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About the University of Calgary
Graduate Studies Calendar 2013-2014 Program Descriptions Nursing NURS
Nursing - NURS
Contact Information

Location: Professional Faculties Building, Room 2279
Faculty number: 403.220.6241
Fax: 403.284.4803
Email address: nursgrad@ucalgary.ca
Web page URL: http://nursing.ucalgary.ca

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Master of Nursing (MN), course-based or thesis-based
Integrated Master of Nursing/Nurse Practitioner (MN/NP)
Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Diploma (PMNP)

The Doctor of Philosophy program is designed to educate professionals for excellence in nursing scholarship through original research related to specialized practice with identified client populations.

Master of Nursing programs prepare nurses for advanced practice in focused areas that may include direct clinical practice, education, or health policy/leadership. The thesis-based program offers a focused supervised research experience.

A Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner (PMNP) diploma program, with an adult health acute care focus, is offered. The PMNP can be achieved as a Post-Master’s program or through an integrated Master of Nursing/Nurse Practitioner (MN/NP) program. The Nurse Practitioner program or any of its courses will only be offered contingent on the availability of resources and a sufficient cohort of students. Further information on the integrated MN/NP program can be found at http://nursing.ucalgary.ca.

2. Admission Requirements

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements, the Faculty of Nursing requires that an applicant must:

Master of Nursing

a) Be a Registered Nurse holding a baccalaureate degree, normally in nursing;

b) Be eligible for active nursing registration in Alberta (registrants in the program must provide proof of active CARNA registration or equivalent each year);

c) Hold CPR Certification at the Basic Rescuer or Basic Cardiac Life Support or “C” level;

d) Have successfully completed one undergraduate half course in research methodology;

e) Have successfully completed one undergraduate half course in statistics;

f) Applicants to the MN/NP and PMNP programs must have three years' (full-time or equivalent) clinical experience and must provide documentation from their employer confirming they have met the three years' experience (4,500 hours);

g) Submit two references, one from someone capable of assessing the applicant's academic and research ability, normally an academic, and one from someone who can attest to the applicant's nursing practice and expertise;

h) Submit a security/police clearance letter (Alberta Health Services require security clearance checks for nursing graduate students who will be doing a practicum or research in the region);

i) For applicants required to provide proof of proficiency in English submit a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (written test) or 100 (Internet-based test); IELTS score of 7.0; MELAB score of 83; PTE score of 70; or Level 3 on the EAP program, and;

j) Have an interview(s) with a faculty member, if requested by the Faculty.

The practicum providers and public health authorities have determined that in order to participate in practicum it is mandatory for students to be immunized against/tested for a variety of communicable diseases. They also must be fit tested for a N95 mask. Further information is available on the Faculty of Nursing website. This is also applicable to those in the MN/NP and the PMNP programs;

A minimum of three years' (full-time or equivalent) Registered Nurse practice experience in the proposed area of study is required for applicants to the MN/NP or the PMNP. These applicants must also provide commitment from the Health Region for practicum placement availability for the final practicum of the NP program (Nursing 650).

Any graduate student requesting transfer to the integrated MN/NP program must consult with his/her current supervisor prior to application.

Applicants to the MN/NP can be admitted on a part-time basis up to the commencement of the first NP practicum (Nursing 641) at which time a transfer to full-time studies must occur.

Doctor of Philosophy

a) Normally be a Registered Nurse.

b) Normally hold CPR Certification at the Basic Rescuer or Basic Cardiac Life Support or “C” level.

c) Submit a study plan outlining the areas of proposed concentration, goals in undertaking doctoral work, initial intentions regarding course work, and a statement of the preliminary plans for thesis research.

d) Provide examples of the applicant's written scholarly work such as publications, research reports, course assignments, etc.

e) Provide a curriculum vitae.

f) Provide a letter of commitment from the identified supervisor indicating willingness to provide supervision throughout the program of studies and supporting the applicant's study plan.

g) For applicants required to provide proof of proficiency in English submit a TOEFL score of 600 (written test) or 100 (Internet-based test); IELTS score of 7.0; MELAB score of 83; PTE score of 70; or Level 3 on the EAP program.

h) Have successfully completed one graduate-level half course in quantitative methods, one graduate-level half course in qualitative methods, plus one graduate-level half course in statistics. Exceptions may be considered, but the onus will be on the applicant to provide sufficient evidence to warrant exception. Deficiencies must be successfully eliminated prior to or in the first year of the Doctoral Program.

i) Submit three references, one of which must be from the applicant's supervisor of his/her master's program.

j) Submit a security/police clearance letter (Alberta Health Services require security clearance checks for nursing graduate students who will be doing a practicum or research in the region).

The practicum providers and public health authorities have determined that in order to participate in practicum it is mandatory for students to be immunized against/tested for a variety of communicable diseases. They also must be fit tested for a N95 mask. Further information is available on the Faculty of Nursing website.

Academic Accommodation Policy for Students with Disabilities

It is important for students with documented disabilities, who have met the admission criteria, to note that the Academic Accommodation Policy does not require the University to lower or substantially modify standards in order to accommodate students with disabilities. Adaptive technology and/or academic accommodations are available to facilitate learning, but they do not relieve students of their responsibilities to develop the essential skills and abilities expected of all other students.

3. Application Deadline

There are three application deadlines for submission of complete applications:

  • December 1 (early bird for the following September)
  • February 1 (for the following September)
  • September 15 (for the following January)

There are three application deadlines for the PMNP diploma program:

  • December 1 and February 1 for admission in September if the prerequisite courses are completed
  • If the prerequisite courses are not completed, applications must be submitted by September 15 for admission to the Winter, Spring, or Summer Terms as appropriate.

Applicants are highly encouraged to begin their application process early.

4. Advanced Credit

Applicants must include requests for advanced credit, accompanied by a rationale, when they apply for admission. For courses taken outside the University of Calgary, applicants must provide official transcripts and a copy of the course outline detailing the course description, objectives, assignments, readings, etc.

5. Program/Course Requirements

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies' requirements, the Faculty of Nursing requires the following:

Master of Nursing Programs

The Master of Nursing Program is presently revising its curriculum to align with Faculty of Nursing strategic plan, and comply with changes required by the Nursing Education Program Approval Board (NEPAB). The Nurse Practitioner program, in particular, will be revising and shifting content and delivery of the program to meet the NEPAB standards. These standards will be in accordance with established University processes, but the implementation of the revised courses may be done outside the usual annual cycle.

Courses in the integrated Master of Nursing/Nurse Practitioner program and the Post-Master's Nurse Practitioner Diploma program (Nursing 642, 644, 646, 650, 661, 663, 665) are often scheduled outside the standard semester timelines, as permitted.

Master of Nursing (course-based)

a) Successful completion of the following core courses: Nursing 605, 611, 621, 683, 691, 693, 695.

b) One graduate-level half course in statistics (Statistics 603).

c) Two graduate-level half course electives related to the student's focus of study.

Master of Nursing/Nurse Practitioner

d) Successful completion of the following core courses: Nursing 605, 611, 621,661, 663, 665, 683, 691.

e) One graduate-level half course in statistics (Statistics 603).

f) Successful completion of the following core NP courses: Nursing 641, 644, 646, 650, 667.

Post-Master's Nurse Practitioner Diploma

g) Successful completion of prerequisite courses: Nursing 661, 663, 665.

h) Successful completion of the following core NP courses: Nursing 641, 644, 646, 650, 667.

For the Nurse Practitioner practicum component of the integrated MN/NP and for the PMNP, there are additional requirements:

  • Mandatory participation of NP students in all activities related to practicum courses. NP students' practicum experiences may be scheduled at various hours, including evenings, nights and weekends. Practicum experiences may also extend outside the normal academic term. Normally, a student will not be permitted to withdraw from a NP practicum course in order to avoid a failing grade in that course.
  • Students in either the MN/NP or the PMNP will not be permitted to take Nursing 641 if their cumulative grade point average prior to commencing Nursing 641 is less than 3.00.

Master of Nursing (thesis-based)

a) At minimum successful completion of the following core courses: Nursing 605, 611, 621, 675, 683.

b) One graduate-level half course in statistics (Statistics 603).

Evaluation of nursing practicum will be weighted at 40 per cent of the final grade across all of the practica in the MN course-based and MN thesis-based programs, with a weight of 60 per cent for the seminar component.

Doctor of Philosophy

a) For students prepared at the Master's level in nursing a minimum of six half courses is required: Nursing 705, 769, two courses in advanced research methods at the 700 level, and two doctoral thesis seminars (Nursing 711 and 733).

b) Students in the doctoral program normally are required to take advanced research methods courses at the 700 level in both qualitative and quantitative research approaches, one of which must be Nursing 721 or 783.

c) After completion of the student's course work and approval of the thesis research proposal, a candidacy examination with a written and an oral component is required. Baccalaureate and non-nursing Master's prepared applicants must complete additional coursework beyond the six core half courses listed in (a). Applicants are individually assessed. The number and types of additional courses required will vary according to the applicant's academic, research and practice background as well as the proposed research plan.

6. Additional Requirements

None.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

Under special circumstances, with the consent of the Faculty, students may take undergraduate courses, normally at the senior or 500-level, for the Master of Nursing degree.

8. Time Limit

Expected completion time for full-time students in the Master of Nursing program is two years. Maximum completion time is four years for the thesis-based program and six years for the course-based program including the MN/NP. The PMNP is one year, full-time study. Expected completion time for doctoral students is four years; maximum completion time is six years.

9. Supervisory Assignments

a) Students in any of the course-based routes of the Graduate Programs will be assigned a permanent supervisor throughout their program of study.

b) If co-supervision is sought for a Master of Nursing/Nurse Practitioner (MN/NP) student, the supervision for the MN component will consist of the faculty member as the supervisor, and the NP faculty member as the co-supervisor. When the student commences the first practicum in the NP component, the supervision will reverse in that the supervisor will now be the NP faculty member and the co-supervisor will be responsible for the MN comprehensive examination.

c) In addition to normal regulations for assignment of supervisors in the MN program, a supervisory committee must be struck for all MN thesis students no later than three months after the appointment of supervisor.

d) Normally the Faculty of Nursing supervisor for an MN/NP or PMNP student is a member of the Nurse Practitioner Committee.

e) Doctoral students require a Faculty of Nursing member to commit to their supervision as a condition of admission.

10. Required Examinations

Master of Nursing (course-based)

A final comprehensive examination consists of a take-home written exam, designed according to the student's specialization, and an oral component. The written component must be completed within one week and constitutes the basis for a final oral examination two weeks later.

For the Nurse Practitioner component of the integrated MN/NP, all courses, with the exception of Nursing 650, must be completed prior to the MN comprehensive examination. Students may not proceed to Nursing 650 if they have not successfully completed their MN comprehensive examination.

The final exam in the MN/NP and the PMNP includes an experiential practice component and an oral examination.


Master of Nursing (thesis-based)

The final oral thesis examination is open.

Doctor of Philosophy

The doctoral candidacy examination has a written and an oral component. The written component focuses on three areas:

a) the theory that defines existing knowledge in the student's chosen area of nursing research.

b) the literature that defines existing knowledge in the student's chosen area of nursing research.

c) the proposed research method and data analysis/management strategy chosen for the thesis. The student has three weeks to complete the written component. The candidacy committee has approximately two weeks to review the written submission before the oral examination.

The student is expected to defend and extend his/her knowledge in these three areas. Questions about the student's proposed research may be asked.

The final doctoral oral thesis examination is open.

11. Research Proposal Requirements

Doctoral students must have their research proposals approved in principle by their supervisory committee prior to candidacy. Students must receive formal approval of their research proposals from the supervisory committee before proceeding to ethical review and implementation of the project. The approved proposal will be housed in the Research Office, Faculty of Nursing.

Students whose research involves human subjects must receive ethics approval from the University of Calgary Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board.

12. Special Registration Information

None.

13. Financial Assistance

Financial assistance may be available to qualified students. For information on awards, see the Awards and Financial Assistance section of this Calendar. Scholarship application packages will be available on the Faculty of Nursing Website prior to each competition deadline. The application deadline for internal scholarships is February 1. Students admitted to the doctoral program are highly encouraged to seek external funding to support their studies and research. Please note that the deadlines for external funding applications may not coincide with the February 1 deadline.

14. Other Information

None.

15. Faculty Members/Research Interests

Current faculty and their research interests can be found at http://nursing.ucalgary.ca/contact-us.