Top Colleges to Study Nursing in Canada

Are you thinking of becoming a registered nurse?

Known to be one of the noblest professions, job opportunities in nursing are at an all-time high. Canada allows you to sustain yourself and your family with a competitive wage. According to Canada Job Bank, the average salary can range from $40 an hour upwards, depending on the province or territory.

With many world-renowned nursing colleges in Canada, international students can enjoy exciting post-graduate programs and visa options to help them stay in the country and practice nursing in Canada.

Are you ready to enroll?

This article breaks down the top nursing colleges in Canada, the popular nursing program and how to apply for your study permit.

Top Nursing Colleges in Canada

The most common program is the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN), which is a two to a four-year program offered by universities and nursing colleges in Canada. However, the course duration may vary, depending on the respective Designated Learning Institution (DLI).

This internationally recognized qualification opens doors in the healthcare sector, so international students can execute best nursing practices upon completing their studies.

Here are 12 Excellent DLIs That Offer the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) for International Students to Study Nursing in Canada:

Top 12 Colleges to Study Nursing in Canada
DLI CoursesCity and province
Humber CollegeBachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BScN)Toronto, ON
Langara CollegeBachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BScN)Vancouver, BC
Mohawk CollegeBachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BScN)Hamilton, ON
University of Prince Edward IslandBachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BScN)
Accelerated BScN Program
Charlottetown, PEI
Lambton CollegeBachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BScN)
Practical Nurse diploma
Mississauga, ON
MacEwan UniversityBachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BScN)
Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing Degree (BPN)
Occupational Health Nursing post-diploma certificate
Edmonton, AB
University of British ColumbiaBachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BScN)Vancouver, BC
University of TorontoBachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BScN)
Doctor of Nursing (DN)
Master of Nursing
Toronto, ON
University of TorontoBachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BScN)
Doctor of Nursing (DN)
Master of Nursing (MN)
Toronto, ON
University of SaskatoonBachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BScN)
Doctor of Nursing (DN)
Master of Nursing (MN)
Saskatoon, SW
McMaster UniversityBachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BScN)
Bachelor of Science Midwifery (B.Sc)
Master of Nursing (MN)
Hamilton, ON
University of CalgaryBachelor of Nursing Degree (B.N)
Master of Nursing (MN)
Calgary, AB

What Requirements Are Needed to Study Nursing In Canada?

According to, nursing in Canada is accessible as a diploma or an undergraduate program. Therefore, prospective nurses should obtain their undergraduate Baccalaureate degree - this is a prerequisite for most provinces in Canada and will open an abundance of nursing opportunities.

Below we outline the requirements for either the diploma or undergraduate BScN program in nursing:

  • Students must complete high school
  • Students must have completed English, Mathematics, Biology, and Chemistry with a C average. Physics would put you at an advantage. Those not meeting the minimum prerequisites may take up a pre-nursing year, depending on your chosen DLI.
  • International students demonstrate proficiency in English, regardless of their country's official language. Learn more about the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) system here.
  • International students with a foreign nursing credential who want to specialize in a specific branch of nursing, such as emergency nursing, cardiac nursing, oncology nursing, school nursing, pediatric nursing, and geriatric nursing, can do so through specialized advanced programs. You must check with your chosen DLI if this is offered before applying.
  • International students must validate their credentials when applying to study in Canada. In addition, they must obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA. Learn more about ECAs, designated organizations, and the application process.

If you are uncertain about the process, feel free to speak to an immigration expert who can put you in touch with a student advisor. Here are some of the vital ways in which a student advisor can assist:

  • They can help you find a suitable DLI that won’t break the bank and fits your student needs.
  • We have a partnership with Evergreen College for better tuition rates. See how you can enjoy this advantage.
  • They will advise on suitable immigration programs and assess your eligibility to apply for the Post Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP).
  • An advisor can assist in writing a motivational letter for visa purposes.
  • They can set up your student visa portal that allows you to upload documents and ask questions to your student advisor during the application process.
  • Your advisor can apply for your study permit on your behalf.
  • They will provide you with step-by-step guidance throughout the process.

How to Study Nursing in Canada

So, at this point, you understand the requirements and have selected the ideal DLI for your needs and circumstances. Now, you need to know how to apply for a Canadian student visa, which is as follows:

Step 1: Ensure Eligibility

You must ensure that you meet the requirements of your DLI and the program criteria before applying.

Step 2: Show an Acceptance Letter when Applying

Once you are successful with your school of choice, you will receive an acceptance letter. You must show that you have an acceptance letter from a DLI when applying to immigrate.

Step 3: Gather Your Documents

Gather the relevant documents like your passport, proof of finances, proof of acceptance, language test results, and any other required documents.

Step 4: Pay the Application Fees

The official Canadian Government website states a study permit fee is $150. Once you pay the fee, you submit your application.


International students must be thorough in the information they provide on their application, as the information must later be validated with the necessary supporting documents. Always remain truthful, as failure to do so will result in a delay in processing times.

Why Study Nursing in Canada?

Now that you know how to study in Canada, you may want to know why Canada is the best choice for your future. Find out below.

Loads of Job Opportunities in Canada

One of the best things about studying in Canada is the ability to work part-time while you study. This helps thousands of international students gain relevant work experience through internships and practical learning experiences in their field of study.

Others work part-time to earn pocket money for fun, such as concert tickets, camping trips with friends, and a daily treat at Tim’s. According to the Canadian Government website, international students can work 20 hours per week. However, working more than 20 hours would be deemed as a violation of your study permit conditions. However, working more than 20 hours would be deemed as a violation of your study permit conditions.

Furthermore, you can learn more about the restrictions on international students’ working hours here.

You Can Apply for a Postgraduate Work Permit

What happens after you graduate with a nursing degree in Canada? Head back home? You don’t have to when you have the incredible opportunity to stay and kick-start your career here in the Great North.

A Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) allows international students who have completed a study program for at least eight months to stay and work in Canada. During this time, you can gain enough Canadian work experience to be eligible for a few immigration programs, such as the Canadian Experience Class, enabling you to become a permanent resident of Canada.

If that’s not good enough news, then you’ll be happy to know that as a permanent resident of Canada, you can sponsor your family members with the Canada Family Sponsorship program.

Nurses are in High In-Demand in Canada

The healthcare system in Canada is highly dependent on registered nurses since they are required to deal with patients more than doctors. They must work in various settings like clinics, nursing homes, hospitals, community agencies, rehabilitation centers, research centers, policy centers, businesses, and correctional services. This is good news for international students who graduate with nursing qualifications, as there will always be employment opportunities to pursue in Canada. Find out where is the best province to work as a nurse in Canada.

What Immigration Pathways - Student Direct Stream (SDS)

If you live in China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal, or Vietnam, you may be able to get your study permit within 20 calendar days through the Student Direct Stream. These countries have an agreement with Canada allowing faster visa processing times.

If you are not from these countries, you may wait 4-20 weeks for your study permit to process, depending on your country of residence. For this reason, starting your study permit application well in advance is wise before your study program starts. Learn more in-depth about the SDS here.

Nursing Colleges in Canada - Your Future Starts Here

Before settling permanently in Canada, we advise international students to always research thoroughly about Canada's cities, provinces or territories. For example, while nursing in Canada offers many opportunities, some provinces require nurses more than others. So be sure to target the right province.

Contact a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) who can assist you in discovering the best pathway to Canada based on your budget, needs, and goals. We also handle all the required paperwork to ensure that your application is faultless and optimized for success.


Which Nursing Course is In Demand in Canada?

One of Canada's most popular nursing programs is the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN). The program is known to open doors in the healthcare industry.

Do Nurses Get PR Easily in Canada?

With the right skills and work experience, nurses can get nominated to apply directly to the stream for permanent residence.

Is Canada Good for Studying Nursing?

Many nursing colleges in Canada offer international students many options that accommodate their needs and circumstances. Upon completing their studies, students can look forward to landing a job since the demand for nursing in Canada is high.