Visa Application Fee 235
      Transcript Evaluation 160

      * 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 Accommodation 200-800
      Meals  45 (per meal in a day)
      Travel  25 (per day)
      Financial Statement 10,000

      Masters in Nursing in Canada: Tuition Fees 

      The tuition fees is one of the major expense for an international student. Given below is a graph representing the annual tuition fees for some of the popular universities. 

      Annual Tuition fee for MSN in Canadian Universities

      Cost of Living in Canada

      The cost of living in Canada includes accommodation, food, transport, beverage, etc. The description of expenses are tabulated below:

      Type of Expense Cost in USD/year
      Books and Material 756-1510
      Food and Beverage  3000-4000
      Accommodations  4,500-15,000

      * 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 with Scholarships

      International students who wish to study nursing in Canada can apply for various scholarships. Nursing colleges in Canada, like McMaster, McGill, Calgary, etc offer a variety of scholarships to its nursing students. As the cost of studying in Canada can cost an international stduent a hefty amount, they can apply for scholarships & loans available to study in Canada. International students looking for scholarships offered to study masters programs in Canada, click here.

      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.

      • Salaries of Registered Nurses (RNs) licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered psychiatric nurses (RPNs) range from about $40,000 to $80,000 depending on location, education and level of responsibility.
      • According to job bank Canada, over the period 2017-2026, new job openings for registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses are expected to total 157,100.
      • Employment growth in the nursing industry in Canada is expected to be among the highest of all occupations, accounting for more than 40% of all job openings

      The following table shows the different specializations that can be opted by students and their job descriptions along with the annual salaries:

      Job Profile Job Description Average Annual Salary (USD)
      Critical Care Nursing Responsible to treat critically ill patients and look after them emotionally. 78,400 
      Gerontology  Responsible for assisting senior citizens who are severely ill and bedridden  63,300 
      Nursing Leadership & Management Devise strategies to tackle cases and patients and treat them with understanding. 60,710 
      Palliative Care Help in recovering from stress and serious illness that a patient suffers. 58,650 
      Coronary Care Nursing These nurses have specialized knowledge in cardiovascular care. 56,400 
      Community Mental Health This deals with the mental healthcare of the patient. 40,000 

      Overall despite low application acceptance by Canadian Universities, students are applying for MSN in Canada due to increasing demand for specialized nurses. Nursing degree in Canada is profitable for an international student as the return on investment is high. Due to the demand in the nursing industry, students can get placed just after their graduation. With a predicted 71% surge till 2026 in requirement of nurses, this can be considered as a competitive option for applicants.