Nursing in Canada
Nurses fill syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on February 1, 2021. Source: Joseph Prezioso/AFP

Healthcare professionals play an essential role in protecting the wellbeing of their communities, particularly during the pandemic. The role of a nurse, however, is seeing an uptick in interest from students and driving demand for many to pursue nursing in Canada.  

A report by the Ontario Universities Application Centre found that in January 2021, a total of  22,533 nursing applications were submitted, marking a 17.5% increase compared to the year before. Further bolstering its appeal is the high salary that makes those long hours worth it. The average registered nurse salary in Canada is over C$80,000 per year, while more experienced staff can earn over C$90,000 per annum.

nursing in Canada

Another alluring reason to pursue a nursing degree in the country is its top universities. Source: Andrej Ivanov/AFP)

Another alluring reason to pursue a nursing degree in the country is its top universities, which are fully recognised worldwide. If your interest is piqued, here are some of the top schools to pursue nursing in Canada:

University of Toronto

At U of T’s Faculty of Nursing, students have opportunities to engage with expert clinicians, scientists and theorists, in addition to having access to a variety of interprofessional and interdisciplinary experiences with other health profession faculties, the university, and community partners. They’re ranked in the top 10 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020: Nursing. 

University of Alberta

Another strong contender is UAlberta’s Faculty of Nursing, which is one of the few Canadian institutions to offer a full-range of undergraduate and graduate programmes. Their professors have received multiple teaching and research awards at the local, provincial, and national levels, and many are also the authors or co-authors of textbooks being used by nursing schools across Canada.

nursing in Canada

Nursing in Canada continues to be a female-dominated industry. Source: Michal Cizek/AFP

This university also invests heavily in its health programmes. They have a multi-million dollar Heritage Medical Research Centre, as well as a Nursing Simulation Centre for students to put theory into practice. 

McMaster University

McMaster University’s School of Nursing is ranked among the top 20 nursing schools in the world, according to QS. More than 1,900 students have enrolled annually in their bachelor, master and PhD programmes. 

They offer simulation-based learning that gives students the chance to practice in a safe clinical environment and develop their confidence before learning to care for patients in clinical settings. McMaster also has one of the best academic research campuses in the country and is one of the few universities in Ontario that provides students with the opportunity to learn anatomy using professionally dissected human cadaveric specimens.

McGill University

McGill’s Ingram School of Nursing was founded in 1920; today, graduates can be found in nursing practice and leadership roles across the country and the globe. They offer a wide range of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral level nursing programmes. 

nursing in Canada

Canada offers first-class, accredited programmes and endless employment opportunities if you choose to practise in there. Source: Raul Arboleda/AFP)

Many of their courses offer the possibility of taking elective courses in sister departments and faculties across the campus. The McGill University Health Centre is associated with five different Montreal hospitals and has over 1,000 students who graduated from its healthcare programme. 

Queen’s University

This University’s School of Nursing offers students clinical practise in children’s, maternity, mental health, acute, and community care to put theory into practice. Students will also benefit from simulation sessions while their degree prepares them for careers in various specialities such as mental health, maternity, children’s health and gerontology, to name a few.