8 Nursing Schools in Canada For International Students-Tuition

There are Nursing schools in Canada for international students and one of the most popular fields of study offered by universities across Canada is nursing.

If you are looking to study in the Nursing Schools in Canada For International Students, then you must know that the requirements and standards of the profession are set by regulatory bodies in each region and they must be met by applicants before they are allowed to study nursing in the country.

A fact worthy of note is that the Canadian health department depends highly on its nurses. This is because they are the health workers that spend more time with patients than doctors. A registered nurse over there can work in hospitals, clinics, or even nursing homes. 

Canada is the second-largest country in the world with a population of 38,387,366 (as of June 16, 2022). They are also known to have one of the best education systems there is.

Like almost every other country, the CoronaVirus pandemic also overwhelmed the healthcare sector in Canada, hence they have a huge demand for nurses. This makes Canada an attractive destination for students looking to study Nursing there. In this article, we will look at nursing schools in Canada for International students. 

Canada is more affordable to study nursing than most countries. This is a bonus to you as an international student. On average, you’ll need between $15,451 and $23,166 per year for your tuition fees. Of course, this will also vary with the degree you want to study (BSc, Masters, or Ph.D.) and the university you choose to attend. 

Of course, you will need to prove that you can pay for both the tuition fees and other annual expenses before your application is approved. The annual expenses include accommodation, feeding, and all the other basic needs.

For instance, if you decide to live off-campus, an apartment will cost you at least $772 per month. Food and transportation will cost approximately $386 and $115 respectively. Also, these values are dependent on the city you choose to live in.

General Requirements For Nursing in Canada

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing can be obtained as a conventional or accelerated degree and it can be completed in 4 years.

The requirements from nursing schools in Canada for international students who want to join a diploma or undergraduate degree program in any Canadian institution are:

  • You need to have your high school certificate.

    The courses English, Mathematics, Biology, and Chemistry are the main subjects required by most universities, but Physics could also be an advantage to you.

    The general average grade required is a C, but this may vary with the admission year, so it is safer to confirm from the school for the admission year.

  • Recommendation letters from your former school.

  • Writing samples.

  • A letter of intent.

  • English tests are also compulsory, especially if you are from a non-English speaking country.

    The IELTS, Pearson, and TOEFL test scores will vary depending on the university you select.

    Therefore, make sure to visit the respective institution’s websites and confirm before you prepare to study nursing in Canada.

  • Scanned copy of passport.

  • CV/ resume.

  • Two reference letters

A Masters in Nursing (MSN) in Canada is usually obtained in two years if the program is full-time.

If you want to apply for an MSN in Canada as an international student, it is safer to ensure you meet the following requirements and have the documents before you proceed.

The requirements are:

  • A bachelor’s degree must be completed in four years.

  • You must have completed 10+2+4 years of education in total.

  • Have at least one year of clinical experience. It would be a bonus.

  • Have a clean criminal record. 

  • You must have a current nursing license to practice in Canada. 

  •  Pass an English proficiency test.

In addition to this, the following documents are required:

  • Letter of recommendation.

  • Statement of purpose.

  • CV/resume.

  • Academic transcript.

The List of Nursing Schools in Canada for International Students

Most Canadian universities and colleges have English as the main instructional language.

Although, some courses are instructed in French or both English and French. To be safe, be sure to confirm the details of the course from the university’s website before you apply.

Let’s take a look at some nursing schools in Canada for international students:

1. University of Calgary: 

The University of Calgary is located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and was founded in 1944. It is a public research university that is composed of 14 faculties and over 85 research institutes and centers.  

The university is regarded as one of the best public research institutions in Canada and they offer three degrees in Nursing to international students: Bachelor of Science, Masters, and Ph.D. 

International students who want to study nursing in Canada can have this school as one of their options. The nursing school enrolls over 30,000 students across the program. 

The courses offered in the Nursing programs of the university have an innovative nature that makes sure the students graduate with the necessary expertise they need to be the best when serving their patients. 

The tuition fee for international students studying nursing is $20,172/year.

2. The University of British Columbia:

The University of British Columbia is a public research university that was established in 1908 and is the oldest in British Columbia. The university is ranked among the top three universities in Canada

The institution has a nursing school under The University of British Columbia School of Nursing which was founded in 1919. They offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The Nursing School is also Canada’s leading nursing school

International students can add this school to their list of choices for nursing schools in Canada, their nursing program has international relationships with universities and research institutions throughout the world. 

Although the admission process at The Nursing College at UBC is known to be an extremely tough one, it still accepts students from all over the world, including students transferring from a different program to study nursing.

As a student, (international students included) you can apply for research assistant positions available within the School of Nursing.

The tuition fee for international students is $41,234/year.

3. McGill University: 

Another popular nursing school in Canada for international students is McGill University. It is an English-language public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The university was established in 1821 by King George IV.   

The school has several international students who make up 31% of the total student population. With students from 150 different countries, McGill University is one of the most diverse educational institutions. The university has over 300 fields of study, including healthcare and it is ranked as one of the best universities worldwide.

McGill University offers degrees in Bachelor’s, master’s, Graduate diplomas, and Ph.D. in their Nursing school. They are known to be among the most selective nursing schools in Canada. This is about their high admission requirement.

Be sure to confirm all the admission requirement details on the university’s website before applying.

The tuition fee for international students is $20,600/per year.

4. Brandon University:

Another good option is Brandon University. The University is located in the city of Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, and was founded on the 13th of July, 1899. 

Not only is Brandon University one of the reputable nursing schools in Canada, but it is also one of the most affordable choices for international students who want to study nursing in Canada. 

The university, they have small classes that enable students to interact with themselves and their professors and also understand the subject better.

The tuition fee for international students is $18,151/per year.

5. The University of Western Ontario:

The University of Western Ontario, branded as Western University or commonly shortened to Western is a public research university. It is located in London, Ontario, Canada, and was established in 1878. 

Western University operates twelve academic faculties and schools. It is also a member of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities (popularly known as U15). They are a group of research-intensive universities in Canada. 

Since its establishment, it has evolved into a world-class institution, both in infrastructure and academically. The university has an ever-increasing number of applicants annually, this can be credited to the advanced learning system that has put them on a global map. 

International students can add this institution to their list of nursing schools in Canada. They have a lot to offer, from internationally-renowned faculty members to world-class research facilities and infrastructure to high-quality graduate programs and as such has been regarded as one of the nursing schools in Canada for international students.

Also, 20% of their graduate students are international students who represent countries all over the world. And of course, they offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BScN). 

Western University also has a very competitive admission process but this does not mean it is impossible to get admitted into the school. You can send applications for their Nursing program through their website, but before you do, make sure to find out all the information you need

The tuition fee for international students is $55,658/year.

6. Mount Royal University:

Another reputable academic institution in Canada is Mount Royal University (MRU). It is a public university in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It was founded in 1910. 

Although admission into the university is quite competitive and students with higher grades are considered first, the school also provides low-cost nursing education to international students. Nursing students in the school have access to firsthand educational opportunities and the students can apply the fundamental theoretical principles they have learned in the field.

The tuition fee for international students is between $23,110 – $24,900/year.

7. St. Lawrence College (SLC):

Another Canadian Nursing School worth mentioning in this list is St. Lawrence College. It is a College of Applied Arts and Technology with three campuses in Eastern Ontario, namely Brockville, Cornwall, and Kingston. The school was established in 1967. 

The school is committed to making international students feel welcome by supporting them and committing to providing services that are accessible, free, culturally competent, and confidential. 

St. Lawrence College has a Nursing Programme (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) that makes graduates from these programs eligible to register as a Nurse in Ontario, Canada. 

Additionally, their nursing program is a very competitive one, and to have a higher chance of getting an admission, you have to meet the minimum entrance requirements, including sending in a complete application with all the necessary documents. 

The tuition fee for international students is $15,500.

8. The University of Alberta:

The University of Alberta, also known as U of A, is located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and it was founded in 1908. It is a public research university.

The school offers comprehensive programs across many fields, from arts to healthcare. The university’s reputation and prestige have been built over the years by its size and academic strength and it is among the best nursing schools in Canada. 

Of a total of over 40,000 students in the institution, over 7,200 are international students from over 150 countries. This alone makes the university of Alberta one of the most diverse universities in the world.

The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. courses across various nursing programs. Another reason they are considered among the best institutions is their tech-focused learning. As an international student, you have the choice to study a program that is instructed in both English and French.

The tuition fee for international students is  $6,750/year. 

What Degrees Are There For Nursing In Canada?

The first thing you need to know is that to become a nurse in Canada, you either start with a diploma or go straight to a degree, this depends on your qualifications. You can decide to go for undergraduate degrees, the available degrees you can choose from include Bachelor of Science in Nursing – integrated and accelerated courses. This degree allows you to join the workforce immediately. 

You can also choose to advance your knowledge with a Master of Nursing program or a Ph.D. program in Nursing. 

As An International Student Studying Nursing, Can I Work?

Nursing schools in Canada for international students allow one to work while in school. Nevertheless, this privilege is eligible to the students whose study permits include the condition. Although to be employed on-campus or off-campus, you may not need to acquire a work permit.

To study nursing or any other course in Canada, you need to provide English proficiency test scores of IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo, etc. for admission into the university and also for visa procedures. Amongst these exams, IELTS is recognized and widely accepted globally. 

Can I Study Nursing In Canada Without IELTS?

However, you can study nursing or any other course in Canada without IELTS. This is because other available options are offered by universities and colleges in Canada to aspiring students who do not have IELTS scores. 

Some of these available alternatives are:

  • Other language proficiency exams like TOEFL, Duolingo English Test, CanTEST, PTE, CAEL, CPE, Cambridge English Exams, etc.

  • Many universities in Canada offer English language courses like the Intensive English Language Program (IELP). You can use this instead of IELTS.

  • You can also submit proof that you studied in an English medium school for at least 4 years as the replacement for the English proficiency scores.

  • Also, candidates who are from English-speaking countries are exempted from providing IELTS scores in Canada.

Is Becoming A Nurse Hard In Canada?

In Canada, nurses are among the top in-demand professions and according to the Conference Board of Canada, the requirement for registered nurses (RN) will increase by more than double.

A nursing career, just like any other one, requires a lot from you including persistent effort, hard work, and patience. The good news is that Canada makes sure the working environment for nurses is a healthy one and they recognize them for their effort. 

So, if you are genuinely interested in becoming a nurse to take care of people, and you are ready to put in the work, you will find that schooling in Canada would not be so hard for you.

Is Nursing School Competitive In Canada?

Education in nursing has been a competitive program to pursue, this is because a lot is required from nursing students, not only in Canada but almost everywhere in the world. 
In many schools across Canada, nursing is a very competitive program. This is why the first set of candidates to be admitted are usually the most qualified ones academically. So, we can say that the nursing schools in Canada for international students are quite competitive.


To wrap things off, some of the best nursing schools in the world can be found in Canada and Nurses will almost always be in demand, in Canada, and around the world too. 

There are just a few nursing schools in Canada for international students. This is because not all nursing schools in Canada accept international students, or you may find one that does accept but the course is in French.

Some of the schools listed in this article offer nursing courses in English or English and French. And they accept International students with open arms.

Remember to always visit the university’s website to confirm all the details and answer all the questions you might have. It should be a smooth sail from there for you. Are there other nursing schools in Canada for international students you think was missing from the list? Please make your suggestions below.

Best of luck!

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