Sep 28, 2023  
University of Alberta Calendar 2022-2023 
University of Alberta Calendar 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Nursing

Program Requirements

The MN program aims to prepare graduates to:

  • Explore, develop, and apply knowledge in a substantive area of nursing inquiry to advance practice, health, and system improvement.
  • Use systematic research and inquiry methods to explore health and nursing questions, and practice problems.
  • Develop and support initiatives to improve healthcare delivery, promote health, and reduce health inequity.
  • Articulate and use nursing knowledge and evidence to inform decisions related to clinical practice, policy, education, administration, and research.

Refer to the Faculty of Nursing website for a full description of MN program outcomes.

Students in the MN program can select a thesis-based or course-based route.

Student programs are designed based on the chosen focus area and in light of the student’s career goals, clinical interests, and research interests.

MN Thesis-based

Students in the thesis-based MN program are required to complete 30 course credits (or 39 credits for the Advanced Clinical-NP Focus), plus a thesis.

Coursework includes 24 required credits. Two remaining courses (totalling 6 credits) are selected according to the area of advanced focus, outlined below (Exception: Thesis students in the Advanced Clinical-NP Focus  complete 15 required credits and an additional 24 required credits for clinical courses, totalling 39 required credits).

The thesis-based route may be selected by students in any of the Advanced Focus areas of study (education, research, leadership, or clinical). The thesis project demonstrates the student’s ability to develop and  implement a research proposal using an accepted research method, and to present the findings in an appropriate scholarly manner. Students work closely with their supervisor to complete the research.

MN Course-based

Students in the course-based MN program (Advanced Education or Leadership Focus areas) complete a minimum of 36 course credits, including twenty-four required credits, a selection of two advanced focus courses (totalling 6 credits), plus one 3-unit elective, and a 3-unit credit capping exercise (NURS 900 ).

Students in the course-based MN program (Advanced Clinical-NP focus) are required to complete a minimum of 42 credits, including fifteen credits for core MN courses, and twenty-four credits for completion of the  Advanced-NP focus, and a 3-unit credit capping exercise (NURS 900 ).

The capping exercise is developed through coursework across the program of studies with guidance from a faculty advisor. This exercise is an inquiry that demonstrates a synthesis of the individual’s learning experiences,  and explores a topic that is linked to the student’s advanced focus courses and nursing experience.

Course-based students should complete at least three courses (9 credits) per year.

All part-time course-based graduate students must register in a minimum of 3 units in course-work or in M REG 800  each September to August period to maintain their student status.

The remaining course requirements are determined by the following Advanced Focus areas of study:

Advanced Focus Courses (6 credits for Education, or Research, or Leadership foci OR 24 credits for Advanced Clinical-NP focus)

Students will select one advanced focus area of study (i.e. Education, Research, Leadership, or Clinical-NP). With the exception of the latter (Advanced Clinical-Nurse Practitioner Focus), each focus area consists of two courses  (totalling 6 credits) that explore the conceptual frameworks, methods and approaches associated with knowledge generation and application in the context of advanced nursing roles in each of these areas.


This area of study leads to entry-to-practice as a Nurse Practitioner (Adult, Family/All Ages, or Neonatal) with a Canadian nursing regulatory body.

Clinical Requirements for Advanced Clinical-NP Focus Nursing Courses

Students are responsible for the health and safety requirements for all clinical practice courses in their graduate program. All requirements must be met prior to starting the courses which include clinical hours. If there is an associated fee, students are responsible for the costs incurred.

  • Must hold licensure as a Registered Nurse with the Canadian provincial or territorial nursing regulatory jurisdiction(s) where clinical placements will occur.
  • Basic Cardiac Life Support Certification (BCLS)
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support Certification (ACLS) for Adult and Family All Ages streams of study
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) for Neonatal stream of study
  • Completion of all required health and safety forms and clinical placement forms
  • Immunization Requirements: See University Infectious Disease Regulation .
  • Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector Check (Security Clearance Check)
  • Professional Ethics/Code of Student Behaviour

Please see the Faculty of Nursing’s website for further information regarding clinical requirements

Length of Program

The Master’s program can be completed within a two-year period. For Advanced Clinical-NP Focus, all full-time students with a clinical focus area attend continuously through the spring/summer terms between their first and second years. Part-time students attend continuously through the spring/summer terms following completion of all required courses outside the Advanced Focus studies.

The maximum time to complete the thesis-based MN program as set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research is four years. The maximum time to complete the course-based MN program as set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research is six years.