1. Why Nursing?
A degree in Nursing is like a passport - it opens doors and provides countless opportunities. As core members of the health care team, nurses can work and study anywhere in the world, with people of all ages and nationalities, in a wide variety of settings such as acute care hospitals and community clinics. Nurses work closely with individuals, families, and communities in clinical practice, research, administration, teaching, and much more.
2. Why Nursing at McGill University?
Recognized for its excellence and accredited by the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing, our program meets the most rigorous national standards. You will have the opportunity to study with leading researchers from around the world and to do your clinical placements in renowned facilities that offer world-class health care. You will enter clinical studies in your very first term, putting theory into practice. In your final semester, you can choose to complete your clinical consolidation course locally or internationally.
3. Where can I work with a Nursing degree from McGill University?
Anywhere you want! Our graduates have obtained Registered Nursing Licensure in every province of Canada, many states in the United States, and in countries around the globe. Whether you are looking to work locally, nationally, or internationally, your McGill degree will help open the door to a gratifying career. You can choose to start working in a hospital setting including high-intensity areas such as the Emergency Room and Intensive Care Units. If you prefer community health, you can choose to work in home care, school health, mental health services, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, factories and corporations, Telehealth, well-baby clinics, and more. Our graduates also can be found working in the armed forces and prisons, hosting radio call-in shows, writing books, teaching, consulting, crafting public policy - the list goes on!
4. What are my chances of getting a job as a nurse?
Excellent. Our graduates often entertain multiple job offers. Compared to other university graduates with a Bachelor's degree, nursing grads are highly marketable in Québec, Canada, and the world.
5. I'm a good student with many options, so why should I study nursing instead of another health profession?
Nurses are key members of healthcare teams dedicated to providing the best possible care. Because we are often present 24/7 in various settings, as nurses, we play a major role in assessing and monitoring patients during critical times. We help people learn to live with their illness so that they achieve as high a quality of life as possible. Nurses are among the most trusted healthcare professionals. Patients confide in us and rely on us to effectively help them achieve their health goals.
6. How has the restructuring of health services affected nursing jobs?
As evidenced during the COVID pandemic, nurses are an integral part of the healthcare system. Hospitals need highly educated health professionals to meet increasingly complex healthcare needs of families and individuals. Skilled nurses also help families manage home care. The shifting of health services into the community requires nurses who are versatile and creative, who can think on their feet, and who are good problem-solvers. A McGill Nursing education will prepare you to confidently take on these important responsibilities. Health promotion and illness prevention, particularly with young families and the elderly, are other areas where McGill nurses continue to make their mark.
7. Who can apply to the BScN?
CEGEP graduates with a DEC in science can apply to the 3-year BScN. Out-of-province and/or international high school students will enter a 4-year program where they will take freshman science courses during their first year. Mature students usually enter the 4-year program - individual advising will take into account past education. Students already studying science at McGill or another university can transfer into the BSc(N). Students with a bachelor's degree other than nursing can apply to the BSc(N) or to our MScA-N program designed specifically for students with a non-nursing background. More details can be found at https://www.mcgill.ca/undergraduate-admissions/.
8. I am already in a Nursing program at another university - can I transfer to McGill University?
Yes. Like any transfer student, your transcript will be assessed to see if you meet our admission requirement. Any courses you have taken that are determined to be equivalent will be credited toward the McGill University degree. A minimum of 60 credits must be taken at McGill University for us to grant a degree. While we often credit theory courses, we do not usually credit previous clinical nursing courses since the clinical component of our program is designed to meet entry-to- practice requirements as well as specific curriculum goals.
9. Can I further my education after my Bachelor degree?
Absolutely! Depending on your GPA, you can go on to master's level studies - please visit https://www.mcgill.ca/nursing/prospective/master-programs to view the Master Programs offered at McGill University. We also offer a research-intensive PhD program as well as the opportunity to do postdoctoral work. Some of our students fast-track from the Master to the PhD program. Please visit https://www.mcgill.ca/nursing/prospective/doctoral-program to review McGill's PhD program.
10. What courses would I study at McGill and how difficult are they?
Students take a variety of courses within the biological, social, and nursing sciences. You can view the McGill University calendar for a list and description of our courses. The consensus among most of our recent graduates is that the courses are challenging but manageable. Should you experience any difficulties with specific courses, our School and the University offer various resources and support.
11. What are the average class sizes?
The class size in most nursing courses ranges from 30 to 200. Larger class sizes can be expected in courses such as Physiology, and Pharmacology. There are many opportunities for small group discussions and seminars with Nursing faculty and clinical experts. In your clinical placements, you will be part of a group of 6-8 students to ensure more individualized attention.
12. Can I study part-time?
Like most professional programs at McGill, the BScN program is offered full-time. Under certain circumstances, students may be eligible to study part-time, for example, if you already have a degree, you may carry a reduced course load.
13. Where would I go for my clinical experience?
Our students are placed in the McGill teaching hospital network as well as at local community health centers. You can also visit families in their own homes or be placed in schools and community agencies. In the final year of the BScN program, you will have the option of doing your clinical placement locally, nationally or internationally.
14. Why should I get a bachelor's degree in Nursing rather than a CEGEP diploma?
Higher education in all healthcare fields is an asset when dealing with the complexity of care. A bachelor's degree will give you access to a wider range of jobs as well as opportunities to further your education in Master, Nurse Practitioner, and PhD programs. Many provinces and countries are requiring a minimum of a Baccalaureate degree in Nursing for entry into practice. We have tried to keep all doors open for nursing education at McGill. Our BScN meets the needs of students with a DEC in science while our Bachelor of Nursing Integrated Program (BNI) has been developed for people who have a DEC in Nursing from CEGEP.
15. English is not my first language - will this be a problem?
The language of instruction at McGill University is English; however, if French is your first language, you may make arrangements to write term papers and examinations in French. Bilingualism is particularly beneficial during clinical studies. If your first language is not English, you may be required to demonstrate proof of proficiency in English. Click here for TOEFL scores for nursing admission.
If you have been admitted to our BScN program and are worried that language barriers may pose a challenge - particularly in your first year of studies - please ask to meet with an advisor to discuss your situation.
16. What lab facilities are available for nursing students?
Opened in 2017, our ultra-modern Satoko Shibata Clinical Nursing Learning Laboratories provide students with a wide range of learning resources to help develop clinical assessment and technical skills. You'll have access to lifelike mannequins and standardized patients (actors who play the part of patients) to help you explore critical healthcare issues and scenarios in a safe environment where mistakes can be made without harming anyone. Students taking freshman sciences such as chemistry and physics also have access to our state-of-the-art labs.
17. I need to complete CEGEP or university level courses such as functions (pre-calculus), calculus, general biology, chemistry, and physics. What specific courses do I need and where can I take them?
Mature students need to take a minimum of three science courses including one in functions (pre-calculus, although calculus is preferred), and at least two semesters of general biology, chemistry or physics (with labs), all taken within the last 5 – 7 years. Students with previous university studies need a minimum of four science courses: two calculus plus two biology, chemistry and/or physics. These courses, which are equivalent to U0 science courses at McGill (see below) or the CEGEP health sciences courses (see below), can be taken at CEGEP or at universities that offer 'freshman' (or entry level) science courses. Note that the minimum number of courses must be completed to apply however, all the science courses listed below must be completed with the exception of those who already have a degree in that one or more of the courses may be exempted if credit and exemption is awarded for courses which are part of the 103-credit BSc(N) program. This exception applies particularly to the Physiology and Pharmacology courses.
Complete list of CEGEP science courses
Biology - NYA, General Biology II (00UK, 00XU)
Chemistry - NYA, NYB, Organic Chemistry I (00UL, 00UM, 00XV)
Mathematics - NYA, NYB (00UN, 00UP)
Physics - NYA, NYB, NYC (00UR, 00US, 00UT)
Complete list of U0 sciences:
Biology - BIOL 111 and 112
Chemistry - CHEM 110, 120; Organic Chemistry 212
Calculus - Math 139 or 140, 141
Physics - PHYS 101 and 102
Click here for more information on university course equivalencies.
18. If I don't speak French, can I practice as a nurse in Quebec?
Quebec law requires that candidates seeking admission to provincially recognized professional corporations must possess a working knowledge of the French language. This is defined as being able to communicate verbally and in writing in French.
To demonstrate this capability, unless candidates have completed three years of full-time instruction in French at the high school or CEGEP level, they will be required to pass an examination set by the Office de la langue française. Candidates who have completed their secondary education in Quebec as of 1986 and have received their certificate from secondary school are exempt from writing the examination. The professional corporation will require this certificate, proof of attendance or of successful completion of the Office examination. The examination may be attempted by registered students during the two years prior to the date they receive a degree giving access to a professional corporation.
Graduates from McGill University School of Nursing who wish to practice elsewhere in Canada or in other countries are not required to meet the above language requirements.
19. How much does it cost to study Nursing in the BScN program?
Tuition for Nursing students is relatively similar to fees in other science programs with the additional costs of laboratory equipment (e.g., stethoscope, physical assessment equipment) and uniforms.
Click here to view fee information by academic year, student type and degree.