Updated at: 27-03-2023 - By: Eden Wise


A record number of people want to become nurses in Canada this year. The current shortage of nurses isn’t just because of that, though. Due to the aging of the Canadian population, the demand for nurses is expected to increase from 64,000 to 142,000 within the next decade. Nurses are in high demand because of their high salaries, excellent benefits, and secure employment prospects. According to data from Canada’s federal job bank, RNs and psychiatric RNs can make anywhere between $24.04 and $86.69 per hour.

Furthermore, the nursing profession has more options and flexibility than most people realize. Frontline care in some of Canada’s largest hospitals, strategic outreach and education through community and public health nursing, and roles in research, policy-making, teaching, and more are just a few of the many ways in which nurses care for people.

Canada is fortunate in that its educational institutions provide some of the best nursing degree programs in the world, making Canadian nursing school grads highly sought after around the globe. You can choose from a wide variety of nursing programs, including those affiliated with prestigious research institutions and those designed to get you into a clinical rotation at a major urban teaching hospital as quickly as possible.

CourseCompare surveyed current and former students and compared salary, graduation, and employment data (when available) to determine the best nursing programs in Canada for 2018. Here are the best universities that will help fill the shortage of medical professionals in 2023.

Best School Of Nursing In Canada

Best school of nursing in canada

University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia’s School of Nursing is widely considered to be among the world’s finest. When the University of British Columbia first opened its doors, it was home to one of the first degree programs in the country: a nursing degree program.

International partnerships with universities and research centers around the world, as well as a curriculum based on science, make the BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program stand out from the competition. Not only does this Canadian nursing school have close ties to the indigenous Musqueam Nation, which is located on the territory where the university is located, but it also collaborates with other departments on campus (such as medicine, pharmacy, nutrition science, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and more).

UBC’s Nursing College has a highly selective admissions process but accepts students from all over the world and those who wish to switch their major to nursing.

University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing

University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing

The University of Alberta offers a number of different Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree tracks, including Honors and English/French bilingual options. Red Deer College, Keyano College (Fort McMurray), and Grande Prairie National College partner with the University of Alberta to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) Collaborative program that can be completed in four years.

Established in 1923, the Faculty of Nursing was the first in Western Canada to offer a Master of Nursing degree (in 1975) and the first in Canada to offer a fully-funded Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (in 1991).

To accommodate its diverse student body, one of Canada’s largest nursing schools offers a wide variety of academic tracks. Students and teachers are actively involved in the local community through the university’s indigenous nursing initiative. It also provides many opportunities for paid internships and a fast-track study option for those who wish to graduate early.

McGill University Ingram School of Nursing

The Ingram School of Nursing at prestigious McGill University is home to a first-rate nursing program that utilizes a strengths-based pedagogy. This leading Canadian nursing institution takes a values-based approach to teaching, with the end goal of preparing its students for effective and long-term careers in the nursing field.

There are five distinct degrees available at the Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral levels, with options for customization to suit the unique goals and interests of each student.

The BScN is now available in a combined format and in an innovative online format. A Nurse Practitioner Program and a Global Health Concentration are also available for those interested in furthering their education beyond the Bachelor’s level.

The BScN program lasts for 4 years and culminates in a clinical rotation of up to 5 weeks in length (and potentially abroad). Successful completion of the program qualifies students to take licensing exams not only in Québec but also across Canada and internationally.

McGill’s Global and Indigenous Health Nursing program gives special attention to the health of indigenous peoples, people experiencing homelessness or poverty, immigrant and refugee communities, and other at-risk groups around the world. The ultimate goal of this organization is to promote critical thinking about nursing worldwide, while also fighting for fair treatment of people affected by health crises around the world.

Queen’s University School of Nursing

Queen’s University School of Nursing

Kingston is the most bikeable city in Ontario, according to a recent poll. Its location near the U.S. border and two major Canadian cities makes it a desirable destination for nursing students who enjoy exploring new places and cultures.

It would be fun to sit in on a class at Queen’s. Students will complete clinical placements in community health, pediatric, obstetric, mental health, and hospital settings while taking courses like nutrition and health, developmental psychology, and management and leadership in health care.

Is the time right to pick up the pace? Students with prior college credit can use what they’ve learned to speed up their progress through the Accelerated Standing Track (AST) Nursing Program and earn the same BScN in just two years.

McMaster School of Nursing

Did you know that as of last month, the McMaster University School of Nursing was ranked 15th in the world? McMaster is home to nearly 2,000 nursing students per year pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees.

These students gain from a problem-based learning approach that emphasizes guided practice (and helpful feedback) in order to achieve mastery.

The Clinical Learning Centre is a simulation lab where students practice nursing skills by discussing and working through real-world scenarios.

In the first year of the McMaster Basic (A) Stream program, students are tasked with developing fundamental laboratory skills while also establishing a firm grounding in health promotion and the social sciences.

In the second year of nursing school, students complete a clinical placement for eight hours per week, where they work with classmates and a faculty advisor on simulated medical and surgical cases.

Clinical rotation hours for third and fourth year students increase from 12 to 24 per week.

In terms of location, Hamilton is quickly becoming one of Canada’s most sought-after metropolises.

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Niagara Escarpment, and more than fifty free parks are just a few of the outdoor recreation gems in a region that has gained a reputation in recent years for its economic diversity.

University of Toronto Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing (Toronto, ON)

Nearly half of Toronto’s population was born in a country other than Canada, earning the city international acclaim as a melting pot of cultures.

Students at the Bloomberg School of Nursing can take advantage of the many festivals, special events, and sporting events that take place in this lively city on a regular basis.

The accelerated nature of Toronto’s BScN program means that students can earn their degree in just two years.

During this brief period, nursing students collaborate with their peers to care for the sick and vulnerable, encourage healthy lifestyles, combat inequities in health, and foster greater social justice in the healthcare system.

Students in the accelerated nursing program spend their second year completing an 11-week clinical practicum in an area of their choice. Classes like “Current Topics in Medical Microbiology” are still part of their current curriculum.

University of Calgary

University of Calgary

The University of Calgary’s Faculty of Nursing has been producing baccalaureate-level nurses for more than 50 years. The University of Chicago offers a Bachelor of Nursing degree through one of three pathways: a four-year program for recent high school graduates, a 28-month program for transfer students, and a 24-month program for students with prior college credit.

Anatomy and physiology, English, statistics, and philosophy are just some of the required first-year courses that lay the groundwork for future nursing practice and offer elective opportunities for students to pursue their own interests. Essential practice skills, including communication and a holistic patient perspective, are taught by the third term. Seven students enter a clinical setting and apply what they’ve learned this semester. Experiential learning occurs both on and off campus during the final semester. Nursing as a scholarly activity is emphasized at the University of Calgary, where students study not only primary care and health promotion, but also the application of analysis, critical thinking, and research.

More than 1,600 hours are dedicated to hands-on training, and faculty members maintain strong ties to clinical settings so they can provide students with up-to-date information. Students in cohorts of eight work together in real-world settings, developing lifelong bonds of friendship and professional support.

Western University

Nursing students at Western University in London, Ontario, can take advantage of the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing’s focus on research, community service, and cutting-edge medical education. Western’s School of Nursing has played a pivotal role in educating and preparing future generations of nurses for the past century. The institution has grown from its public health background to become an international frontrunner in health education, research, practice, and policy.

Graduates from Western’s nursing program have a 92.7 percent employment rate six months after graduation and a 98.9 percent rate two years after graduation. This program has an 89.7 percent completion rate.

University of Ottawa

University of Ottawa

When it comes to bilingual education, no institution compares in size to Canada’s University of Ottawa. Students at the University of Ottawa’s School of Nursing learn the skills they’ll need to care for others, to become leaders in the health care industry, and to participate in both ongoing research and community engagement in order to improve people’s health. Undergraduates have the option of taking courses in either of the two official languages. Algonquin College (Ottawa and Pembroke, Ontario) and La Cites College (Ottawa), the largest French-language college in Ontario, offer a collaborative four-year BScN program in addition to the uOttawa program. In addition, RNs and PNs with international degrees can participate in a transitional program. The university also offers graduate nursing degrees at the master’s and doctoral levels.

Nursing graduates from the University of Ottawa have a 97.6% six-month employment rate, and a 99.2% two-year employment rate. The percentage of students who graduate is 80.8%.

The University of Ottawa’s undergraduate nursing program features classes like “Introduction to Nursing Science,” “Health Assessment,” “Research in Nursing,” “Nursing Professionalism and Ethics,” “Mental Health Nursing,” “Family-Centered Care for Children with Acute and Chronic Illness,” Placements in clinical settings like those for mental health, community nursing, and advanced nursing care are available.

Dalhousie University School of Nursing (Halifax, NS)

Dalhousie’s BScN program is designed to prepare students for immediate entry into the nursing workforce and can be completed in eight semesters.

During this condensed time frame, students acquire rudimentary anatomical, familial, and hygienic knowledge and practice in clinical settings.

The Arctic Nursing Program at the university’s Iqaluit, Nunavut, campus is a particularly appealing option.

The nursing program introduces students to the Inuit culture and prepares them to care for indigenous patients in a variety of settings, including clinics, nursing homes, and the community.

The cost of living in Halifax is much lower than in other major cities such as Toronto or Vancouver, making it an attractive location for both living and working.

The harshness of the winters is the one major drawback. Point Pleasant Park, Halifax’s largest park, is just one example of the town’s many attractive green spaces that are open all year.


What is the tuition cost of nursing school in Canada?

Depending on the nursing school you choose and the type of degree you pursue, the total cost of nursing school in Canada can range widely.

The Bachelor of Nursing program at the University of Calgary can be had for as little as $3,231.54 (Domestic Students) or $11,003.04 (International Students) per year.

However, the University of Toronto has domestic tuition of $9,100 and international tuition of $51,680. You can use this range as a ballpark for how much you can expect to pay for a bachelor’s degree in nursing in Canada.

How long does it take to become a Registered Nurse in Canada?

To become an RN in Canada, you need to study for a minimum of four years; afterwards, you might want to enroll in a year- or two-long specialty program to hone your skills.

The bachelor’s degree program at some Canadian nursing schools can be completed in as little as three years. It takes about two years and the passing of a licensing exam to earn a diploma in nursing and become a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN).

What is the duration of a nursing school program in Canada?

A two-year diploma program for Practical Nurses or a four-year bachelor’s degree in Nursing are required to practice nursing in Canada.

After that, you need to take and pass Canada’s licensing exam for nurses if you want to work in the field.


One of the best choices you can make is to enroll in a nursing program in Canada. Practicing in the clinics of your Canadian nursing school will give you invaluable experience while also providing you with a high-quality education.

However, due to the regional restriction on specific nursing specializations in Canada, you may first need to decide what kind of nurse you want to be.

If you live in Canada and are interested in attending one of the top nursing schools in the country, you can use the information in this post as a starting point for finding the most cost-effective option. To learn more, check out the video in its entirety down below.