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Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.)

Program Objectives

The objectives of the Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) program are to prepare nurses who are innovative, creative, evidence-informed problem solvers who can collaboratively lead interprofessional teams.

These objectives will be achieved through a course of studies that prepares nurses to:

  • Create, translate and use nursing knowledge in all its forms.
  • Synthesize and apply diverse perspectives within scholarly nursing research, practice and knowledge development.
  • Cultivate advanced ethical reasoning and critical thinking.
  • Develop advanced skills and strategies for evidence-informed decision-making and practice. Gain practical experience in the application of healthcare knowledge in diverse environments.

Program Overview

Degree offered: M.S.N.

The Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) program offers opportunities for baccalaureate nurses to develop and advance their professional knowledge, practice, and scholarship. Graduate students will engage in scholarly inquiry within a chosen area of nursing practice. Consistent with the BCCNM (British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives), nursing practice is broadly defined as practice within the domains of clinical work, education, administration and research. In addition to a required core of foundation courses, students will select either a course-based or a research-based stream. The course-based stream may be completed in 16 months of full time study. The research-based stream requires a minimum of 24 months of full-time study. Both streams have part-time options and are offered via a combination of flexible delivery and intensive summer courses offered on campus. Graduates will be prepared to participate in knowledge development, application, integration, and translation through leadership roles within their practice setting.

Admission Requirements

The program is governed by policies of the College of Graduate Studies.

To be eligible for admission, an applicant must:

  • Be a Registered Nurse with a baccalaureate degree, normally in nursing.
  • Have a minimum overall average of B+ (76%) standing in third-and fourth-year levels of their baccalaureate with an A- (80%) in 12 credits of nursing courses.
  • Demonstrate competence to pursue studies in the English language.1
  • Have successfully completed an undergraduate university or graduate university statistics course in the past 5 years as prerequisite, or approval of the School of Nursing Graduate Program Coordinator.

1Acceptable English language proficiency tests for applicants to the College of Graduate Studies are listed on the College of Graduate Studies website

In addition to meeting minimum admission criteria, applicants will be evaluated in relation to:

  • Record of academic and professional achievement.
  • Two (2) letters of reference.
  • Quality and demonstrated written competency in letter of intent.

Please see College of Graduate Studies page for more information on the English Language Proficiency Requirement.

Program Requirements

The Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) program allows students to choose from one of the following program streams:

MSN Program Streams

Research-Based StreamCourse-Based Stream
3 Required Core Courses (9 credits)3 Required Core Courses (9 credits)
2 Core Research Courses (6 credits)1 Course-Based Core Research Course (3 credits)
1 Focus Course (3 credits)4 Focus Courses (12 credits)
Thesis (12 credits)Capstone Course (6 credits)
Total: 30 creditsTotal: 30 credits

Master level coursework is normally taken at the 500-level. Six credits of upper-level Undergraduate level coursework (300-499) may be taken with the approval of the School of Nursing Graduate Program Coordinator.

Required Core Courses for both streams 9 credits:

NRSG 500Nursing Knowledge (3)
NRSG 504Finding and Integrating Knowledge for Evidence-Informed Practice (3)
NRSG 505Healthcare Policy (3)

Required Additional Courses for Course-Based Stream 9 credits:

NRSG 597Capstone Practicum (6)
NRSG 502Course-Based Core Research Course (3)

Required Additional Courses for Research-Based Stream 18 credits:

Nursing 506Qualitative Research (3)
Nursing 507Quantitative Research (3)
Nursing 599Research Thesis (12)

Focus Courses (12 credits required for Course-Based stream; 3 credits required for Research-Based stream):

Nursing Education Stream 
Nursing Leadership and Management Stream 
The composition of Focus Courses is aimed at advancing appropriate knowledge and expertise in the learner’s chosen domain of practice. Course-based students choose their Focus Courses from either the Nursing Education (NRSG 522, NRSG 523) or Leadership and Management (NRSG 542, 543) themes, however other Focus Course options may be available with approval from the Graduate Program Coordinator. Focus courses are to be taken at the graduate-level (500+ at UBC), but upper-level undergraduate courses may be taken in exceptional circumstances with approval of the Graduate Program Coordinator.
NRSG 522Introduction to Nursing Education (3)
NRSG 523Teaching and Learning in Nursing Practice (3)
NRSG 542Introduction to Nursing Leadership and Management (3)
NRSG 543Nursing Leadership and Management in Practice (3)


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