Program Description

The Master of Nursing program can be completed within a two-year (20- month) period on a full-time basis (for example, three courses in each fall and winter semester).

Most part-time students complete within three years based on taking two courses during each fall and winter term. The maximum time for completion is four years for a thesis-based program and six years for a course-based program.

Full-time registration offers increased access to scholarships, bursaries, loans and travel funds.

Graduate Programs Philosophy and Values Statement

Graduate Programs in the Faculty of Nursing are designed to cultivate critical engagement, intellectual curiosity and global citizenship. Students are welcomed into a research-intensive environment that honours learning and scholarship. Students are invited to think critically and reflectively about their place in the world and to engage with personal and professional opportunities to promote health equity and quality of life for the public good.

Learning is understood as a journey situated within vibrant, engaged, scholarly communities that value and support dialogue, intellectual curiosity and comfort with the uncertain nature of knowledge. The Faculty of Nursing aims to create a collaborative learning milieu that promotes engagement within nursing and across broader communities.

Students work in a context that encourages them to delve into complex problems, drawing on diverse schools of thought and academic traditions, honouring Indigenous ways of knowing and doing, to push the boundaries of nursing through the creation and dissemination of knowledge and insight.

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MN Program Outcomes

The Faculty of Nursing vision and mission statements and strategic priorities; the plan for Equity, Diversity,and Inclusivity; and the philosophy of the Faculty of Nursing Graduate Programs provide context for the following program outcomes to be attained by all master’s level graduates as they prepare for advanced nursing roles.

Graduates of the Master of Nursing program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate leadership in health equity, diversity, inclusivity and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in health systems.
  2. Draw on diverse schools of thought and academic traditions to explore complex problems and practice issues.
  3. Explore, develop and apply knowledge in their substantive area of nursing inquiry to advance practice, health and system improvement.
  4. Use systematic research and inquiry methods to explore health and nursing questions and practice problems.
  5. Collaborate in research, knowledge development and/or knowledge synthesis initiatives.
  6. Develop and support initiatives to improve health-care delivery, promote health and reduce/minimize health inequity through critical evaluation, dissemination and application of knowledge.
  7. Support the ethical collection and analysis of relevant operational, research and patient-specific data and maintain commitments to best practices of data management.
  8. Articulate and use nursing knowledge and evidence to inform decisions related to clinical practice, policy, education, administration and research.
  9. Advocate for federal, provincial, local and institutional policy initiatives based on available evidence and critically informed analysis.
  10. Apply appropriate pedagogies and strategies in the creation of engaging learning experiences and in the assessment and evaluation of educational outcomes.
  11. Use a variety of technologies to support health, health service delivery and advanced nursing roles.
  12. Evaluate care practices from the context of policy, ethics, economics and operational viability.

Additionally, graduates of the MN Program will achieve program outcomes related to their selected advanced focus area of study.

Graduates of the Advanced Clinical Focus (Nurse Practitioner) will be able to:

  1. Actively appraise and integrate evidence-based practice research and lead or participate in research activity to demonstrate optimization in patient care for advanced clinical practice.
  2. Operationalize advanced clinical knowledge and experience to successfully meet Nurse Practitioner Entry to Practice Competencies. 
  3. Display capacity for professional advocacy, partnership and leadership both intra- and inter-professionally. 

Graduates of the Advanced Education Focus will be able to:

  1. Draw on diverse educational philosophies and pedagogical theories to explore curriculum issues relevant to learning and teaching in the nursing context.
  2. Use systematic inquiry to inform, develop and evaluate educational endeavours that maximize opportunities for learning.
  3. Support educational practices that honour the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
  4. Recognize and incorporate sensitivity to the needs of learners from diverse cultural groups as well as individuals who suffer discrimination as a result of disability, racism and/or marginalization.

Graduates of the Advanced Research Focus will be able to:

  1. elect and apply appropriate methods for systematic literature review to develop research questions and synthesize evidence to support planning and decision-making.
  2. Design and critique a research project incorporating relevant key elements of the research lifecycle.
  3. Collaborate in creative development and exploration of cutting-edge research to advance knowledge in nursing and health sciences.

Graduates of the Advanced Leadership Focus will be able to:

  1. Design organizational transformation initiatives using advanced leadership concepts for health care organizations.
  2. Apply knowledge of health system organization, health human resources, change processes and financing to proposed solutions for improved health system outcomes.
  3. Promote evidence-informed decision-making for policy assessment, development and/or implementation for local, national and global health issues.

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Thesis and Course-based Routes

MN students choose either a thesis-based or a course-based program, leading to a research project (thesis) or a final capstone project (course-based). The projects are developed throughout the program by applying knowledge and skills related to coursework, and by collaborating with a faculty supervisor/advisor and potentially with other stakeholders. Topics for capstone and thesis projects are developed in negotiation with a faculty supervisor, drawing on the expertise and research focus of the faculty member and the nursing experience and interests of the student. The required coursework is similar for both thesis (30 credits) and course-based (36 credits) students.

Both program routes provide solid preparation for students who are interested in progressing to doctoral studies in future.

Thesis Project

Thesis-based students work closely with a faculty member to develop and implement a research project that provides in-depth learning about a particular topic and research methods. Thesis projects normally involve primary data collection that would require research ethics application. The thesis project demonstrates the integration and application of research and inquiry skills that have been developed through coursework and other learning experiences.

Capstone Project (Course-based)

The capstone is a guided scholarly project that is congruent with the student’s advanced focus area (education, leadership, clinical-NP). The project demonstrates the application of systematic inquiry related to a nursing or health issue or question of particular interest to the student. The topic may be related to current or prospective practice or employment setting.

Examples of products of capstone projects include:

  • A small-scale project that explores the feasibility, appropriateness, and/ or utility of a new practice, practice guideline, policy, administrative tool, or education program
  • A non-systematic synthesis project that reviews existing theories, research, practice guidelines, and / or health policies to inform the development of new practice standards, education programs, and/or policies.
  • A non-systematic literature review that generates a useful analysis and critique to inform future inquiry and that will inform practice and health care decision-making.
  • Development of a knowledge translation tool / resource for a clinical or community setting

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Community of Inquiry Courses

Community of Inquiry courses build skills that actively engage students in the process of inquiry by focusing on current issues relevant to the learner and more broadly to nursing and health care. The courses also foster a culture of community within the Masters cohort.

  • Asking good questions, uncovering assumptions, identifying trends
  • Gathering and analyzing relevant literature
  • Framing the inquiry focus and selecting appropriate methods for analysis
  • Developing the proposal for the capstone/thesis project
  • Implementing the inquiry/research process through the thesis or capstone project
  • Developing communication skills to share findings with diverse audiences

The following series of courses introduces students to researchers and programs of research underway in the Faculty of Nursing and prepares students to develop their own capstone and thesis projects.

NURS 589
Master’s Community of Inquiry I (1 credit)
NURS 590
Master’s Community of Inquiry II (1 credit)
NURS 591
Master’s Community of Inquiry III (1 credit)
NURS 593
Applied Inquiry I - Framing the Inquiry Focus (3 credits) *(not required for Advanced Clinical NP-focus)
NURS 594
Applied Inquiry II - Grand Challenge Questions (3 credits) *(not required for Advanced Clinical NP-focus)

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Core Courses

Core courses engage students in topics and questions that are shaping the evolution of nursing and health systems, and explore approaches to understanding how knowledge is formed and communicated. Core courses include:

NURS 595
Foundations of scholarship/critical thought (3 credits)
NURS 596
Research foundations (3 credits)
NURS 597
Understanding complex systems (3 credits)
NURS 598
Translating knowledge (3 credits)
NURS 599
Philosophy and ethics in nursing inquiry (3 credits) (*not required for Advanced Clinical NP-focus)

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Advanced Focus Course Options

Students also select one of four advanced focus areas of study in the Master of Nursing program, comprised of two courses (six credits).

  • Education - preparation for practice in both academic and clinical sector teaching contexts
    • NURS 558 Perspectives on Nursing Pedagogy (3 credits)
    • NURS 559 Approaches to Learning and Teaching Innovation in Nursing (3 credits)
  • Leadership - building expertise for current and future nursing leadership roles in the health sector
    • NURS 568 Advanced Nursing Leadership in Health Systems (3 credits)
    • NURS 569 Nursing Power and Policy in Health Care Leadership (3 credits)
  • Research (thesis route only) - building capacity for working with data; using research; conducting and leading research projects; developing advanced research skills
    • NURS 578 Knowledge Synthesis (3 credits)
    • NURS 579 Operationalizing Research Design (3 credits)

The advanced clinical-NP focus consists of six clinical courses (24 credits) and a total of 800 clinical hours.

  • Clinical - leading to licensure as a Nurse Practitioner in one of three clinical streams (Adult, Family All Ages (FAA), or Neonate).
    • NURS 507 / 520 Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics (Adult & FAA/Neonate) (3 credits)
    • NURS 509 / 522 Advanced Pathophysiology (Adult & FAA/Neonate) (3 credits)
    • NURS 516 / 518 Advanced Health Assessment (Adult & FAA/Neonate) (3 credits - 100 clinical hours)
    • NURS 530 Advanced Clinical Care I (3 credits - 100 clinical hours)
    • NURS 531 Advanced Clinical Care II (3 credits - 100 clinical hours)
    • NURS 532 Advanced Clinical Care III (3 credits - 100 clinical hours)
    • NURS 533 Consolidated Practicum I (3 credits - 200 clinical hours)
    • NURS 534 Consolidated Practicum II (3 credits - 200 clinical hours)

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Other Coursework

Elective Option

Course-based students in the Education and Leadership streams also take one elective course (3 credits), which may be a nursing course, an independent study, or an interdisciplinary course from another faculty.

NURS 900 Guided Scholarly Project

Course-based students implement their capstone project in this course during the fall semester, typically in their final year of studies.

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