Program Description

The MN advanced practice program was revised in 2007 to meet the current needs of students and healthcare facilities. It is an intense program intended to challenge students and prepare them as leaders in the current dynamic health care environment.

Thesis and Course-based Routes

All students in the MN program must select one of these routes: course-based or thesis-based. The MN program can be completed within a 2 year period. The maximum time for completion is 4 years for a thesis-based program and 6 years for course-based program. Full-time registration offers increased access to scholarships, bursaries, loans, and travel funds.

MN Thesis-based

The thesis-based route is an opportunity for intensive research education in an area of student interest. It provides knowledge about particular content and research method and students work closely with their supervisors to complete the research. There are 10 required courses plus a thesis. Full-time thesis students register in 9 credits in each Fall and Winter term.

MN Course-based

Course-based students complete a capping exercise, which is a guided scholarly project. The capping exercise is individually designed and is congruent with the student's area of study and may address topics such as clinical outcomes, evidence-based practice, total quality improvement, or knowledge translation. Course-based students should complete at least three courses per year. Course- based students take 11 courses (including one elective in their area of interest) and complete the capping exercise (NURS 900). All part-time course-based graduate students must register in a minimum of 3 credits in course-work or in M REG 800 each September to August period to maintain their student status.

Areas of Focus

The MN courses and practicum experiences are intended to enhance knowledge and skills in clinical and community practice, research and evidence-based practice, leadership/management, teaching/learning, and inter-professional practice. With optional course work and electives, students can develop an individualized program of study.

When preparing an application, a student chooses a focus that will guide their course planning. The following are the areas of focus:

NP (Clinical Focus) (may lead to entry-to-practice as a Nurse Practitioner (Adult, Family/All Ages, or Neonate)

The Faculty of Nursing offers a clinical practice focus that may lead to a variety of clinical roles. MN applicants who desire to become eligible for entry-to-practice as a Nurse Practitioner must select one of the clinical areas of focus (Adult, Family/All Ages, or Neonate).

Learn about upcoming changes to the MN NP (Clinical Focus) area.


Students opting for a Teaching focus will be introduced to principles of learning and pedagogy, which will prepare them to assume various teaching roles. We are pleased to offer a Certificate of Teaching which will be reflected on the student's transcript. Required courses are N546, N556, and N586. See the teaching certificate link: Teaching and Learning Certificate


In the Research specialty area, students develop skills in research methodologies and work closely with faculty members to conduct a research project. Students moving into a PhD will often follow the research focus.


The Leadership focus prepares students for practice within the contexts of administration and management of health services.


The Community focus addresses leadership in community settings, population health assessment, and approaches to working with population aggregates and communities, and community health issues.

Please click on the following links to see a list of courses for all areas of focus in the MN program: Master of Nursing Course Layout and Master of Nursing Course Sequencing.

Course Offerings

Course offerings vary from term to term depending upon student enrolment and availability of suitable instructors. For calendar descriptions of courses please check the current calendar. Go to Bear Tracks to see what is being offered in the upcoming term(s). Log in as a guest if you do not have a University of Alberta CCID.