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FAQs for the Bachelor of Nursing Program

Submitted by laflammd on Wed, 01/14/2015 - 11:32am

Where do I find the application form?

Applicants must apply on-line here. 

Please note that this is the only method of application.

What are the admission requirements?

Detailed information regarding our admission requirements can be found here

Which courses will the Admissions Office use to calculate a GPA for admission?

Admission is determined based on a competitive GPA.

Effective Fall Session 2017, the Degree Holder and Transfer Admission GPA will be calculated based on the pre-requisites outlined under "Admission Requirements" (English, Arts, Statistics and Anatomy/Physiology), regardless of when they were completed, plus an additional 15 units (2.5 FCEs) taken from the most recent transferable coursework for a total of 30 units (5.0 FCEs). Calculated as of the end of Winter Session (April) for September entry and the end of Summer Session (August) for January entry.

The University of Calgary uses a 4-point GPA scale: 4.00 = A+/A; 3.70 = A-; 3.30 = B+; 3.00 = B, etc.

What is a half/full course?

One half course (HCE) is equivalent to a three to five unit course and one full course (FCE) is equivalent to a six or more unit course.

If I am an International Student do I need to complete a TOEFL test?

Please access the International Centre website for more information on applying as an International student. 

I already have a Nursing degree from another country. Can I apply to the Bachelor of Nursing program at the University of Calgary?

If you hold a previous bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in nursing, you cannot obtain another baccalaureate degree within the same discipline/major.  If you wish to work in Alberta, please go to for information on how to obtain nursing registration.

If you wish to further your education within the field of nursing, you may want to consider enrolling in a Master’s of Nursing (MN) Degree Program; however, it is important to note that students in the MN Program at the University of Calgary must hold active/current nursing registration with the College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA).

Detailed information on the University of Calgary MN Program can be obtained at:

What is an “official” transcript?

In order to be considered "official", transcripts must be forwarded “directly” to Enrolment Services from the institution(s) a student has attended. If you have a transcript in your possession, it would be considered “unofficial”

Where do I find out what the fees would be for the Nursing program?

Information on fees can be found here

For a complete estimate of expenses for the Bachelor of Nursing Program, please refer to “Estimate of Expenses” in the Student Handbook.

Will my U of C courses transfer to the Nursing Program?

You may use Academic Requirements to determine what courses you have taken or are currently registered in that will transfer to the nursing program.

Do LPN/RNA, RPN, PCA and EMS programs transfer to the U of C?

LPN/RNA, RPN, PCA and EMS programs do not transfer to the U of C; however, transfer credit may be awarded for a two-year Diploma Program (to a maximum of 10 half junior options) or for other university level transferable coursework. Please contact a Student Advisor in the Faculty of Nursing for further information.

How do I transfer from one BN/BScN program to the BN Program at U of C?

The curriculum of nursing programs across Canada varies greatly; therefore, students wishing to transfer from another BN/BScN Program would be required to enter into Year 2 of our program by applying to the BN Transfer Route (or BN Degree Holder Route, if applicable).

In addition, applicants who have previously been enrolled in a baccalaureate Nursing program at another institution must submit:  1) a letter which outlines their academic plans and explains their reasons for transferring to the University of Calgary Nursing program and, 2) a reference letter from the Dean or Designate of the current/prior Nursing program that the applicant is transferring from, confirming that the applicant is/was in good academic standing and that they are eligible to continue in the program.

A follow-up interview with the Associate Dean may be required as part of the review process.  Admission is not automatic; applicants will be considered on an individual basis.

In instances where applicants have failed prior nursing courses or have been required to withdraw from a prior nursing program, the letter must also explain why they are now likely to be successful.  Refer to section A.11 Undergraduate Admissions:  Required to Withdraw Students of the University Calgary for more detailed information. if applicable).

What skills and abilities do registered nurses in Alberta require within their profession?

Students are encouraged to review the document Requisite Skills and Abilities for Becoming a Registered Nurse in Alberta to identify their fit with the requirements of becoming a registered nurse.

What is the difference between a RPN, LPN and RN?

The University of Calgary Bachelor of Nursing Degree Program prepares students to become Registered Nurses (RNs).

There are three groups of professional nurses in Alberta:  Registered Nurses (RNs), Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) who are responsible to their respective professional nursing colleges or associations which serve as regulatory bodies for licensing health professionals. 

Provincial legislation directs these three professional nursing regulatory bodies to ensure that nurses provide safe, ethical, competent nursing care.  The regulatory bodies do this by setting requirements for licensure (initial and annual renewal), for standards of practice, and for approval of nursing education programs.  Processes are also established for addressing complaints regarding unsafe or incompetent practice.  Each regulatory body also defines the scope of practice of their members.

The curriculum for each nursing program varies according to the scope of knowledge and skills required for practice by these different groups. All students study from the same body of nursing knowledge.  Entry to practice for RNs and RPNs requires a bachelor’s degree from an approved university program. Nursing education for Registered Nurses prepares nurses to practice in diverse settings, from hospitals to community sites and patients’ homes.  The depth and breadth of foundational knowledge includes the following areas:  clinical practice, decision-making, critical thinking, leadership, research utilization and resource management.  RPN programs prepare clinicians for practice for nursing roles with a mental health focus. The LPN program is shorter in length with a more focused foundational knowledge of clinical practice appropriate to management of stable patients in more predictable service environments.

Compensation for nursing jobs varies depending on a variety of factors, including the professional designation (RN, RPN, LPN), the job location, as well as the area and scope of the position.  
For more detailed information about the scope of practice for RNs, RPNs, and LPNs, refer to the websites for CARNA, CRPNA, and CLPNA.