Requirements To Study Nursing In Canada For International Students (2023)

Canada has always been a centre for nursing education and practice. With its high-quality healthcare system and vast opportunities, the country attracts numerous nursing aspirants from all over the world.

The requirements to study Nursing in Canada for international students include a pass in 12th-grade levels of education, a minimum score of 6.5 in IELTS,  and completion of a mandatory CASPer Test.

Requirements To Study Nursing In Canada For International Students

BSc Nursing in Canada

To be eligible for BSc Nursing in Canada, students must complete high school with an average of C or above in English, mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics.

For some universities, you will be required to complete Casper as part of your application. The completion of Casper is mandatory to maintain your eligibility for admission into the program.

For students who don’t meet these criteria, many schools offer a pre-nursing year, which helps them to upgrade their skills and meet the requirements of the nursing program. This year is designed to provide students with an opportunity to improve their grades and gain a better understanding of the nursing profession.

MSc And PG Nursing Programs In Canada

For a Master of Science in Nursing, aspirants require a recognized Bachelor’s degree with an average of B or a minimum of 70-76%. To enrol in a PG Diploma, students need to have a minimum of 60-65% in their Bachelor’s Degree.

Foreign students from universities outside Canada need to have a certain level of English proficiency. They can achieve this by scoring a minimum of 88 and above in TOEFL, 6.5 and above in IELTS, 59 and above in PTE, or through CELBAN. You will also need a reference letter.

Clinical Programs or Nurse Practitioner In Canada

For admission to the Nurse Practitioner field, applicants must hold current registration as a Registered Nurse (RN) or equivalent.

Also, you must have completed a minimum of 3,900 clinical hours, equivalent to two years of experience, as an RN by August 31. Clinical placements in the BScN/BSN program cannot be counted towards the clinical hours requirement.

How Many Years Does It Take To Study Nursing In Canada?

The BSc Nursing program lasts for four years and prepares you to work as a Registered Nurse (RN). On the other hand, postgraduate programs in nursing typically last for 1-2 years.

What is the Cost of Studying Nursing in Canada?

The average cost of BSc Nursing in Canada would be around $20,000 per year, which does not include living expenses.

Below are some of the most affordable universities and colleges for nursing in Canada that can help you reduce expenses:

  • University of Toronto
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Alberta
  • McMaster University
  • McGill University
  • Queen’s University
  • University of Calgary
  • University of New Brunswick
  • Ryerson University
  • Dalhousie University
  • University of Ottawa
  • Western University
  • Trinity Western University
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • University of Manitoba
  • Memorial University
  • Thompson Rivers University
  • Université de Montréal
  • University of Victoria
  • Université Laval
  • Centennial College
  • NorQuest College
  • Lawrence College
  • Fanshawe College
  • Camosun College
  • Georgian College
  • Conestoga College
  • Northern Lights College
  • Langara College
  • Durham College

Types Of Nursing Programs For International Nursing Graduates (IEN)

1. Palliative Care Nursing

A graduate certificate course in Palliative Care Nursing aims to provide IENs with the knowledge and training needed to care for patients with life-limiting diseases. In this program, nurses learn about coordinating with other medical professionals for the well-being of the patient and understanding the personal goals of terminally ill patients. The course lasts for one academic year.

2. Community Mental Health

Community Mental Health is a specialized area that trains nurses in the current mental health issues and trends in Canada. In this program, nurses are educated on rehabilitating long-term mental patients in the community and providing optimal care to clients with diverse mental health disorders. The course lasts for one academic year.

3. Gerontology

If you’re an IEN who wants to serve the ageing community in Canada, a graduate certificate program in Gerontology is a perfect choice. In this program, you will study ageing and the multi-faceted problems of the older population. The course is multi-disciplinary and lasts for one academic year.

4. Nursing Leadership And Management

A graduate certificate program in Nursing Leadership and Management is designed for nurses who are currently employed or wish to be employed in leadership and management roles within healthcare settings. This program builds on foundational roles and management content and prepares nurses for nurse administrators and nurse managers. The course lasts for one academic year.

Nursing Salaries in Canada

  • Nurse Practitioner (NP) – $94,000 per annum
  • Certified Nurse Midwife – $114,000 per annum
  • Nursing Manager – $85,000 per annum
  • Nurse Educator – $90,000 per annum
  • Clinical Research Manager –$89,000 per annum
  • Forensic Nurse – $80,000 per annum
  • Clinical Informatics Specialist –$75,000 per annum

Nursing Scholarships in Canada for International Students

The demand for registered nurses in Canada is increasing, leading to a shortage in the industry. To address this shortage, the Canadian government and universities have taken steps to encourage international students to pursue a career in nursing.

There are several nursing scholarships available for international students in Canada.

Some of the notable scholarships include:

  • National Overseas Scholarship
  • A. Davis Nursing Undergraduate Scholarship
  • Canadian Nurses Foundation
  • BN Nursing Scholarship
  • Class of 1966 Nursing Scholarship
  • StudentAid BC Nurses Education Bursary
  • General Entrance Award program for Prospective undergraduate students.
  • Aramark Leadership Awards
  • Susan Nelles Scholarship



To pursue a successful nursing career in Canada, students must meet the eligibility criteria of their desired nursing program.

This article has provided the requirements to study Nursing in Canada for international students to help with your journey.

With hard work, dedication, and a passion for helping others, you can achieve your nursing goals in Canada and make a significant impact in the healthcare sector.

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