Nursing Courses in Canada for International Students

Nurses earn up to $90,000 in Canada, that’s a lot of money, so if you actually land a job here, you will make some money and have a better life. Is Canada your preferred study destination? If yes, with nursing as your field, there are lots of profitable courses here that you can study. It’s time to pack your bags for an exciting adventure in the Great White North.

Yes, there is a current shortage of healthcare professionals in Canada. However, Camada is experiencing a significant demand for qualified nurses. So, as an international student, you have lots of opportunities awaiting you in the Canadian healthcare system. Canada offers excellent nursing education, and you’ll enjoy diverse career paths and even a chance to apply for permanent residency. Does this sound like something you are interested in? Then this guide is for you.


Nursing Courses in Canada for International Students

Nursing Courses in Canada

1. Practical Nursing (PN)

We have the Practical Nursing (PN) program, a highly sought-after course by international students in nursing in Canada. This program usually spans over 2 years. You will learn the skills and knowledge required for a career as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs).


The curriculum provides a comprehensive learning experience that covers theoretical instruction, hands-on clinical experience, and practical training in various essential areas of healthcare. Some of the areas include:

  • Patient care
  • Medication administration and
  • Health assessment.

After this program, graduates can take the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination (CPNRE) and obtain their license to work as LPNs in Canada.

There are numerous colleges and universities in Canada that provide PN programs for international students. An example is the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). This school offers a 2-year PN program that combines classroom instruction with clinical placements in different healthcare settings. You will be equipped with the skills for the CPNRE and a strong groundwork for a successful nursing career.

We also have schools offering PN programs such as Bow Valley College in Alberta, Saskatchewan Polytechnic in Saskatchewan, and St. Clair College in Ontario. These programs offer international students a chance to acquire valuable nursing education and experience in Canada, preparing them for a prosperous career in the healthcare industry.


2. Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

We also have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), which is a comprehensive program that equips students with the skills for a career in nursing. The BSN program is typically 4 years and offers a comprehensive blend of theoretical coursework and practical clinical experience.

This program teaches students the knowledge and skills needed to deliver exceptional patient care. The curriculum covers various subjects such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, nursing theory, and clinical practice. BSN program graduates have the opportunity to take the licensing exam to become Registered Nurses (RNs) and explore a range of career options in healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, community health centers, and schools.

Some BSN programs offer the chance to pursue combined degrees, like a BSN-NP (Nurse Practitioner) program. Nurse Practitioners are highly skilled healthcare professionals who can do the following:

  • Diagnose illnesses
  • Prescribe medications, and
  • Offer primary care services to patients

Once you complete a combined BSN-NP program, you will be able to streamline your education and training for a career as a Nurse Practitioner upon graduation.

Numerous universities in Canada provide highly regarded BSN programs and extensive assistance to international students. Universities such as the University of Toronto, McGill University, and the University of British Columbia are themselves leaders in nursing education and research. These universities support international students through:

  • Hosting orientation programs
  • Academic advising
  • Language support, and
  • Cultural integration activities

3. MSN: Master of Science in Nursing

An MSN is a higher-level nursing degree that enables students to focus on specialized areas of nursing practice, such as becoming a Nurse Practitioner (NP) or Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). An MSN program usually requires 2-3 years and expands on the fundamental knowledge acquired in a BSN program. The curriculum emphasizes the development of leadership, management, and evidence-based practice skills, giving students the flexibility to customize their education based on their individual interests.

There are different specializations in MSN programs. We have:

  • Adult Gerontology
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and
  • Clinical Nurse Leader

Each of the nursing courses in Canada for international students teaches you the skills for effective healthcare management that enhances patient outcomes.

Some universities in Canada provide highly sought-after MSN programs for international students, including the University of Toronto, McGill University, and the University of British Columbia. These are highly regarded for their excellence in nursing education and research.

An MSN can unlock thrilling career prospects and increase your earning potential. Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists have the advantage of higher salaries and more autonomy compared to RNs. Moreover, MSN graduates can take on leadership positions in healthcare systems, and influence policy that improves patient care.

What is the Cost of Studying Nursing in Canada?

The cost of pursuing a nursing education in Canada depends on your school and the specific nursing program. Typically, undergraduate nursing programs (such as Diploma in Practical Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing) have tuition fees ranging from $6,000 to $15,000 per year. On the other hand, graduate nursing programs (like Master of Science in Nursing) usually cost between $10,000 and $25,000 per year.

The good news is that international students in Canada can apply for scholarships and financial aid to help offset the cost of nursing programs.

Many schools provide scholarships and awards to deserving candidates who have excelled academically and participated in extracurricular activities. As an example, the University of Toronto offers entrance scholarships for international students who are starting their undergraduate nursing programs. On the other hand, the University of British Columbia provides scholarships specifically for international students who are pursuing different graduate nursing programs. We also have government-funded scholarships in Canada that international students can apply for.

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Canada is a good study destination with an inclusive environment for international students. Your nursing career here will be a great decision, don’t trade it for anything else. Even if you decide not to work in Canada after your studies, you will still be eligible for most nursing positions worldwide.

Tuition fees for nursing programs in Canada are quite reasonable when compared to those in other countries. Also, don’t forget that you can leverage scholarships and financial aid options to support your study expenses. Make sure you do your homework, reach out to universities, and get advice from seasoned immigration consultants to help you walk though the entire process easily. It won’t be easy but with the right information like this, you won’t have any problem studying a nursing course in Canada.

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