Nursing MScN (FNP) and MScN Programs

Martha MacLeod, Professor Emerita

Catharine Schiller, Assistant Professor and Chair
Davina Banner-Lukaris, Professor
Sheila Blackstock, Associate Professor
Shannon Freeman, Associate Professor
Caroline Sanders, Associate Professor
Erin Wilson, Associate Professor
Viviane Josewski, Assistant Professor
Raelene Marceau, Assistant Professor
Sylvia Barton, Adjunct Professor
Tina Fraser, Adjunct Professor
Kelly Gunn, Adjunct Professor
Allan Lai, Adjunct Professor
Brandin Lilgert, Adjunct Professor
Cindy Milner, Adjunct Professor
Robert Pammett, Adjunct Professor
Lauren Irving, Senior Lab Instructor
Linda van Pelt, Senior Instructor
Heidi Dunbar, Instructor
Kristine Rowswell, Lecturer

Websites:
www.unbc.ca/nursing/graduate-programs
www.unbc.ca/nursing/family-nurse-practitioner-mscn-fnp

The Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner Program is a practice-oriented, theory-based degree that prepares graduates to be autonomous practitioners, leaders, role models, and educators in primary health care. The focus of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program is general family practice—that is care for individuals, families, groups, and communities across all life stages. Family Nurse Practitioners are health professionals who have achieved advanced nursing practice competencies at the graduate level of nursing education. Nurse Practitioners, who are regulated by the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives, provide health care services from a holistic nursing perspective, integrated with the autonomous diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illness, including ordering diagnostic tests and prescribing medications.

The Master of Science in Nursing Program (Thesis or Project) leads to an advanced nursing practice degree that focuses on preparing graduates across a range of areas and specialties to act as autonomous practitioners. In addition, this program aims to prepare graduates as interprofessional collaborators, nurse researchers, leaders, educators, change agents, and role models. Graduates of this program work in a variety of health care settings as clinical nurse specialists, educators, administrators, and researchers, and work with diverse populations across all age groups.

Both programs focus on the preparation of graduates for advanced nursing practice in rural and northern communities. Courses address the following: community and program development and evaluation; debates influencing health care policy; application of research and evidence-based practice; promotion of the health of Indigenous Peoples; and development of nursing knowledge in relation to advanced practice nursing.

Required courses for the MScN (FNP) and MScN are available by distance, with some on-site (face-to-face) requirements and required clinical practice in the MScN (FNP) Program. 

Clinical Practica Scheduling and Expectations

The MScN (FNP) Program focuses on practice in rural and northern settings. Clinical practica at sites across British Columbia are arranged by the School of Nursing. Students must be prepared to complete clinical hours where and when assigned.

Clinical practica sites are based on availability as well as student learning needs towards achieving Entry-Level Competencies for Nurse Practitioners in Canada.

Attendance for all 752 clinical hours is required through 12 credit hours of practicum and 9 credit hours of consolidating internship. Students who do not complete their total required hours in each semester are at risk of failure. Students who are unable to attend their practicum for any reason must contact their clinical faculty and preceptor with as much notice as possible.

For those in the MScN (Thesis or Project option): NURS 701-6 Advanced Clinical Practice Nursing clinical hours and practice sites are tailored to the specific clinical focus.

Students who are away from the program for more than 12 months are assessed on an individual basis to determine whether there is a need for remediation to allow a return to a clinical practice setting. This may include repeating all components of courses taken previously, regardless of whether the student successfully completed the course, and dependent on the timing of the absence related to the program sequence.

Program Costs

Costs associated with study in the MScN (FNP) Program or the MScN Program—Thesis or Project Option are the responsibility of the individual student, including transportation costs, and any expenses involved in academic studies, lab, and clinical practica. These expenses may include travel, accommodation, and living expenses associated with required clinical practice or travel to campus for required face-to-face (on campus) coursework. See the Fees section in this calendar.

Criminal Records Search

All students in the Master of Science in Nursing program are required to submit a Criminal Record Check search prior to the commencement of their first clinical courses.

Immunizations

All students undertaking clinical learning experiences must submit records of current status of the following immunizations prior to commencement of clinical courses: diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, varicella, COVID-19 , and any other immunization that may become required for practice by order of the Provincial Health Officer. A Mantoux test (PPD) for tuberculosis is also recommended within one month of entering the clinical setting. Failure to have up-to-date immunizations may result in the student not being permitted to practice in a clinical setting.

CPR Certification

All students undertaking clinical learning experiences must provide proof of current CPR certification, level C, prior to commencement of the clinical courses.

British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives Requisite Skills and Abilities

All students who apply to the UNBC MScN (FNP) and MScN Programs must demonstrate the capacity to meet British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) Requisite Skills and Abilities, and sign the BCCNM form attesting to that capacity.

Standards of Professional Conduct

In addition to fulfilling all University and Program expectations, all students are expected to abide by professional standards as set forth in the current BCCNM Professional Standards for Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners and the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) Code for Ethics for Registered Nurses. Violation of professional standards may result in suspension or dismissal from the program or the educational institution.

Misconduct

Any conduct that violates the ethical or legal standards of UNBC or BCCNM, particularly those related to academic dishonesty and professional conduct, are considered serious offenses. Academic misconduct and/or professional misconduct may result in the student being required to withdraw from the MScN Program and possibly the University. Satisfactory academic performance is not the sole criterion for progression or graduation. The UNBC School of Nursing reserves the right to require a student to withdraw from their program if the student is considered to be unsuited to proceed with the study or practice of advanced practice nursing.

Academic Performance

All MScN students must adhere to all Graduate Program Admissions and Regulations as outlined in the UNBC Graduate Calendar. Students may be removed from a clinical learning experience or setting due to “unsafe or unprofessional” performance or conduct and may receive a final grade of F in that course.

MScN (FNP) Family Nurse Practitioner Program

Admission to Family Nurse Practitioner Program

In addition to the application requirements outlined in General Admission of the Graduate Academic Calendar, applicants for the Family Nurse Practitioner Program are required to submit the following for consideration of admission: 

  • Two Assessment Reports on Applicant for Admission to Graduate Studies. Letters of reference may accompany the Assessment Reports. At least one of the assessments/letters must be from a health professional from the prospective student’s most recent practice setting;
  • An academic transcript showing undergraduate courses in nursing theory, health assessment, community health nursing, and research;
  • Nursing practice résumé or curriculum vitae;
  • Successful completion of the San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training within the previous two years prior to the semester of admission to the MScN (FNP) Program;
  • Evidence of at least two years' full-time practice experience, or equivalent, following completion of the Baccalaureate Nursing degree;
  • Evidence of active registration as a nurse in British Columbia. Note that annual documentation of current, practicing BCCNM licensure is required while enrolled in the program.

Application deadlines can be found online at www.unbc.ca/admissions/graduate.

The MScN (FNP) Program accepts students for the September Semester.

Family Nurse Practitioner Program Requirements

A minimum of 51 credit hours of MScN and Nurse Practitioner courses is required. A final project completes the degree.

NURS 602-3 Pathophysiology
NURS 603-3 Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning
NURS 604-3 The Healing and Well-being of Indigenous Peoples
NURS 605-3 Pharmacological Management and Therapeutic Interventions
NURS 606-3 Developing Nursing Knowledge
NURS 607-3 Appraising and Synthesizing Evidence for Practice
NURS 608-3 Nurse Practitioner Professional Practice
NURS 703-3 Health Program Planning, Community Development and Evaluation
NURS 704-3 Leadership in Health Care and Practice
NURS 720-6 Practicum: Integrating Primary Health Care I
NURS 730-6 Practicum: Integrating Primary Health Care II
NURS 790-9 Nurse Practitioner Internship
NURS 798-3 Nurse Practitioner Project

MScN Program - Thesis or Project Option

Admission to MScN Program

In addition to the admission application requirements outlined in General Admission of the Graduate Academic Calendar, applicants for the Academic Master's Program are required to submit the following for consideration of admission: 

  • Two Assessment Reports on Applicant for Admission to Graduate Studies. Letters of reference may accompany the Assessment Reports. At least one of the assessments/letters must be from a health professional from the prospective student’s most recent practice setting.
  • An academic transcript showing undergraduate courses in nursing theory, health assessment, community health nursing, and research.
  • Nursing practice résumé or curriculum vitae.
  • Evidence of active registration in the jurisdiction in which the student resides while taking the program. Note that annual documentation of current licensure is required while enrolled in the program.

Application deadlines can be found online at www.unbc.ca/admissions/graduate.

The MScN Program accepts students for the September Semester.

Thesis Option Requirements

18 credit hours of MScN courses are required, as well as 3 credit hours of electives. Students must also complete a 12-credit-hour independent research thesis, for a total of 33 credit hours.

NURS 604-3 The Healing and Well-being of Indigenous Peoples 
NURS 606-3 Developing Nursing Knowledge
NURS 607-3 Appraising and Synthesizing Evidence for Practice
NURS 618-3 Research Approaches for Nursing and Health
NURS 619-3 Qualitative Research in Nursing and Health
     or NURS 620-3      Quantitative Research in Nursing and Health
NURS 704-3 Leadership in Health Care and Practice

Electives

At least 3 credit hours of graduate-level study at or above the 600 level are required. The purpose of the elective(s) is to broaden the student’s depth and scope of learning on a particular topic of interest.  The supervisory committee will ensure the appropriate selection of relevant elective course(s).

Thesis

NURS 799-12   Thesis

MScN Thesis students must write and defend an independent research thesis. The thesis entails research in a topic area developed in consultation with the student’s supervisory committee. Oral examination is required as per University regulations.

Project Option Requirements

18 credit hours of MScN courses are required, as well as 9 credit hours of electives. Students must also complete a 6-credit-hour independent project, for a total of 33 credit hours.

NURS 604-3 The Healing and Well-being of Indigenous Peoples
NURS 606-3 Developing Nursing Knowledge
NURS 607-3 Appraising and Synthesizing Evidence for Practice
NURS 618-3 Research Approaches for Nursing and Health
NURS 703-3 Health Program Planning, Community Development and Evaluation
NURS 704-3 Leadership in Health Care and Practice

Electives

At least 9 credit hours of graduate-level study at or above the 600 level are required. The purpose of the electives is to broaden the student’s depth and scope of learning on a particular topic of interest. The supervisory committee ensures the appropriate selection of relevant elective course(s).

Project

NURS 797-6    MScN Project

MScN Project students must write and defend an independently completed project. The project entails addressing a topic of concern within nursing practice, education, administration or policy, such as clinical or patient focused outcomes, evidence-informed practice, quality improvement, knowledge translation, or theoretical investigation.

Updated: May 23, 2024