Maclean’s Magazine has released its 2017 rankings of Canadian universities across eight popular study areas: Engineering, Biology, Computer Science, Education, Environmental Science, Medicine, Mathematics, Nursing and Psychology.
Nursing is a study area in which Canadian schools and colleges particularly excel. Canadian institutions — University of Toronto and University of Alberta — were ranked third and fourth respectively on the QS World University Rankings by Subject for 2016 in the Nursing category. This represents the highest position of Canadian institutions in any subject ranked by QS.
The University of New Brunswick (UNB), founded in 1785, has the distinction of being the oldest English language University in Canada. Nowadays UNB is known as a comprehensive university, which means it offers both graduate and undergraduate education across the arts and sciences. It is also well regarded for its research in many innovative fields such as the space sciences, chemistry, and IT.
The Faculty of Nursing at UNB is well-equipped, with a community health centre, and two nursing centres in Moncton and Bathurst. Through the community health clinic, students learn in a primary healthcare environment that emphasises social justice and equity principles. Graduates from the four-year Bachelor of Nursing program and two-year Advanced Standing Bachelor of Nursing program may undertake the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become a registered nurse.
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17. Université de Sherbrooke (tie)
Sherbrooke is a French-speaking University with three campuses in Québec. One of many things the school is well-known for is its international partnerships. Complementing this approach, the university also emphasizes hands-on, practical learning opportunities inside Canada. The school also has a massive external co-op program. Through it, students can receive up to one quarter of their course credit in a paid internship setting in either a public or private company.
The School of Nursing (École des sciences infirmières) at Université de Sherbrooke has two sites: the Health Campus in Sherbooke, which houses almost 20 health-related departments, and the Longueil campus, which also offers the full range of nursing programs. On the Sherbrooke campus, health sciences students can practice in a 400-bed hospital, pharmacology institute and clinical research centre. The University offers a Bachelor of Nursing degree and, since 2013, a Master’s of Nursing degree.
17. University of Saskatchewan (tie)
The University of Saskatchewan has historically been regarded as an agricultural university. While this is still true today, the U of S is a leader in many other forms of science and technological research. And it’s not just a research intensive university: smaller class sizes mean closer working relationships with award-winning faculty.
With two undergraduate and four graduate programs on offer, University of Saskatchewan is popular for its range of offerings. In addition to traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) and Master of Nursing programs, the College of Nursing offers a Post-Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing (PDBSN), through which students with previous university achievements may earn a BScN degree in less time than the standard Bachelor program. There are several other graduate upgrading programs available as well. The choice of campuses is similarly varied: there are centres in Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Regina, northern Saskatchewan, and Yorkton.
- Explore your options for studying in Saskatchewan.
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Ryerson University has always maintained a polytechnic focus. But fairly recently the University began to reinvent itself in the realm of business incubation and innovation. Ryerson is also a truly urban university, so don’t expect sprawling green grass and colonial buildings: the school is located in the middle of Toronto’s financial district.
The Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing is known for its Collaborative Nursing Degree Program, held jointly with Centennial College and George Brown College. Students in this program are exposed to practical experience from their first year. The Post-Diploma Program allows trained nurses to develop their specialization and understanding. Other programs include the Master of Nursing, and the intensive Nurse Practitioner certificate. All programs focus on preparing students to work in a variety of health contexts, including Community Health, Emergency Care, Long-term and Palliative Care, Research and Policy, and more.
- Explore your options for studying in Ontario.
- Got a question? See this studying in Ontario FAQ page.
16. York University
York University is located north of Toronto and is Canada’s third-largest public university with nearly 60,000 students. With over 5000 courses spread across 11 faculties in schools, there’s something for nearly everyone at York U. The school maintains state-of-the-art facilities and some excellent research funding, including the Sherman Health Sciences Research Centre, which specializes in biomechanics and robotics.
The School of Nursing at York “focuses on the theoretical, scientific and philosophical knowledge of human caring.” Far from limiting education to the clinical environment, students can expect an education that prepares them for careers in hospitals, community health and other organizations, public health promotion, health care management and education, and more. One of its key offerings is the BScN for Internationally-Educated Nurses, an accelerated program for registered nurses educated outside of Canada to meet the requirements to obtain the Canadian credentials for employment in Ontario.
15. Laval University
Université Laval, located in Québec City, has the distinction of being both the oldest centre for higher education in Canada (it was established as a seminary in 1663, and granted royal charter in 1852), and the first institution in North America to offer higher education in French. In terms of its programs, the University offers over 500 undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 35,000 students.
Faculty programs at Université Laval cover all aspects of health: physical, mental, social, and environmental. Students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to study and work abroad, and several exchange and internship programs are on offer. Graduate study program options are strong here, with two PhDs (in Community Health and Nursing), a Master of Science, a Master of Science with Thesis, a Master of Science in Primary Care, and a Graduate Diploma in Primary Care.
13. University of Victoria (tie)
Ranked in the top 200 universities globally, The University of Victoria has a reputation for groundbreaking research that has carried itself around the world. Students remark that a small teacher-student ratio and an emphasis on co-op and practical experience with the outside community make UVic a good educational investment.
UVic also has an active transfer program and students from Camosun College, the College of the Rockies, Aurora College, and Selkirk College can become UVic students for their third and fourth years. Also notable are its five online graduate programs, in which students receive research support and options for clinical and co-op placements.
- Explore your options for studying in British Columbia.
- Got a question? See this studying in British Columbia FAQ page.
13. Université de Montréal (tie)
Université de Montréal is highly sought after for both undergraduate and graduate studies, with a population of 35,000 and 12,000 respectively. The school is surrounded by lush greenery, and though somewhat removed from the downtown core of Montréal, students are never too far from the action. The surrounding neighborhood of Côte-des-Neiges is made up of countless cafés, bars, and restaurants, and many student apartments and residences.
Université de Montréal’s French-language Nursing programs emphasize both practice and research, with practical experience forming an important part of most coursework, and professors coming from industry and research backgrounds. Proud of its international outlook, the university has links with communities and institutions in countries including Morocco, Lebanon, Australia, Brazil, India, Germany, and others. Students at undergraduate and graduate level have the opportunity to take courses abroad.
The University of Manitoba is Western Canada’s oldest university. Internationally-recognized as an innovator in research and technology, it still maintains a student-centred focus. The U of M commits to its students in a big way: it has been ranked number one for its outstanding student services, and professional degrees are also held in high regard here.
The Rady Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba offers a Bachelor of Nursing program, Baccalaureat Program for Registered Nurses, a Master’s in Nursing, and doctoral programs. Through its links with the Manitoba Centre for Nursing and Health Research, it has established itself as an important centre for research and education.
- Explore your options for studying in Manitoba.
- Got a question? See this studying in Manitoba FAQ page.
Founded in 1925, Memorial University of Newfoundland is the province’s only university. Often known simply as MUN, the university is well-known for its practical, hands-on approach to learning. More than 18,500 full and part time students attend Memorial in both undergraduate and graduate studies, at four campuses including facilities in Essex, England. Memorial offers more than 100 degree programs.
MUN School of Nursing offers a Bachelor of Nursing as a four-year program, and as an intensive two-year fast-track program. The collaborative Bachelor program combines the resources of Newfoundland’s three nursing schools — Memorial University of Newfoundland and Centre for Nursing Studies (both in St. John’s) and Western Regional School of Nursing in Corner Brook. At the Master’s level, Practicum and Nurse Practitioner options offer practical learning and skills upgrading opportunities.
- Explore your options for studying in Newfoundland and Labrador.
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Western University is a leading research university in many fields — including health sciences, wind engineering, neuroscience, and biomaterials. The school offers more than 400 specializations, majors, and minors at the undergraduate level. It also offers more than 160 programs at the Masters and Doctorate levels. Western University is made up of 82 buildings over 1,200 acres across London, Ontario.
The Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, with its renowned teaching faculty and plentiful opportunities for work placements, is a popular choice for college, undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate students can pursue a collaborative program with Fanshawe College, and there is also an accelerated 19-month program. As the first school in Canada to offer a Master’s in Nursing, Western’s expertise in graduate education is well-established and highly regarded. It now offers three Master’s and one PhD program.
The University of Ottawa is the world’s largest bilingual University, offering almost 500 specializations, majors, and minors at the undergraduate level. Also on offer are more than 150 Masters, Doctorate and Graduate Certificate programs. Few schools in Canada can claim this kind of diversity and choice, spread through 10 faculties. The school also values providing students with external opportunities: yearly audits of its programs proclaim a 97 percent after-graduation placement rate.
The School of Nursing in the Faculty of Health Sciences is representative of U of O’s wide range of program offerings — several of its programs are hard to find elsewhere, particularly as offerings are bilingual. For example, the Master’s of Nursing with a Specialization in Women’s Studies and Bachelor specializations in Nutrition or Leisure Studies are just some of the interdisciplinary options available. The School’s philosophy takes a broad view of the responsibilities and contributions of nurses, from leadership and education to decision-making, in addition to clinical practice.
Community spirit is strong at Dal, as the locals call it: the university was created in 1818 to make postsecondary education universally accessible to all classes of people. To this day the school maintains an inclusive, interdisciplinary focus and strong ties to the surrounding community. While Dal is big on research, teaching at Dal is also highly regarded: the university has more than fifty Canadian Research Chairs, more than any other university in Atlantic Canada.
With accessibility as a priority, Dalhousie offers undergraduate and graduate programs at the Halifax and Yarmouth campuses in Nova Scotia, and the Nunavut Arctic College in the Northwest Territories. Research is another priority — the recently-opened Centre for Transformative Nursing and Health Research (CTNHR) will focus research on community health and labour practices.
- Explore your options for studying in Nova Scotia.
- Got a question? See this studying in Nova Scotia FAQ page.
The University of Calgary is located in Canada’s rapidly booming energy capital. Not surprisingly, engineering and energy-related disciplines and business programs prosper here — helped by significant private sector funding — but it is also a centre for political science and public policy.
With more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students, five graduate programs, and a variety of undergraduate programs, the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary is a significant force in Canada’s nursing education system. Students have access to a Clinical Simulation Learning Centre for hands-on classes, as well as practicum placements in community health facilities. There are also opportunities to study abroad.
- Explore your options for studying in Alberta.
- Got a question? See this studying in Alberta FAQ page.
Queen’s University is a Canadian icon. Located in Kingston Ontario, the school is known for its old world architecture, a vibrant student life, and outstanding programming and research. Neo-Gothic limestone study halls — most from the 19th century — dot this neighborhood full of students, artists, researchers and academics.
The Queen’s School of Nursing celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2016, and its years of expertise in nursing education are apparent in its reputation and program offerings. The faculty philosophy is that “exemplary nursing practice is built upon the foundational blocks of the sciences and arts” — students can expect a solid training in both here. Six graduate programs — including a unique Graduate Diploma in Pain Care — ensure students may tailor their learning and develop specialized skills.
McGill has become an epicentre for research and instruction compelling countless bright students from all over the globe. Home to 11 faculties and 12 professional schools, McGill offers its 38,000 students a choice of over 300 programs over two campuses. McGill’s main buildings sit at the heart of the vibrant downtown core of Montreal, and students at this academic and cultural icon are never far from off-campus excitement.
The Ingram School of Nursing at McGill University has been teaching nursing since 1920, and boasts “one of a few Nursing programs where first-year students have clinical studies in the community.” Undergraduate students also have the option to study abroad in their final year. With a renowned Bachelor program and five graduate study programs, there is something for every prospective and current nurse here — whether he or she is at the start of a career or looking to pursue a further degree or diploma. McGill’s network of teaching hospitals, including the new MUHC superhospital complex, provide all students with state-of-the-art learning facilities.
McMaster has a look and feel reminiscent of the old world. One of the founding members of the U15 (Canada’s Association of top research universities) McMaster has a well-deserved reputation as a foremost research institution moving billions of dollars through the Canadian economy every year. The school regularly scores in the top 100 globally and is a top 10 Canadian school.
The popular undergraduate program at McMaster is known for its pioneering teaching philosophy of Problem-Based Learning, which “involves self-directed learning that emphasizes interpersonal skills, independent learning, and leadership qualities.” Students learn in groups and have many opportunities for co-op placements, preparing them for the workplace environment. Since 1994, the Graduate program has offered Master’s and PhD programs as well as graduate diplomas with specializations in areas such as primary healthcare and neonatal care.
Located in Edmonton, University of Alberta is the province’s leading research and education institution. Largely known for engineering, science, and medicine, the university also offers more than 400 programs in 18 faculties. Considered a top five university in Canada, and in the top 100 globally, the school combines excellent instruction, state-of-the-art facilities, well-funded programs, and world-renowned research.
In addition to placing third in Canada, the U of A’s Nursing program was also ranked fourth best in the world by QS World University Rankings. In addition to classroom learning, the Nursing Simulation Centre gives undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to practice in a realistic environment — the university even employs real people to simulate patients. But it’s not all lab-based, and clinical placement opportunities are plentiful here.
UBC has an international reputation for leading research and academic programs at all levels, landing it consistently in one of the world’s top 50 spots. 14 faculties offer more than 200 programs in undergraduate, graduate and continuing education studies. Located on a large peninsula in Vancouver, the campus looks and feels like a small city.
The School of Nursing at UBC prides itself on its interprofessional approach — Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, Nutrition Science, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Dentistry, and other disciplines share the same campus. One particular speciality here is Informatics. In addition to a popular Bachelor program, the school offers a wide range of graduate programs. These include some options that are hard to find elsewhere, such as a Master of Health Leadership and Policy.
With a global name for itself, the University of Toronto is a big-league player. It consistently ranks as one of the top 50 public universities in the world and its reputation as a research institution brings countless accolades. It is also a big institution, with more than 8,000 faculty and nearly 60,000 students over three campuses: in downtown Toronto (St. George campus), Mississauga, and Scarborough. The university’s popularity is reflected in an international student body comprised of students from more than 150 countries.
Nursing at U of T has a history of innovation in nursing education — it offered the first four-year BScN degree in Canada, in 1942. In 2001, it introduced an online Master of Nursing Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program. Known as the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing since 2007, the faculty now offers BScN, Master, Post-Master Diploma, Collaborative Master-Doctoral, and PhD programs. U of T also placed third on the QS World University Rankings list for best university nursing program.
Maclean’s ranks institutions in five broad categories (students, faculty, resources, student support, and reputation), according to 14 weighted performance indicators, in order to create this list.
To learn more about your options for studying in Canada, click here. There is also a range of tools and resources available for prospective students in Canada, including Canada School Search and School Match Canada.
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