Aug 22, 2019  
University of Alberta Calendar 2018-2019 
University of Alberta Calendar 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The Degree of MN (Nursing) [Graduate]

The MN program aims to prepare graduates to:

  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge in advanced nursing practice
  • Engage in reflection, to think critically, and to act with scientific integrity in scholarly endeavors
  • Facilitate the learning process and participate in activities that influence health and healthcare policy
  • Understand the interaction of the nursing profession with social, political, economic, and historical forces

Students in the MN program can select a thesis or course-based route. Students may choose to complete a specialization in aging. Students who choose a clinical focus may, upon completion of the MN program, apply for Nurse Practitioner (NP) Adult licensure or Nurse practitioner (NP) Family all Ages licensure with the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA). See the Faculty of Nursing website for further information about available clinical areas of focus.

To read more about the MN program see the Faculty of Nursing website. Additional important information on graduate studies at University of Alberta is available on the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research website (see also FGSR Scholarships and Awards).

Entrance Requirements

The Faculty's minimum admission requirements are

  1. A baccalaureate degree in Nursing with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the final two years (or an equivalent qualification from a recognized institution). Registration with CARNA is required.
  2. Three letters of reference (criteria described on the application form).
  3. An undergraduate course in each of statistics and research methods, with a minimum grade of B (or equivalent), preferably completed within the past six years.
  4. A minimum of one year of clinical nursing experience in the specialty area to which the student is applying is typically required. Students interested in a clinical focus or Nurse Practitioner (NP) licensure must provide evidence of 4500 hours of RN experience.
  5. A TOEFL score of at least 587 (paper-based), or a total score of at least 97 with a score of at least 22 on each of the individual skill areas (Internet-based), or equivalent where applicable (see English Language Requirement  of the University Calendar).

Clinical Requirements for Nursing Courses

The Faculty of Nursing is committed to meeting standards of practice in nursing by ensuring that students attain and maintain required certifications and meet recommended immunization standards. Students are responsible for the health and safety requirements for all clinical practice courses in their graduate program. These requirements must be met prior to starting the clinical courses. If there is an associated fee, students are responsible for the costs incurred.

  1. Registration with College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA)

Clinical placements: All students doing clinical placements must be registered in the Province in which they are doing placements. For most students this will mean Alberta (CARNA) but some may be placed in other Provinces and it is mandatory that MN students are registered in the Province in which their clinical placement occurs. Students are responsible for ensuring that they meet the registration requirements of any Province in which they are placed. Proof of registration must be submitted with application documents and on an annual basis.

An RN student in a nurse practitioner program may use the term "student" with the protected "NP" title. As students in the NP program must be registered with CARNA for their practica, they must identify themselves as an RN when providing health services, even in the student role. CARNA suggests the title "RN, Student NP".

Research data collection: Any student research that involves contact with patients will require the student to be registered with CARNA. Students are responsible for being registered. This rule applies equally to MN and PhD students.

Teaching: Any graduate students involved in teaching students or working as a graduate teaching assistant (e.g., marking papers or exams) must be registered with CARNA. This rule applies equally to MN and PhD students.

Questions concerning registration should be directed to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies Nursing. For questions about the health and safety requirements, contact Karen Peterson at or (780) 492-8645.

  1. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Certification (CPR)

CPR certification at the Healthcare Provider Level is required. This course is designed for healthcare providers who have a duty to respond to medical emergencies. A CPR-Healthcare Provider certificate is valid for one year from the date of the course. Evidence of annual recertification must be presented each year while in the program. Students who do not have current CPR-Healthcare Provider Level certification cannot participate in clinical courses. Level C CPR certification is not acceptable; students must obtain CPR at the Healthcare Provider Level. If students have EMT certification that they believe may be equivalent to Healthcare Provider Level CPR, contact the Faculty of Nursing.

Students in advanced clinical course NURS 580  require Advanced Cardiac Life Support course (ACLS). Students in the advanced clinical course NURS 585 , require Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Cardiac Life Support course (PALS).

  1. Health Status Form

Health Status Declaration: All students admitted to nursing programs must complete a Health Status Declaration (HSD) available on the Faculty of Nursing website at​.

  1. Immunization Requirements

See University Infectious Disease Regulation .

  1. Criminal Record Check (Security Clearance Check)

Under the Protection for Persons in Care Act, a criminal record check (security clearance check) may be required by any site providing clinical practice. The clinical practice site will determine the criteria for acceptance/denial of a placement. The clinical instructors will notify students if a criminal record check is required for their specific clinical placement, and students are then responsible for having the check completed prior to commencement of clinical practice. Students who have concerns related to their ability to satisfy a criminal record check should consult with the Faculty of Nursing immediately upon being admitted to the program.

Criminal record checks can be obtained through the Edmonton Police Service (see the Police Information Check page for more details), a community police station, or any RCMP detachment. Students must familiarize themselves with the requirements and process before going in for their criminal record check (fees, identification to bring, processing times, etc.). Students from outside of the region are advised to obtain this requirement prior to relocating to Edmonton.

Students who obtain a criminal record check must not submit it to the Faculty of Nursing. Students need to keep their criminal record check and present it to clinical agencies upon their request. Criminal record checks are considered valid for 90 days, so additional checks will need to be acquired throughout the program.

Students enrolled in NURS 511, NURS 567, NURS 571 or 581 may also be required to obtain a Child Intervention Record Check (Child Welfare Check). These are obtained from Child and Family Services Authority offices, and specific information may be obtained at the Undergraduate Nursing Office located on the third floor of the Clinical Sciences Building.

  1. Professional Ethics/Code of Student Behaviour: All students enrolled in the Faculty of Nursing are bound by, and shall comply with, the Professional Codes of Ethics governing the profession and practice of Nursing.
    1. "Professional Codes of Ethics" means the current Canadian Nurses Association's Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses, and all other relevant professional codes and practice standards for registered nurses.
    2. It is the responsibility of each Faculty of Nursing graduate student to obtain, and be familiar with, such Professional Codes of Ethics, and their amendments as may be made from time to time. (See §30.1 and 30.2 of the Code of Student Behaviour). Amendments to the Code of Student Behaviour occur throughout the year. The official version of the Code of Student Behaviour, as amended from time to time, is housed on the University Governance website at

Financial Assistance

Information regarding graduate assistantships and other forms of financial assistance will be supplied on request.

Program Requirements

Student programs are designed on an individual basis within the MN curriculum and in light of the student's career goals, clinical interests, and research interests. Students normally complete a minimum of ten courses plus thesis (thesis-based program) or eleven courses plus NURS 900  (course-based program) over the duration of their program.

For the Specialization in Aging, students choose either a thesis-based or a course-based program. Thesis students take ten required courses and complete a thesis. Course-based students take eleven courses (including one elective in their area of interest) and complete a capping exercise.

The Faculty of Nursing recommends that all MN students register in at least ★9 in each September to August period. Thesis-based students who register full-time in their first full year (minimum ★9 Fall Term and minimum ★9 Winter Term) will be required by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research to continue with full-time registration throughout the program.

Length of Program

The Master's program can be completed within a two-year plus one term period. All requirements for the degree must be completed by thesis-based MN students within four years, and by course-based MN students within six years.