Nursing is embedded in the history of Canada. For this reason, the nursing profession is highly respected in Canada. So, if you’ve chosen to study nursing in Canada, you’ve made a wonderful decision.
However, you will need to look at the best schools of nursing in Canada offering the best nursing degree programs.
Studying at one of the best nursing schools in Canada is necessary because the nursing profession takes only the best.
That is why there is a licensing exam. You will have to pass this exam to practice as a nurse, and the assurance of passing the exam is more robust studying in one of the best nursing schools.
Therefore, in this post, we will share with you the best nursing schools in Canada. This will save you the time you’ll spend scouring the internet or flipping through journals for the best nursing programs in Canada.
Also, we will introduce you to the nursing education system in Canada and answer some other questions you may be asking already.
What is the Best Nursing Program in Canada?
Nurse Avenue provides an overview of some of the best undergraduate nursing schools and nursing programs in Canada below.
- British Columbia.
- New Brunswick.
- McMaster University, Hamilton.
- Queen’s University, Kingston.
What is The Easiest Nursing School to Get Into?
According to Education Connection, some of the easiest Nursing schools to get into include;
SCHOOL # OF NURSING STUDENTS % ADMITTED UNDERGRAD TUITION RN NCLEX 1ST TIME PASS RATEBSN NCLEX 1ST TIME PASS RATECox College236100%$11,92093%90%D’Youville College259100%$26,750N/A85%Herzing University – Madison248100%$14,00075%53%The University of Texas at El Paso445100%$22,629N/A98%Mississippi University for Women47498%$6,940N/A100%University of Southern Mississippi22798%$10,624N/A95%Brigham Young University – Idaho24697%$4,118N/A93%California University of Pennsylvania27997%$15,726N/A95%Western Kentucky University31097%$26,28090%99%Wichita State University22096%$17,45284%N/AMaryville University of Saint Louis97595%$28,470N/AN/AWest Coast University – Orange County66795%$34,835N/A91%Wright State University Main Campus26295%$18,398N/AN/AUniversity of Kentucky31994%$29,099N/A99%University of Toledo27794%$19,653N/AN/ACurry College28493%$40,070N/A90%MCPHS University33893%$33,620N/A91%North Dakota State University Main Campus22593%$13,39388%89%University of Saint Francis – Fort Wayne26493%$30,43080%95%Gwynedd Mercy University38292%$33,600N/A88%South Dakota State University37892%$12,128N/A92%Southwestern Oklahoma State University22992%$14,235NA88%University of Alabama at Birmingham99692%$19,704N/A96%University of Kansas24892%$27,358N/AN/ABarry University21591%$30,014N/A87%Marshall University28391%$18,614N/AN/ANebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health25091%$16,308N/A99%University of Colorado Colorado Springs23191%$20,067N/A95%University of Northern Colorado22591%$21,786N/A94%Albany State University32290%$16,19678%93%Indiana State University27790%$19,836N/AN/AJacksonville University57390%$36,670N/A100%Illinois State University21589%$26,040N/A96%Northern Kentucky University22389%$19,680N/A93%school of nursing in canadaWhat is The Hardest Nursing School to Get Into?
Regarding how selective it is and what degree is awarded, The University of Columbia is said to be the number one nursing school in the state of New York and ranked number one in the country.
The University of Columbia is a tough school to get into, attracting thousands of applicants every year.
Nursing Education in Canada
Formal education is necessary to become a nurse in Canada and every part of the world. You must hold at least a two-to-three years diploma in nursing to begin your nursing career.
However, a four-year baccalaureate degree is the ideal minimum requirement for nurses.
Meanwhile, holding a diploma or degree in nursing does not qualify you to practice nursing in Canada. It is only a requirement for you to prepare for writing the licensing examination.
If you have completed a two-year Practical Nursing diploma program in nursing, you can sit for the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination (CPNRE) Computer Based Examination.
Passing this exam will make you a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) in Ontario and Quebec.
On the other, if you have completed a four-year bachelor’s degree in Nursing, you can sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) Computer Based Examination. Passing this exam will make you a Registered Nurse (RN).
Furthermore, you will become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) if you complete a professional master’s degree in Nursing and pass the required nurse practitioner exam.
Nurses in Canada may take further education to specialize in the agency or departments for which they work.
These departments include Cardiovascular Nursing, Community Health Nursing, Diabetes Nursing, Medical-Surgical Nursing, Psychiatric and Medical Health Nursing, etc.
Meanwhile, a Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN) gains a license to practice in only British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and the territories.
On the other hand, a Mental Health Nurse (MHRN) has a license to practice only in Ontario and Quebec.
List of the Best Nursing Schools in Canada
Now that you know how to proceed with your nursing education in Canada, what are the schools to begin your nursing education? This section will give you a list of the best thirteen (13) nursing schools in Canada.
We selected the best nursing school in Canada based on their global ranking and the number of nursing programs they offer.
Based on these criteria, here are the best nursing schools in Canada.
- University of Toronto
- University of Alberta
- McMaster University
- University of British Columbia
- McGill University
- University of Ottawa
- Queen’s University at Kingston
- Université de Montréal
- University of Calgary
- The University of Western Ontario
- Dalhousie University
- University of Manitoba
- Université Laval
Check this out: 10 Most Useful Website Online for Nursing Students in 2023
1. University of Toronto
Address: 155 College St, Suite 130, Toronto, ON M5T 1P8, Canada.
Tuition: $9,100.00 (Domestic Students), $51,660.00 (International Students)
The University of Toronto, or Utoronto, is an ancient university in Ontario, Canada. It began operations in 1827 and offers degree programs in various disciplines to over 60,000 students.
This prestigious university has produced three Governor-General of Canada, four Prime Ministers of Canada, and fourteen Justices of the Supreme Court.
This Canadian public university does not only produce people in government, however. It also produces the best nurses in Canada. It’s Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, one of the best nursing schools in Ontario and Canada.
The QS World University Ranking ranked this Canadian school of nursing 2nd in the world for nursing schools.
The University of Toronto’s nursing programs includes a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN), Master Programs, Post-Master Nurse Practitioner Diploma (PMNP), Master & Doctoral (Collaborative), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).
2. University of Alberta
Address: Edmonton, Alberta T6G 1C9., Canada.
Tuition: $6,207.60 (Domestic Students), $25,978.40 (International Students)
Like UToronto, The University of Alberta or UAlberta is another famous school in Canada. It began operating as a public university in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1908.
The university has thus lived for 111 years. UAlberta has also produced notable alumni like Governor General Roland Michener and Prime Minister Joe Clark.
Offering over 400 programs through 18 faculties, UAlberta is a global research university.
Meanwhile, the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Nursing is the second best nursing school on our list. It ranked 17th in QS World Ranking for Global Nursing School.
UAlberta’s Faculty of Nursing offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate nursing programs.
Its undergraduate programs include BScN Collaborative, BScN Bilingual, BScN Honours, After Degree Program, and Registered Psychiatric Nurse to BScN.
On the other hand, UAlberta’s nursing graduate programs are the MN (Master of Nursing), Ph.D. (Doctoral Program), and the Online Ph.D. Cohort.
If you are studying nursing in any of these schools at the graduate level, you’ll need these 11 Nursing Scholarships For Graduate Students
3. McMaster University
Address: Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1, Canada.
Tuition: $6,042.60(Domestic Students), $35,634 (International Students)
McMaster University is a public university in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. It is also one of the oldest universities in Canada. It began operating in 1887 and has been offering renowned programs in a wide variety of discipline to its students.
McMaster has over 30,000 students and produced alumni who have taken government positions and business leaders.
Meanwhile, McMaster’s school of nursing is one of the nest in Ontario, Canada, and the world. QS ranked it as the 19th school of nursing globally in its 2018 World University ranking.
Additionally, the 2023 Times Higher Education ranking placed the University as the 85th internationally respected university.
At McMaster’s School of Nursing, you can offer the Basic (A) Stream BScN degree if you haven’t had a nursing education before. You can also take the Accelerated (F) Stream or the Post-RPN (E) BScN undergraduate degree.
Meanwhile, for graduate study, you can study either the MSc thesis Based, MSc Course-Based, MSc Course-Based PHCNP, PHCNP Graduate Diploma, or the Ph.D. degree programs.
4. University of British Columbia
Address: T201-2211 Wesbrook Mall. Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 2B5, Canada.
Tuition: $179.97/per credit (Domestic Students), $1,270.79/per credit (International Students)
The University of British Columbia (UBC) is another public university in Canada with the best nursing school.
UBC, British Columbia’s oldest university, has produced great alumni, including Canada’s first female prime minister, Kim Campbell. Additionally, UBC offers accredited degree programs to over 63,000 students from Canada and other parts of the world.
Meanwhile, the University of British Columbia’s nursing school has been around for 100 years. And it has consistently offered one of the best undergraduates and graduates nursing programs to its students. QS World University ranked its nursing school 47th in the world in 2023.
UBC’s nursing school offers a BSN program for undergraduates; MSN, P.hD., MN-NP, and MHLP for graduates; and summer programs. These programs aim to produce nurses who will make a difference in the world.
Check this out: Easiest Nursing Schools To Get Into In 2023 | Expert Guide
5. McGill University
Address: 680 Sherbrooke West, Suite 1800, Montreal, QC, Canada.
Tuition: $7,940.10 (Domestic Students), $ $20,229 (International Students)
McGill University is another top university in Canada. It began operation as a public university in Montreal in 182 and presently offers degrees and diploma programs in over 300 academic disciplines.
Also, just like UToronto and UAlberta, McGill has produced notable alumni. It has produced five astronauts, the current prime minister of Canada, and the current Governor-General of Canada.
Meanwhile, its Ingram school of nursing began in 1920 and has been providing world-class nursing education ever since.
To uphold its mission of training future nurses and optimizing the quality of health, the Ingram School of Nursing offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) and a Bachelor of Nursing (Integrated) BNI for undergraduate students.
Master’s students, on the other hand, can apply for either the MSc(A) Direct Entry, MSC(A) Nurse Bachelor Entry, MSc(A) Nurse Practitioner, or Global Health Studies. Also, Ingram School of Nursing offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing and postdoctoral studies.
6. University of Ottawa
Address: 451 Smyth Rd, Ottawa, ON K1H 8M5, Canada.
Tuition: $499/per credit hour
The University of Ottawa (uOttawa) is another university in Canada with the best nursing school. It began operation as a public university in Ottawa, Canada in 1848 and now has a student population of over 41,000 students.
uOttawa is a comprehensive university that offers many degree programs in various fields of study in both English and French.
It is the largest bilingual university in the world, and it boasts of a graduate employment rate of 97%
Also, among the quality programs uOttawa offers is its nursing programs. It provides it through the University of Ottawa School of Nursing, under the Health Sciences faculty.
This school of nursing in Canada is 30 years old but yet produces one of the best nursing degree programs in Canada. QS World University Ranking ranked uOttawa’s School of Nursing 41st in the world.
The Ottawa School of Nursing offers the Honours Bachelor in Nursing for undergraduates.
However, for graduates, this Canadian nursing school offers the Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Science Nursing/Diploma in Primary Health Care for Nursing Practitioners, Master of Science Nursing Specialization in Women’s Studies, and Doctorate in Philosophy Nursing.
If you want to complete a nursing certificate program quickly, you can try these top 11 Certified Nursing Assistant Online Classes.
7. Queen’s University at Kingston
Address: 92 Barrie Street Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada.
Tuition: $7,333.58 (Domestic Students), $48,077.78 (International Students)
Queen’s University at Kingston is another university in Canada with one of the best nursing schools. Queen’s is an old public university in Canada.
It began its operation in 1841 and offers accredited programs to over 28,000 students. Also, Queen’s University at Kingston maintains a rich history. It was the first university west of the maritime provinces to admit women.
Today, it has produced government officials, academics, and business leaders alumni.
In all its grandeur achievements, Queen’s University as Kingston also offers a variety of nursing programs for undergraduates and graduates.
Its nursing school is one of the best in Ontario, Canada, and the world. QS World ranking places Queen’s University at Kingston’s School of Nursing around the 51st to 100th in the world, making it a nursing school you should love to attend.
Queen’s University’s nursing undergraduate programs include the Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNSc) and BNSc-Accelerated Standing Track.
On the other hand, it’s graduate programs are the Ph.D. in Nursing, Master of Nursing Science, Master of Nursing (MN(PHCNP)), Master of Nursing (Post-NP Certificate), and PHCNP Diploma.
8. University of Calgary
Address: 2500 University Drive NW Calgary, AB, Canada.
Tuition: $3,231.54 (Domestic Students), $11,003.04 (International Students)
The University of Calgary, or UCalgary, is another notable university in Canada that offers one of the best nursing programs.
Although it is not as old as most of the universities on this list, UCalgary has 14 faculties and over 85 research institutes and centers.
This public university began in 1944 as the Calgary branch of the University of Alberta before it became a separate university in 1966.
Nonetheless, the University of Calgary has a total student population of over 25,000 students who study a wide variety of accredited programs in many departments and faculties.
Meanwhile, UCalgary’s nursing school is one of the best in Canada. QS World University ranking ranked it between 51-100 schools of nursing in the world.
This nursing school in Calgary, Canada, offer an undergraduate nursing degree program and several graduate degree program. UCalgary’s undergraduate degree in nursing is the Bachelor of Nursing program at medicine Hat college.
On the other hand, UCalgary’s graduate programs are the Stackable Certificate MN program, Doctoral Program (Ph.D.), Master of Nursing: Thesis-based (MN), Master of Nursing: Course-based (MN), Master of Nursing – Nurse Practitioner (MNNP), Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner (PMNP), and Master of Nursing/Master of Business Administration (MN/MBA).
9. Université de Montréal
Address: CP 6128, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7, Canada.
Tuition: $1,195 per session (Domestic Students), $8,186 per session (International Students)
The Université de Montréal, or the University of Montreal, is another university in Canada that offers quality nursing programs.
This public higher institution in Canada began its operation as way back as 1878 and has over 46,000 students. Meanwhile, at inception, the University of Montreal began as a Satellite Campus of the Universite Laval.
However, in 1920 it became what it is today and moved to its present location in Mount Royal.
This comprehensive Canadian university offers over 650 undergraduate and graduate programs through its 13 faculties and two affiliated schools.
Among the University of Montreal’s faculties is the Faculty of Nursing. This faculty ranks 51–100 in QS World Universities’ ranking for Nursing Schools worldwide.
However, the University of Montreal’s faculty of Nursing offers only graduate programs. You can take a Master of Science (MSc) in Nursing, a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing, and Graduate diplomas in the university of Montreal’s faculty of Nursing.
Another shortcoming of the university is that it offers its degree programs in French. Hence, international students must master the language perfectly well.
10. The University of Western Ontario
Address: London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 3K7.
Tuition: $6,050.00 (Domestic Students), $39,836.00 (International Students)
The University of Western Ontario (UWO) is a public university in London, Ontario. It began operating as a university as far back as 1878 but rebranded to Western University in 2012.
The university boasts of over 35,000 students who take accredited programs in its 11 faculties and schools. However, UWO’s school of nursing is one of the best in Ontario and Canada.
Western University’s nursing school ranks #172 in QS World University’s School of Nursing World Ranking, 2023.
This Canadian nursing school provides you the knowledge to practice as a Nurse both in Canada and globally.
At Western’s Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, you can take the Western-Fanshawe Collaborative BScN or the Compressed Time Frame (CTF) BScN as an undergraduate nursing student.
If you’re more interested in Nursing conferences, then see these 15+ Nursing Conferences for International Students.
11. Dalhousie University
Address: P.O. Box 15000, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3H 4R2.
Tuition: $10,857.06 (Domestic Students), $21,071.06 (International Students)
Dalhousie University, or Dal, is another old university in Canada. It began operating as a public university in 1818 and offers over 4,000 courses and 180-degree programs in 12 faculties to undergraduate and graduate students.
Dal has a total student population of over 20,000 and offers one of the best nursing programs in Canada.
Although it doesn’t rank as one of the top 100 schools in QS World University Global School of Nursing, Dalhousie university’s school of nursing has global excellence.
Also, this Canadian University’s school of nursing offers undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs to its nursing students.
As an undergraduate, you can choose between the BScN (Arctic Nursing) program and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program.
Meanwhile, you can also take certificate programs in Oncology, Public Health, Mental Health, and Acute/Critical Care Nursing as an option to undergraduate nursing degrees.
Additionally, Dal offers a Master of Nursing (MN), Master of Science in Nursing (MScN), and Doctor of Nursing (Ph.D.) to nursing graduates.
12. University of Manitoba
Address: 89, Curry Place, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada.
Tuition: $5,700 (Domestic Students), $19,100 (International Students)
The University of Manitoba, or UM, is a prestigious university in Canada. And it houses one of the best nursing schools in Canada.
This public university began operation as a university in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1877 and has a total student population of over 30,000.
It is the largest university in the province of Manitoba, offering a wide range of degree program to domestic and international students.
The University of Manitoba has a College of Nursing in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences that offers quality nursing programs to nursing students.
The programs you can take at UM include Bachelor of Nursing, Aboriginal Nursing Cohort Initiative, Master of Nursing|Nurse Practitioner, and Ph.D. in Nursing.
13. Université Laval
Address: 89, Curry Place, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada.
Tuition: $8,852.28 (Domestic Students), $20,370.78 (International Students)
Université Laval is one of the oldest universities in Canada. It began as a public university in 1663 in Quebec, Canada, with over 43,000 students.
The university ranks among the top ten universities in Canada based on research funding. It holds the history of being the first North American University to offer tertiary education in French.
Meanwhile, this French, North American university offers accredited degree programs to its students through its 19 faculties.
One of these faculties is the Université Laval Faculty of Nursing, which has offered quality nursing education to domestic and international students for 50 years.
Université Laval nursing school may not rank in the top hundred globally. Still, it offers some of the best nursing programs in the country with its practical training and modern infrastructure.
Université Laval’s nursing programs include Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master’s degree in nursing (professional master’s degree, Master of Science in Nursing – with MSc (Master’s Research), Master’s degree, and DESS in Adult Client Care (IPSSA), MSc and DESS in Primary Care (IPSPL), and Master of Public Health.
This prestigious Canadian nursing school also offers a Doctorate program in Nursing and a Doctorate program in Community Health.
FAQs- School of Nursing in Canada
What is the tuition cost of nursing school in Canada?
The tuition cost of nursing school in Canada will vary according to your preferred nursing school and the degree program.
The University of Calgary charges are as low as $3,231.54 (Domestic Students) and $11,003.04 (International Students) for its Bachelor of Nursing program.
On the other hand, the University of Toronto charges as high as $9,100.00 (Domestic Students) and $51,660.00 (International Students). So, you can estimate the tuition cost of studying for an undergraduate nursing degree in Canada within this range.
What is the duration of a nursing school program in Canada?
To become a nurse in Canada, you must complete a two-year diploma program as a Practical nurse or a four-year bachelor’s degree in Nursing as a Registered Nurse.
Afterward, you must sit for and pass the nursing licensing exam to practice as a nurse in Canada.
Is NCLEX accepted in Canada?
Yes, NCLEX is now accepted in Canada, as with nine other countries worldwide.
So, suppose you’re a Canadian student, graduate, or international applicant seeking licensure/registration in Canada. In that case, you can take the NCLEX at any Pearson VUE test center within Canada, throughout the mainland U.S., and at select test centers internationally.
How long does it take to become a Registered Nurse in Canada?
The minimum number of years it will take you to become a Registered Nurse in Canada is four, after which you may have to take specialized programs that span a year or two to become a better practitioner.
Meanwhile, some nursing schools in Canada complete their bachelor’s program in three years. Also, you can become a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) after two years of completing a nursing diploma course and aceing the licensing exam.
Is the Nursing program hard in Canada?
Like many other professional disciplines, nursing is hard to pull through in College. However, your passion for the profession would most likely keep you in College.
Also, Nursing Colleges in the US and Canada are recording a high student retention rate, which means that students complete their program, be it as it may.
Meanwhile, if you are concerned about how difficult it is to get into a nursing school in Canada, worry no more. Most nursing schools in Canada have relatively high acceptance rates.
However, several universities in Canada offer nursing programs where you can switch if one fails.
Studying for a nursing program in Canada is one of the best decisions you will ever make. In addition to the quality of education you will receive, you will also get the opportunity to help people stay healthy by working in the Canadian nursing school’s clinics.
However, you may have first to decide the kind of nurse you’ll want to be (especially if you’ll be practicing in Canada) because of the regional restriction on specific nursing specializations in Canada.
Also, if you have decided to attend one of the best nursing programs in Canada, you will need to use this post as a guide to select the school that’ll save costs for you. You can watch the full video below for more details.
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