Study BSc Nursing in Canada: Complete Course Guide for International Students

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    Komal Yadav

    Study Abroad Expert

    BSc Nursing in Canada is available as a regular and accelerated degree and can be completed within 4 years. This program is mainly focused on the protection of health by prevention and treatment of illness. Clinical practise is an important part of the curriculum of Canadian universities offering BSc in Nursing.

    • BSc Nursing in Canada fees ranges between 52,000 CAD to 169,000 CAD (total program fees).
    • English and mathematics at the secondary education level are required for admission in most of the Canadian universities
    • University of Toronto and University of British Columbia accepts only transfer students with previous university coursework in BSc Nursing program. 
    • A registered nurse earns approximately 142,000 CAD per annum in Canada. 

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    Why Study Nursing in Canada

    The overall expenditure on healthcare represents 11.6% of the total domestic product of Canada in 2019. With the increasing focus of the government towards this sector, the jobs for medical graduates in Canada is also on the rise. 

    • Full-time nursing jobs in Canada are expected to rise by 3.4%, from 64,000 in 2019 to 142,000 in 2035. 
    • 80% of the Registered Nursing (RN) graduates are able to obtain nursing license in Canada within 2 years of graduation.
    • Internationally educated nurses increased by 7.8% from 2014 to 2018, representing 8.5% of the total nursing population of Canada. 
    • From 2008 to 2017, Registered Nurses (RNs) increased by 12,283, Licensed Nurses (LNs) by 6,685 and Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPNs) by 294. 
    Number of Nurses in Canada

    Top Universities for BSc Nursing in Canada

    10 universities of Canada were included in the list of top 100 universities for the nursing program, according to QS News World University Ranking of 2019. Except for the University of Montreal, all the other 9 universities offer BSc Nursing in Canada. 

    Following table lists the top 10 universities in Canada for nursing, along with their program duration and total fees: 

    University Ranking Program Offered Duration Total Program Fees (in CAD) Brochure
    University of Toronto 7 2 years $113,900 Brochure
    McMaster University 15 4 years $52,094 Brochure
    McGill University 21 4 years $169,568 Brochure
    University of Alberta 23 4 years $103,912 Brochure
    University of British Columbia (UBC) 38 2 years $117,304 Brochure
    Western University 45 4 years $159,344 Brochure
    Queen's University at Kingston 51 – 100 4 years $189,420 Brochure
    University of Calgary 51 – 100 4 years $51,348 Brochure
    University of Ottawa 51 – 100 4 years $142,016 Brochure
    Dalhousie University - 3 years $70,020 Brochure

    BSc Nursing in Canada: Course Type and Subjects

    Students pursuing bachelor of nursing are taught about human anatomy, physiology and related subjects. BSc Nursing in Canada is available in two types: Basic or Regular Stream and Accelerated Stream.

    • Basic Stream: This program is for students having no previous nursing education and takes 4 years to complete. 
    • Accelerated Stream: Students who already have completed two years at a university can opt for accelerated BSc Nursing program. Human anatomy and physiology must be studied as compulsory subjects within those two years. 

    Some of the courses taught in BSc Nursing program are:

    • Nursing theory
    • Nursing practice
    • Nurse as a professional person
    • Professional issues
    • Path physiology
    • Human anatomy
    • Physiology
    • Psychology
    • General education

    Admission to BSc Nursing in Canada

    Students are required to have a secondary school diploma/certificate with English as mandatory subject to apply for BSc Nursing in Canada. Some universities such as University of Toronto and University of British Columbia accept only transfer students in bachelor of nursing programs. 

    Where to Apply: Application for ontario universities must be submitted via OUAC application portal whereas universities of alberta accept application through ApplyAlberta application portal. Universities in the rest of the Canadian province have their own portal for accepting applications. 

    Eligibility for BSc Nursing in Canada

    Minimum eligibility for BSc Nursing in Canada is described below for some of the universities: 

    Requirements for University of Toronto BSc Nursing

    • Completion of at least 10 university equivalent full-courses
    • 75% or 3.0 GPA in the last year of study or in the last five courses
    • Studied following courses in the previous education
      • Human Physiology
      • Life Sciences or Physical Sciences
      • Social Sciences 
      • Humanities
      • Statistics
      • Personal Statement
    • Two letter of references: one academic and one work-related
    • Interview (not mandatory)

    Requirements for McMaster University BSc Nursing

    • 85% or above average at secondary school level
    • Completion of a mandatory CASPer Test (Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics)

    Requirements for University of Alberta BSc Nursing

    • 70% overall at secondary school level and 50% in each required course
    • Completed following courses at high school level:
      • English
      • Fine Arts, Humanities, Languages other than English, Physical Education or Math/Sciences
      • Biology
      • Chemistry
      • Calculus or Mathematics

    Requirements for University of British Columbia BSc Nursing

    • Direct school entry is not allowed at UBC’s nursing program. Only transfer students satisfying below mentioned criteria are eligible to apply here:
    • 70% or above average in recent 30 transferable credits
    • Studied human anatomy and physiology courses specified by the university
    • Updated Resume
    • Completed CASPer test

    Requirements for Western University BSc Nursing

    • 65% average in mandatory Grade 12 courses
    • Mandatory Courses: English, Biology, Chemistry, Math
    • Completion of CASPer test

    Requirements for Queen’s University BSc Nursing

    • Studied English, Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics at secondary school level
    • 75% or above average in English
    • Personal Statement of Experience (recommended)

    Requirements for University of Ottawa BSc Nursing

    • Studied following courses at secondary school level:
      • English or French
      • Biology
      • Chemistry
      • Mathematics
    • Scored 65% or above average in chemistry and biology

    Requirements for Dalhousie University BSc Nursing

    • Studied following courses at secondary school level:
      • English
      • Mathematics
      • Biology
      • Chemistry
      • One additional university preparatory course
    • 75% or above in each compulsory subject
    • Completed CASPer test

    Proof of English Proficiency

    Students from countries where English is not the primary language are required to provide evidence of English proficiency. This could be done by submitting IELTS or TOEFL test scores. Minimum requirements for some of the top universities of Canada is specified below: 

    University Minimum IELTS Score Required Minimum TOEFL (iBT) Score Required
    University of Toronto 6.5 100
    McMaster University 6.5 86
    McGill University 6.5 90
    University of Alberta 6.5 90
    University of British Columbia 6.5 90
    Western University 7.0 92
    Queen’s University at Kingston 6.5 88
    University of Calgary 7.0 92
    University of Ottawa 6.5 86
    Dalhousie University 6.5 90

    Cost of Studying BSc Nursing in Canada

    A student interested in studying abroad has to bear a lot of expenses including pre-arrival cost, tuition fees and cost of living. 

    Pre-arrival Cost

    As the term suggests, this expense is incurred even before a student is enrolled in the university. A generalized list of these costs is tabulated below:

    Type of Expense Cost (in CAD)
    Application Fee $140 (approx)
    IELTS Fee $309
    TOEFL Fee $210 - $330
    CASPer Fee $50
    Air Travel $350 - $1200
    Health Insurance $600 - $800

    BSc Nursing in Canada: Fees

    Fees structure of BSc Nursing in Canada includes tuition fees, ancillary fees, student union fees, laboratory fees etc. Tuition fee forms a major portion of this fee structure. Calgary University and McMaster university have the lowest annual tuition fee of 12,837 CAD and 13,024 CAD respectively among the top universities offering BSc Nursing in Canada. 

    Tuition Fee of BSc Nursing in Canada

    Cost of Living in Canada

    The Cost of living in Canada for international students includes books, food, clothing, accommodation and other personal charges. This is estimated to be around 14,000 CAD to 19,601 CAD per year. 

    Following charges are incurred throughout the year for a student living in Canada:

    • Food: 3,267 CAD - 4,574 CAD
    • Books and Other Educational Supplies: 1,960 CAD - 2,631 CAD
    • Clothing: 1,045 CAD - 1,306 CAD
    • Other Personal Expenses: 6,534 CAD - 9,800 CAD

    Scholarships for BSc Nursing in Canada

    One of the advantages of studying BSc Nursing is the availability of scholarships in Canada for international students specifically for this program. These awards are usually sponsored by the Health Sciences Department of the respective universities. 

    Below is the list of few of such scholarships available for international students enrolled in bsc Nursing in Canada: 

    Scholarship University Eligibility Award Value (in CAD)
    Dean’s Global Award of Excellence University of Toronto Enrollment in BScN program $20,000 per year
    The Class of 1966 Nursing Scholarship McMaster University Academic Performance $1,000
    The Steve Baxter Memorial Scholarship McMaster University Leadership qualities $1,000
    The Lori Scott Nursing Scholarship McMaster University Completed Level 1 in Nursing $5,000
    F.A. Davis Nursing Undergraduate Scholarship McGill University Enrollment in Nursing program $1,500
    Canadian Nurses Foundation Awards University of British Columbia Enrollment in BScN $1,500
    Susan Nelles Scholarship Queen's University 4th year student of BScN Varies
    BN Nursing Scholarship University of Calgary Academic Performance $1,500
    School of Nursing Scholarship University of Ottawa Enrollment in School of Nursing $1,000

    Scope of BSc Nursing in Canada

    Post basic BSc Nursing in Canada, students can opt for becoming a registered nurse to apply for Masters in Nursing in Canada for any other country. A separate license is required for each province or territory of Canada to practise as a nurse. 

    Canadian Registered Nurse Examination conducted by the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is the common examination to become a registered nurse in Canada, except in Quebec. This exam is conducted three times a year. 

    Jobs in Canada after BSc Nursing

    Average salary for BSc Nursing in Canada is estimated to be 142,000 CAD per annum. Nursing jobs in Canada salary starts from 104,000 CAD and can go up as high as 201,000 CAD. This includes other benefits such as housing and transportation. 

    Jobs after BSc Nursing in Canada

    Advantages of studying BSc Nursing from Canada are many including increasing job opportunities, globally recognized degree and easy PR route. That's why more international students are attracted towards bachelors in nursing programs in Canada. 


    Ques. Which is the best place to study BSc Nursing in Canada for international students?

    Ans. University of Toronto, McMaster University, McGill University, University of Alberta, University of British Columbia (UBC), Western University and Queen's University at Kingston are some of the popular universities offering BSc Nursing in Canada.

    Ques.How much does a nursing degree costs in Canada?

    Ans. Annual tuition fee of top universities offering BSc Nursing in Canada ranges between 12,500 CAD to 59,000 CAD. In addition to this, the living cost for international students in Canada is approximately 14,000 CAD to 19,601 CAD. 

    Ques. What are the requirements to study nursing in Canada?

    Ans. International students are required to have a secondary school diploma with English and Mathematics as compulsory subjects for admission in BSc Nursing in Canada. Some universities also ask for completion of a CASPer test.

    Ques. What is the scope of BSc Nursing in Canada?

    Ans. International students can apply for an RN license to work as nurse after completion of BSc Nursing in Canada. Salary for BSc Nursing in Canada is 142,000 CAD per year (approx).