• The Faculty of Nursing has always responded to the needs of registered nurses with a variety of programs tailored to current practice and to the social conditions of the time.
  • One-year certificate programs for registered nurses, leading to a diploma in public health nursing and a diploma in nursing teaching and supervision, were continued until 1970 when they were replaced by a revised degree program for registered nurses.
  • From 1943 to 1984, a nine-month program leading to a certificate in advanced practical obstetrics was offered to qualified nurses enabling them to give expanded care in rural settings and northern nursing stations. The certificate was phased out and replaced in 1988 by a certificate in nurse midwifery that was offered in conjunction with the Master of Nursing Program.
  • A twenty-week Nurse Practitioner Program, funded by the Federal Government, was offered in conjunction with the Faculty of Medicine from 1971 to 1984.
  • In collaboration with the University of Alberta Hospitals, a joint certificate program in neonatal nursing has been offered since 1982 and one in nephrology nursing was started in 1986.
  • A joint certificate program in emergency/intensive care nursing began at the Misericordia Hospital in 1984 and was expanded one year later to include the University of Alberta Hospitals.
  • From 1970 to 1992, the University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing sponsored a Continuing Nursing Education Program, which provided non-credit courses, sponsored nursing conferences, and was jointly administered by the faculties of nursing and extension.


The University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing is a diverse faculty with a rich history and solid reputation. Situated in a research intensive university, the Faculty is one of only six in Canada to offer a full range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

The Health Sciences Council is made up of Deans of Medicine and Oral Health Sciences, Nursing, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Physical Education and Recreation, and Rehabilitation Medicine. The goals of the council include interdisciplinary education for health professionals; generating world-class research and sharing findings with health stakeholders; and being a resource to Alberta Health, Regional Health Authorities, care providers, and other stakeholders.

Mu Sigma Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International

In 1992, the Faculty became part of a worldwide network of nursing scholars when the Mu Sigma Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Nursing Honour Society was chartered in our Faculty. The mission of STTI is to improve the health of people worldwide by increasing the scientific base of nursing practice. Its members are nursing scholars committed to the pursuit of excellence in clinical practice, education, research and leadership. Mu Sigma cosponsors the Margaret Scott Wright Research Day each year.

First Nursing Courses Offered at the U of A

  • The first nursing courses at the U of A were two to three month public health certificate courses for graduates of hospital nurse training programs who wished to enter the new field of public health.
  • These certificate courses were offered under the auspices of the Faculty of Medicine, in response to a direct request from the Alberta government.
  • The PHN certificate courses were offered annually in 1918, 1919, 1921 and 1922. A total of about 30 PHNs graduated from them.

University of Alberta School of Nursing

  • In 1923, the University of Alberta Board of Governors approved a School of Nursing offering two very different programs for entry to nursing practice. One was a three-year, hospital-based diploma program. The other was a five-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program.
  • The first students were admitted to the hospital-based diploma program in October, 1923. Four students were admitted to the five-year BScN program in 1924, with three graduating in 1927.
  • The five-year BScN. program was a traditional "sandwich" model comprised of two years (later changed to one year) of general arts and science courses, followed by two, and later three, years of hospital training, and a final year of university courses leading to specialization in either public health nursing or ward teaching and supervision.
  • From 1928 through 1936, the fifth year of the BScN program was not offered at the University of Alberta. Degree students completed their fifth year of specialization in public health or ward teaching and supervision at either the University of Toronto or the University of British Columbia, before convocating from the U of A with a BScN. The U of A School of Nursing resumed teaching the fifth year of the BScN. program in 1936 when Agnes Macleod was hired as its first full-time Director.

Four-Year Basic Degree Program (1966)

  • Although many changes in the five-year degree program took place over the years, the clinical portion continued to be offered by the UAH School of Nursing until 1966.
  • Following the passage of the Universities Act in 1966, the University of Alberta School of Nursing became an autonomous academic unit within the administrative framework of the university. The four-year integrated Baccalaureate in Nursing Program was then implemented.
  • The School of Nursing received faculty status in 1976. The University of Alberta Hospitals continued to maintain a diploma school of nursing.

Alberta's First Master of Nursing Program

  • The first graduate program in nursing in Alberta was introduced at the university in 1975.
  • The Master of Nursing (MN) Program aims to prepare nurses to function as advanced level practitioners in hospital, community, educational settings or to progress to PhD.
  • Many opportunities exist within the program structure, for example, students may undertake a certificate in advanced neonatal intensive care nursing in conjunction with the MN program, or focus on nursing administration.
  • Following the lobby by the College of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CRNA) for increased degree opportunities for registered nurses, the government provided funding in 1979 for expansion of the BScN Program for registered nurses.

Canada's First Distance Degree

  • Enrollment in the Post RN Program doubled from 72 to 144, and an off campus program was established. Subsequently, in 1982, the four-year Basic BScN Program was expanded to 100 students.

Institute for Philosophical Nursing Research (1989)

  • Founded by Dr. June Kikuchi and Dr. Helen Simmons in 1989, the Institute for Philosophical Nursing Research is devoted to researching philosophy of nursing issues and answering questions as fundamental to nursing as "What is Nursing?"

Collaborative Baccalaureate Program (1991)

  • In 1991, as a step toward meeting its goal of providing increased access to baccalaureate nursing education in Alberta, the Faculty collaborated with hospital and college diploma programs in the Edmonton area. Each of these institutions taught the first two years of a collaboratively developed basic baccalaureate program that was transferable to the University of Alberta at third year.
  • An additional change was the merger of the University of Alberta Hospitals School of Nursing as a joint department of the Faculty of Nursing and the University of Alberta Hospitals. With this merger, there was one program jointly sponsored by the two institutions, with all students enrolled in the university. After their second year at the university, students had the option of going into a diploma completion program through the University of Alberta Hospitals School of Nursing and resulting in RN status or applying for entry to third year of the Collaborative Program at the university.
  • Beginning in September 1995, students enrolling in the Collaborative BScN Degree Program attend the University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing for the entire four years. Entry to Year 3 from certain college sites is also possible.
  • In 1990 a five-year pilot began for an off campus BScN program that was developed in collaboration with Red Deer College. It allows students to complete a four-year BScN in Red Deer. The first two years of the program were offered by Red Deer College with a quota of 80 students, the third and fourth years were offered by the University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing with a quota of 55 students.
  • In 1995, Keyano College, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie Regional College, Grande Prairie and Grant MacEwan Community College, Edmonton became collaborative partners with the University of Alberta.

First Funded PhD Nursing

  • In January 1991, the first fully-funded Canadian PhD in Nursing program was instituted at the University of Alberta.
  • The Alberta departments of advanced education and health provided funding.
  • The program prepares nurses for leadership roles in practice, education, and research, as well as to advance nursing knowledge through identification of nursing phenomena and the development and testing of nursing theory.

RPN to BScN Program (1993)

  • In order to alleviate the limited access to post diploma and graduate education programs for Registered Psychiatric Nurses, the faculty developed a Post RPN to BScN Program that was implemented January 1993.
  • This RPN to BScN program permits RPNs to achieve baccalaureate preparation and be eligible to write the CNATS examination for RN licensure.