10 Best Nursing Schools In Alberta 2023

Best Nursing Schools In Alberta: With so many nursing programs to choose from, it can be difficult to pick out which one you want to go to. When you’re thinking about where to study nursing, look no further than these ten best nursing schools in Alberta. 

These institutions provide exceptional programs with great clinical experience, perfect for students who are looking to make an impact in their future careers as registered nurses or licensed practical nurses. 

Furthermore, each of these schools has excellent job placement rates and top-notch facilities and equipment, making them some of the most sought-after programs in the province.

What Is Involved In A Nursing Career?

The first step to a nursing career is completing an undergraduate degree in nursing, which takes four years of full-time study. The next step is a three-year diploma program at the graduate level, where students learn how to administer medication and care for patients with special needs. 

Once they are qualified as registered nurses, RNs can continue their education by enrolling in master’s programs and Ph.D. programs that offer them opportunities to specialize and teach. 

In order to work as a nurse abroad, you’ll need to complete additional coursework or get certified through the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). In addition, some states require you to be licensed before practicing. 

In Canada, for example, all provinces have different licensing requirements; each province has its own governing body which oversees nursing registration and sets minimum standards of practice. 

In Alberta, prospective nurses must meet certain educational qualifications before being granted registration. 

To qualify as a registered nurse in this province, applicants must have completed a Canadian degree or diploma from an approved institution with courses related to health sciences plus two years’ post-secondary training or two years of experience working in healthcare plus certification by the Canadian Nurses Association or completion of the EMT training course offered by St John Ambulance Association.

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Admission/Entry Requirements For Nursing Schools In Alberta?

Entry requirements for nursing schools vary depending on the program and school, but most require a high school diploma. 

Some schools may also require a college degree or experience working in healthcare. 

Other factors that can affect acceptance include extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and letters of recommendation. 

There are also standardized tests such as the GRE, SAT, or TOEFL that some applicants need to take prior to admission. 

Nursing schools offer full-time bachelor’s degrees in general nursing; they may also offer accelerated programs with more intense workloads that lead to a diploma rather than a bachelor’s degree after three years. 

Nursing students often complete clinical training at hospitals and clinics so they can put their education into practice before graduating. 

Clinical rotations allow students to apply their knowledge gained from classroom lectures to real-life settings where they provide care for patients with diverse health needs.

Benefits Of Studying Nursing In Alberta

Studying nursing in Alberta offers many benefits. Some of these benefits are the opportunity to work with a diverse range of patients, the chance to pursue further education while working full-time, and the opportunity to work closely with doctors and other members of the healthcare team. 

These are just some of the many reasons why it’s a great idea for anyone who is interested in pursuing a career as a nurse to consider studying at one of these ten best nursing schools in Alberta.

There are so many benefits to choosing Canada when considering going back to school in pursuit of your nursing degree. With quality institutions like those found on this list, you know that the investment will be worth it in the end.

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Best Nursing Schools In Alberta

The following are the ten best nursing schools in Alberta: 

Best Nursing Schools In Alberta

1. Mount Royal University

Mount Royal University is a bilingual institution based on the principles of peace, social justice, and environmental responsibility. It offers one of the most diverse post-secondary educations in Canada, with over 150 undergraduate programs and graduate schools. 

The University offers several nursing programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a Masters of Nursing. The BSN program is an undergraduate four-year degree. 

It’s held at both Calgary and Edmonton campuses, so students can choose which set to attend. The coursework covers everything from human anatomy to care planning and legal aspects of nursing. 

As with most healthcare professions, licensure is mandatory upon graduation to practice legally as a nurse. A graduate degree allows individuals to become advanced practice nurses, or APRNs, who have the authority to make medical diagnoses, prescribe medications and provide other treatments beyond just first aid.

2. Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology is one of the most respected colleges for nursing. The school’s campus is located in Edmonton and has a four-year degree program, available both full and part-time. 

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology also offers a two-year diploma program for those who are not able to commit to a four-year degree. Students will have the opportunity to do clinical training at any number of hospitals in Alberta. 

One of the great things about this school is that it has an active Student Nurse Association that organizes many events for students. 

It’s easy to see why NAIT is one of the best schools in Alberta! With over 80% of its graduates passing the Registered Nurse exam on their first try, it seems like there’s no way you can go wrong here. 

Located in Edmonton and open evenings as well as days, this might just be your new dream college for nursing! 

3. Red Deer College

Red Deer College offers a Bachelor of Science degree, which is the same as a Bachelor of Nursing degree. Graduates are eligible to register as an RN with the College of Registered Nurses of Alberta and then work anywhere in Canada. 

The curriculum is designed for students to be able to complete the program on a full-time basis or part-time over two years. 

The program includes courses such as chemistry, mathematics, biology, and psychology. 

Other courses include nursing care of children and families, health promotion, and community health nursing. 

The coursework is largely clinically based, with students completing 40 hours per week for five weeks at an affiliated hospital or healthcare facility such as Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge or Red Deer Regional Hospital.

4. Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) is a polytechnic institute that offers degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. The school has campuses in Calgary and Edmonton, with the main campus being located in downtown Calgary.  

One of SAIT’s most popular programs is its Health Sciences program which prepares graduates to become professional nurses or other health care professionals such as medical laboratory technologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and more. 

To be eligible for this program, you must have completed an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), Grade 12 High School Diploma, or British Columbia Certificate of Graduation with courses in English Language Arts 30-1 or equivalent. 

Once you are accepted into the program, you will study on both SAIT’s Calgary and Edmonton campuses, depending on your specialization, while earning a degree from SAIT and completing your practical training at a hospital or other health facility approved by SAIT’s Faculty of Health Science.

5. St. Mary’s University College

St. Mary’s University College (SMC) is a post-secondary institution that offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees, including nursing. 

SMC offers the following degree programs: Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, Doctorate of Nursing Practice, Bachelor of Midwifery, Bachelor of Health Care Administration, and Bachelor of Arts. 

This school also offers an Associate Degree for Registered Nurses. St. Mary’s University College is located on the beautiful campus at Pointe-Claire; it currently has 1,099 students enrolled as full-time students. 

The ratio of male to female students is roughly 50/50. The admissions process includes an application form, official transcripts from all previous institutions attended, two letters of reference, and GRE scores or GMAT scores if applicable. 

As well as being admitted into the program with a strong academic record, applicants are interviewed by faculty members to assess their fit within the program.

6. The King’s University College

Located in Edmonton, Kings University College is a post-secondary institution that offers degrees and diplomas, as well as individualized programs. 

Students can earn the following credentials:

-Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (2-year program) 

-Diploma of Science Degree in Nursing (1-year program) 

-Degree or Diploma in Health Sciences with a specialization in nursing (*3-year program) 

-Certificate of Specialist Practice in Nephrology (*3-year program) 

-Diploma or Certificate of Health Care Practitioner (1-6 month program) 

-Associate Degree of Social Work (*4-year program) Certificate of Clinical Mental-Health Counseling (*4-year program) 

-Diploma of Clinical Mental Health Counseling (3-year program) 

-Certificate in Gerontology (*6-month program) 

-Certificate in Alcohol & Drug Studies (*9 months to 3 years depending on course length*) 

-Diploma in Addictions Counseling (*2-year program*)  

-Certificate in Fetal/Neonatal Medicine (*9 months*)  

-Certificate in Intensive Critical Care Medicine (*12-month program*]  

-Certificate in Intensive General Medicine *12-month program*

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7. University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is an Ivy League university with a large alumni base. The School of Nursing at the University of Calgary offers undergraduate and graduate-level nursing degrees. 

It also has one of the largest nursing student populations in Canada, with close to 900 students enrolled each year. The undergraduate program takes three years to complete, while the graduate programs take two years for a Bachelor’s Degree and four years for a Master’s Degree. 

Most graduates from this school go on to work as Registered Nurses (RN) or Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPN). In addition to preparing graduates for careers in nursing, the University of Calgary emphasizes patient safety, research excellence, and community engagement. 

Graduate students are required to complete at least 60 hours of practical experience in order to graduate. If you want a top-ranked education that will prepare you for your career as a nurse, then consider enrolling in one of the many degree programs offered by the University of Calgary’s School of Nursing.

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8. MacEwan University

-MacEwan University is a public institution, which means tuition costs are much lower than at private universities. Currently, tuition ranges from $1,650 to $6,850 per year for undergraduate students (tuition varies depending on the program). 

The most popular major at MacEwan University is nursing. This major requires four years of study to complete and will be pursued by 95% of all students who graduate from this university. 

The successful completion of this degree qualifies graduates to work as Registered Nurses with the designation RN(C) 

and/or Registered Psychiatric Nurses with the designation RPN(C). 

Graduates must also take the Canadian Practical Nurse Certification Examination before working as a nurse. In addition, they need to register with the College of Licensed Practical Nurses.

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9. University of Lethbridge

The University of Lethbridge is one of the top nursing schools in Canada and has been ranked as one of the top 10 nursing schools in Alberta. 

The Faculty of Health Sciences offers a BScN program with an average completion time of 4 years or a two-year diploma program. The Faculty also offers a Graduate Diploma Program for Registered Nurses who wish to pursue higher education. 

The faculty also offers Ph.D. research degrees for those students interested.

The university is located on a beautiful campus on the west side of Lethbridge, right on the banks of Oldman River. 

Students are able to take advantage of many recreational opportunities available at the university, including playing sports and participating in clubs such as cycling and kayaking, as well as enjoying hiking trails around the facility’s perimeter. 

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10. Athabasca University

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at Athabasca University provides students with a well-rounded and broad education to prepare them for the diverse challenges they will face as nurses within the healthcare system while also providing opportunities to explore other fields within the health and social care industry. 

Students are able to complete a bachelor’s degree or continue their professional development as an RN while working full-time. 

As part of the curriculum, students are required to develop research skills through coursework in the first year, which helps them build on critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 

Students learn how to integrate theory into practice through clinical placements, which take place at various hospitals across Canada. These placements provide students with both theoretical and practical knowledge that is highly sought after by employers. 

Upon completion of their degree, students can become registered nurses (RN) through the Canadian Nurses Association or pursue further studies in graduate nursing programs such as nurse practitioner or public health nurse.

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What Type of Nursing Is Most In-Demand In Alberta?

Nursing is a profession that is constantly evolving and adapting to the needs of society. The nursing profession is incredibly diverse, which means that there are many different types of nurses and specialties. 
For example, Registered Nurses (RN) work with patients who need extensive medical care. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) provide more intermediate healthcare services but do not have the same authority as an RN. 
Nursing graduates have many options for their career paths, which makes it important to choose a school that will help them achieve their goals and prepare them for the future. 

How Are Nurses Paid In Alberta?

Nurses are paid based on the level of their education and training, their years of experience, and the work environment. In Canada, nurses’ wages vary depending on which province they’re working in. 
For example, nurses working in Alberta’s public health system make as much as $87,000 per year. Nurses who are employed by private companies or self-employed can make as much as $120,000 per year. 
However, salaries for new graduates may be as low as $30,000, with many moving up to the range of $40,000 to 50,000 after a few years of experience. 
Still, nursing students should also consider other factors when deciding where to work, such as cost of living, quality of life, opportunities for advancement, and relocation prospects.

How Much Does It Cost To Attend A Nursing School In Alberta?

Nursing programs are not cheap, but they are worth the investment. In Canada and the United States, it is estimated that a nurse with a four-year degree will earn, on average, $87,000 USD per year. 
In contrast, someone who only has a high school diploma earns an average of $30,000 USD per year. A nursing degree can set you up for lifelong financial stability and independence. 
It is important to weigh your priorities before choosing a school. Some people might want their education done as quickly as possible, while others might value clinical experience more than class lectures.
You also need to consider if you want to work in Canada or abroad and if you plan on going into private practice or public health services. The cost of living varies drastically between provinces, so choosing a city could be as important as choosing a program. 
Some schools offer bursaries or scholarships based on merit or need, so inquire about these options when applying.

How Long Does It Take To Complete A Nursing Degree In Alberta?

Alberta has many quality nursing schools to choose from, so picking the right one is not an easy task. There are many factors that you will want to consider when looking for a school. 
For example, how long does it take to complete a nursing degree in Alberta? The average time it takes for a student to complete the four-year program and earn their RN diploma varies depending on the school you choose. 
Generally speaking, there are two types of schools: university-based programs and college-based programs. University-based programs tend to have more rigorous admissions requirements than college-based ones. 
However, once accepted into one of these programs, students can typically expect an average time of about five years to complete their four-year degree. 
In comparison, a college-based program usually has less stringent admission standards. Therefore, the average time it takes for a student to complete this type of program is much shorter, at about three years or less. Keep in mind that attending classes full-time will help shorten your time frame considerably.

Where Can I Specialize/Work As A Nurse?

As a Registered Nurse, you can work in several different areas and specialties. You can specialize as a Registered Nurse Practitioner, Labor and Delivery Nurse, Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, or Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. 
You can also focus on specific fields such as gerontology or cardiovascular care nursing.
All Registered Nurses can practice as General Practitioners, which means they can assess a patient’s needs and determine what treatment is best. 
You’ll also be required to document your clinical recommendations in an accurate, clear manner and meet with patients on a regular basis. 
As your career progresses, you may find yourself dealing with more complex cases or working with ill-behaved patients, so it’s important that you have excellent communication skills before entering nursing school.
Medical specializations – If you want to focus on a particular field of medicine – such as pediatrics, gerontology, or cardiology – there are several nursing roles you can choose from based on your level of education.


Congratulations! You now have a list of 10 of the best nursing schools in Alberta to choose from when it comes time to complete your nursing degree. Consider these factors, like location, cost, and curriculum, as you make your decision. 

Remember that this is an important decision and will impact the rest of your life. However, with all of the options available, you can find a school that’s perfect for you.


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