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Top Nursing Colleges in Canada

Komal Yadav Komal Yadav
Study Abroad Expert

Nursing is a degree course that teaches the students the skills required to promote the health and safety of the ill, the disabled and the elderly group of the society. Nurses are the backbone of the medical industry. Here are some of the reasons why international students should pursue nursing courses 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 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.

Globally Ranked Nursing Colleges in Canada

There are around 67 nursing colleges in Canada offering degrees at bachelor, graduate and doctorate levels. University of Toronto and University of British Columbia are two top-ranking colleges that do not offer direct bachelor entry to nursing courses for international students. 

Some of the top-ranking colleges and the courses offered have been listed down below:

UniversityQS Ranking 2020Courses offered
University of Toronto7Bachelor, master, and Ph.D. course
McMaster University154 bachelor, 3 graduate diploma, a master course
McGill University212bachelor, 9 masters, 4 graduate diploma, Ph.D. courses
University of Alberta232 bachelor, 2 masters, Ph.D. courses
University of British Columbia38Bachelor, master courses
Western University45Bachelor Course
Queen’s University at Kingston51-1002 bachelor, 2 master, 2 PhD courses
University of Calgary51-100Bachelor, 4 masters, certificate, diploma, PhD courses

Nursing Colleges in Canada: Degree Types and Specializations

Nursing colleges in Canada offer around 140 courses in different degree levels and different specializations. At the bachelor level, Bachelor in Science in Nursing (BSN) and Bachelor in Science (BSc) degree is offered. 

At the graduate level, Master in Science in Nursing (M.S.N), Master in Applied Science in Nursing (MASc) and graduate certificate and graduate diploma degrees are offered. A Ph.D. in Nursing is offered after completion of the doctorate program. There are various specializations international students can choose from according to their interests. 

Here are some of the specializations:

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

Nursing Colleges in Canada: Undergraduate Courses

Colleges for nursing in Canada offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree as a regular degree or as an accelerated degree. A regular BSN degree takes 4 years to complete the course whereas, in an accelerated degree, the course duration is 2 years. 

At the bachelor level, the program mainly focuses on the protection of health by prevention and treatment of illness. Hence, clinical practice is a very important part of bachelor in nursing in Canada. 

Here are some of the universities offering bachelors degree in nursing:

UniversityCourse offeredDurationYearly Fees in CAD
McMaster UniversityBachelor of Science in Nursing [B.S.N]424,277
Bachelor of Science in Nursing [B.S.N] (Accelerated)224,277
Bachelor of Science [B.Sc] Midwifery424,277
McGill UniversityBachelor of Nursing (integrated)536,561
Bachelor of Science in Nursing [B.S.N]331,794
University of AlbertaBachelor of Science in Nursing [B.S.N] Registered Psychiatric Nurse220,250
Bachelor of Science in Nursing [B.S.N]420,250
Western UniversityBachelor of Science in Nursing [B.S.N]423,281
Queen’s University at KingstonBachelor Nursing Science417,358
Bachelor Nursing Science (Accelerated Standing Track)417,358

Bachelors in Nursing in Canada: Eligibility Criteria

Bachelor in nursing in Canada is offered with various specializations and various degree types. The eligibility criteria depend on the course and the university. But there are some minimum basic criteria that international students need to have to apply for any course. The minimum basic criteria common to most universities have been listed down below:

  • A 12 grade level of education with a minimum of 65%.
  • Some universities demand English and Mathematics and some science courses at the 12-grade level
  • Completion of a mandatory CASPer Test (Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics).
  • Language Proficiency tests (IELTS- a minimum overall band of 6.5, TOEFL- a minimum of 80 )

Documents Required for Bachelors in Nursing in Canada Admission

  • Official transcripts and language test scores.
  • CASPer Test document
  • Letter of Recommendation (LOR)
  • Resume

Bachelors in Nursing in Canada: Tuition Fees

The tuition fees for a bachelor’s degree in nursing colleges in Canada range from 52,000 CAD to 169,000 CAD (total program fees).

Nursing Colleges in Canada: Graduate Courses

Nursing colleges in Canada offer a master’s degree as a normal MSc course or a research-based MSN course. It is usually a 2-year program. Some universities offer graduate diploma and graduate certificate courses on various specializations in nursing which usually takes 1 year to complete. 

There are more than 20 universities offering masters in nursing in Canada. Some of them have been tabulated below:

UniversitiesCourse OfferedDurationAnnual fees in CAD
University of TorontoMaster of Nursing [M.N]339,967
McMaster UniversityMaster of Science in Nursing [M.S.N]212,820
Graduate Diploma Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner18,547
Graduate Diploma Neonatal Nursing - Advanced28,547
McGill UniversityMaster of Applied Science [M.ASc] Nursing - Advanced Clinical Practice213,583
Master of Applied Science [M.ASc] Nursing - Mental Health Nurse Practitioner213,583
Master of Applied Science [M.ASc] Nursing - Neonatology Nurse Practitioner213,583
Master of Applied Science [M.ASc] Nursing - Nursing Services Administration213,583
University of AlbertaMaster of Nursing [M.N]27,100
Master of Nursing [M.N]27,875
University of British ColumbiaMaster of Science in Nursing [M.S.N]26,714
Queen’s University at KingstonMaster Nursing Science241,343

Masters in Nursing in Canada: Eligibility Criteria

To study masters in Nursing colleges in Canada, international students should fulfill some academic criteria as mentioned by the university. For students from non-EU backgrounds, they need to provide an English language proficiency test (IELTS, TOEFL) score.

Here are some of the general admission requirements usually demanded by most nursing colleges in Canada:

  • 4 years of a bachelor's degree
  • Most universities want 1 year of clinical experience
  • Language Proficiency Test scores (IELTS- a minimum of 6.5, TOEFL- minimum 90)

Documents Required for Masters in Nursing in Canada Admission

  • Official Transcripts of all the previous academic qualifications
  • Language Test Scores
  • A verified clear criminal record certificate
  • A valid nursing license for practice in Canada
  • 2-3 Letter of Recommendations (LOR)
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Resume 

Masters in Nursing in Canada: Tuition Fees

The tuition fees for masters in nursing in Canada can be as low as 6,200 CAD in the University of British Columbia to around 40,000 CAD per year at the University of Toronto. The average fee is around 37,000 CAD for one year of a master’s program.

Nursing Colleges in Canada: Doctorate Courses

Ph.D. courses in Nursing in Canada is usually a 4-year course. It prepares Certified nurses to contribute to the field through research. A Ph.D. degree is necessary if the student wants to gain leadership roles in the field or wants to work for research labs for the betterment of the community. 

Some of the colleges offering Ph.D. degree are:

UniversityCourse OfferedDuration in yearsAnnual Fees in CAD
University of TorontoPh.D. in Nursing Science54,657
McGill UniversityPh.D. in Nursing411,570
University of AlbertaPh.D. in Nursing47,100
Dalhousie UniversityPh.D. in Nursing46,105

Ph.D. in Nursing in Canada: Eligibility Criteria

In order to pursue a Ph.D. in Nursing in Canada, international students need to satisfy following minimum requirements: 

  • Complete a graduate and master’s degree in Nursing or in a relative field with a first-class degree. (75% or higher)
  • GRE scores. ( minimum score depends on the university and the course)
  • Language Proficiency Test scores (IELTS - a minimum overall band of 6.5, TOEFL- minimum score of 90)

Documents Required for PhD in Nursing in Canada Admission

  • Official transcripts of the previous degrees attained
  • GRE and language test scores
  • Resume
  • Research paper ( if any)
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)

Ph.D. in Nursing in Canada: Tuition Fees

The average tuition fees for a Ph.D. course in Nursing in Canada range from 10,000-20,000 CAD per year.

Scholarships Available in Nursing Colleges in Canada

Nursing is one of the top demanded jobs in Canada due to the difference in demand and supply in the industry which is almost 13,200 by 2026 according to job banks Canada. To meet this deficiency of registered nurses in Canada, the Canadian Government has introduced some policies and scholarships to encourage international students in Canada to pursue this discipline. 

The universities are also providing various scholarships for international students to pursue nursing in Canada. Some of these scholarships and their details are below:

ScholarshipAwarding CommitteeAward (in CAD)
The Class of 1966 Nursing ScholarshipMcMaster University1,000
The Lori Scott Nursing ScholarshipMcMaster University5,000
F.A. Davis Nursing Undergraduate ScholarshipMcGill University1,500
Susan Nelles ScholarshipQueen's UniversityVaries
BN Nursing ScholarshipUniversity of Calgary1,500
School of Nursing ScholarshipUniversity of Ottawa1,000
Banting Postdoctoral FellowshipsGovernment of Canada50,000 per year (taxable)
General Entrance Award program for Prospective undergraduate studentsDalhousie UniversityVaries
Aramark Leadership AwardsDalhousie University4000
National Overseas ScholarshipGovernment of India20,290

Scope After Pursuing Nursing Courses in Canada

 To practice nursing in Canada, international students would have to get a license from the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA). There are separate licenses for the different states in Canada. 

How to get a license for practicing nursing in Canada

In Canada, the nursing profession is self-regulated – the provincial and territorial nursing bodies regulate the practice of nursing to best serve the interests of the public.So you need to get a license for the province you are willing to work in.

The requirements for licensure are decided by the provincial bodies.In order to get the license you will have to sit for the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination which is a national level examination, except for Quebec, which has its own examination.The CNA administers the exam three times per year and can be taken as many times as a student wants. 

After getting the license, students will be able to apply for nursing jobs in Canada. Below are some important job roles and their average salary range:

Job RoleAverage Annual Salary (in CAD)
Psychiatric Nurse44,160- 88,320
Critical Care Nurse supervisor40,320- 96,000
Nurse Practitioner- Adult care42,240 - 1,15,000
Nursing Professor38,400 - 1,45,920
Nurse- Midwife42,240 - 1,15,000
Nurse Team Leader40,320- 96,000
Family Nurse Practitioner42,240 - 1,15,000
Clinical Informatics Specialist44,160- 88,320
Clinical Research Manager38,4000 - 1,01,760
Mental Health Nurse44,160- 88,320
Licensed practical nurse38,4000 - 63,360
  • 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, while 143,900 new job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) are expected to be available to fill them.
  • 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
  • It is expected that immigration nurse practitioners will account for around 40% of the job opening in the country.
  • According to Statistica, the total number of employed nurses in registered nursing in Canada in 2008 stood over 261,000, but by 2018, it increased to around 287,000.

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. A registered nurse in Canada earns around 142,000 CAD in Canada annually.

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