Canada is well known for its excellent medical schools and high investment in education in the field of health care and well-being. Its nursing schools are no less respected and coveted.

You can become a nurse in Canada by following one of the country’s top nursing programs and obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Most programs are taught in English, or also in French in the province of Québec.

Here is a guide to the top nursing schools in Canada.

Best Nursing Schools in Canada

1. University of British Columbia

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master’s, PhD, dual degrees
  • Language of Instruction: English

The UBC School of Nursing was established in 1919 and is the best nursing school in Canada. It was home to the first degree program in nursing in the Commonwealth, as well as being one of the first programs originally set up from the inception of the University of British Columbia.

The BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program is unique thanks to its great renown for research facilities and curriculum based on science and its international partnerships with universities and research centers around the world. Also, its collaboration with other departments on campus (including not just medicine but also pharmacy, nutrition science, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and more), and its links with the aboriginal Musqueam Nation on whose territory the university resides make this Canadian nursing school unique.

The admissions process at UBC’s Nursing College is very competitive, but it welcomes students from all over the world as well as students who are transferring from a different program of study into nursing.

2. University of Toronto Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor of Science in Nursing, various Master programs, PhD, Doctorate in Nursing
  • Language of Instruction: English

The University of Toronto is frequently listed as one of the top nursing schools in Canada, thanks to its research reputation and the highly regarded faculty members who teach there.

The Faculty of Nursing is named after Lawrence S. Bloomberg, a benefactor who made a visionary gift to the school in 2007, thus becoming the first-named faculty of nursing in Canada.

The BSc of Nursing is a 2-year program with the vision of preparing nurses who work safely, competently and ethically. At the end of the second year, students complete an 11-week continuous integrative clinical practicum, helping them prepare for the demands of real-life health care environments.

Further programs of study at the University of Toronto include a number of collaborative specializations as well as Doctorates of Nursing and PhD.

3. University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master’s, PhD
  • Language of Instruction: English, French

Study at the University of Alberta to experience various BSc pathways, including an Honors program and a bilingual one taught in English and French. There is also a BScN-Collaborative program, a four-year degree taught across Red Deer College, Keyano College (Fort McMurray), or Grande Prairie National College, in addition to the University of Alberta.

The Faculty of Nursing was founded in 1923 and was the first to open a Master of Nursing program in Western Canada in 1975, as well as the first fully-funded Nursing PhD program in Canada in 1991.

This is one of the largest nursing schools in Canada, offering a range of programs to suit students from different backgrounds and with various interest. The university has an indigenous nursing initiative, engaging students and faculty in the community. It also offers a fast-track study option for those looking to graduate early, and many opportunities to participate in paid internships during your study.

4. McMaster University School of Nursing

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: BSc Nursing, Master’s programs, PhD programs
  • Language of Instruction: English

McMaster University enjoys international renown for its programs, and was awarded 16th place in the world for its nursing program. McMaster University School of Nursing is considered the second best nursing school in Canada. Located in Hamilton, it is a public research university named after the Canadian senator and banker William McMaster who gave it a generous endowment.

The School of Nursing welcomes around 2,000 students every year across a BScN and the Master’s and PhD programs. The BScN is delivered jointly with Mohawk College and Conestoga College, using the experience of local teaching hospitals and community health centers to further enhance classroom-taught knowledge and skills.

From a four-year full-time program to achieve the Bachelor’s degree, to an Accelerated Stream over five semesters, to a Post-RPN stream for students who have the Registered Practical Nurses diploma, McMaster caters for almost any scenario you may want to study nursing in.

5. McGill University Ingram School of Nursing

  • Nursing Program
  • Degrees offered: BSc Nursing, various options / Master’s, various options / PhD
  • Language of Instruction: English

The world-renowned McGill University offers an excellent nursing program at Ingram School of Nursing, where teaching is based on a Strengths-Based approach. This top nursing school in Canada has a value-driven approach which aims to guide students towards efficient and sustainable nursing careers.

There are five formal programs at the Bachelor, Master and Doctoral levels, but allowing for variations to accommodate a combination of interests and concentrations for each student.

Currently the BScN is supplemented by an integrated version and a newly launched online program, too. Additionally, there are Master’s programs in Nursing and Advanced Nursing, a Nurse Practitioner Program and a Global Health Concentration.

The BScN program is run over 4 years, with a 5-week clinical placement undertaken at the end and which can also be done internationally. Successful graduation entitles graduates to sit the Québec licensure exams, but also all around Canada and internationally.

McGill have a dedicated Global and Indigenous Health Nursing department, specifically focusing on the health of populations in the global context but also on the health of indigenous people, persons in situations of homelessness or poverty, immigrant and refugee communities, and other vulnerable populations. The ultimate aim of this body is to promote the critical understanding of nursing in the global context, but also to advocate for social justice in relation to global health issues.


I hope that this article on the best nursing schools in Canada was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Courses in Canada!