What is Nursing (by RNs or Registered Nurses)?

"Registered nurses are self-regulated health-care professionals who work autonomously and in collaboration with others. RNs enable individuals, families, groups, communities and populations to achieve their optimal level of health. RNs coordinate healthcare, deliver direct services and support clients in their self-care decisions and actions in situations of health, illness, injury and disability in all stages of life. RNs contribute to the healthcare system through their work in direct practice, education, administration, research and policy in a wide array of settings." - Canadian Nurses Association

What are the common academic requirements for BScN?

For Second Degree Entry or Compressed BScN programs (typically 19-24 months in duration), students are required to have:

  • At least 20 courses/10 credits completed prior to admission.
  • Minimum academic requirement to apply is typically a B or 3.0 or 75% in the final 2 years.
  • Prerequisites vary by institution but may include courses in biology/life science (human anatomy and physiology), statistics, psychology, humanities and social sciences.

Be sure to visit each university’s website for more information on their program and specific admission requirements as some have unique prerequisites such as microbiology, chemistry and/or high school credits.

Looking for Related Experience?

You can find volunteer and paid opportunities in Also watch your email for messages from your department about opportunities to get involved.

Tips for a successful Nursing application

  • Start Early! Nursing programs require a high GPA. Many look for demonstrated interest in healthcare in your application.
  • Improve your GPA: Visit the AA&CC and the Centre for Teaching & Learning to improve your academic skills. AA&CC Events & Workshops are available via CLN
  • Cultivate References: Get to know a few professors early so that they write a strong reference letter for you.
  • Get Involved: Join volunteer and cocurricular activities that demonstrate your skills and ongoing interest in a career in nursing.

Tip for Personal Statement and Interview

Convey enthusiasm and committment to nursing, and demonstrate a strong track record of community involvement and volunteerism.

Where can I study Nursing(BScN) to become an RN?

There are 14 Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) programs in Ontario, which lead to registration as an RN. Several universities offer the second entry/compressed/accelerated option (ranging from 19 months to 28 months) for students who started degrees in other subjects and want to “transfer” to nursing:

  • Lakehead University (compressed, 3 years)
  • McMaster University (accelerated, 20 months)
  • Queen’s University (advanced standing, 2 years)
  • Trent University (compressed, 28 months)
  • University of Ottawa (second entry, 24 months)
  • University of Toronto (2 years)
  • Western University (compressed, 19 months)
  • York University (second entry, 2 years)

There are typically specific course requirements to be earned in advance (see box above).

When and how do I apply?

  • Application intake for some programs begins as early as November with deadlines ranging from December to March. Please check individual program websites for specific dates.
  • Most applications are submitted through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre using OUAC form 105:

What application componets may be required?

Different programs require different components, such as:

  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary studies and high school
  • Supplementary information form
  • Personal statement
  • References (academic and work/volunteer)
  • Interview

How much does it cost?

This is the least costly variety of health care program. Annual tuition for BScN programs in Ontario ranges $6,000 -$9,500.

Alternatives to Second Entry Nursing

Students are also encouraged to consider:

  • 4-year BScN programs (use OUAC form 101)
  • Practical Nursing (RPN) programs through colleges, which also “bridge” to BScN (RN) programs
  • Applied Health Sciences programs at the Michener Institute

Where can I find more information and resources?

Application & Personal Statement Resources

The AA&CC can help!

Attend the Graduate & Professional Schools Fair, go to a Preparing for Professional & Graduate School workshop, or speak with a Career team member to learn how to get relevant experience!

Please Note: While this page aims to ensure accuracy, requirements do change. Consider it a starting point for your further research. Visit individual program websites for detailed, up-to-date information about admission requirements and application procedures.