MScN-Alternate Admission

photo of Vari Hall in the winter

Alternate Admission Overview

Do you have a nursing diploma and the desire to pursue graduate studies to meet your career and personal goals? The fast track admission option provides the opportunity for qualified diploma registered nurses (RNs) to pursue graduate studies over a three-year timeframe. Successful candidates will take specific undergraduate courses and earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MScN).

The core goal of this MScN admission option is to provide a unique opportunity for motivated, experienced clinicians with strong academic potential to achieve graduate level education. Successful applicants are initially admitted as visiting students under the Faculty of Health. Students are required to complete undergraduate courses in nursing in preparation for graduate study.

Students completing the 30-credit undergraduate course requirement (click here for Courses) are not awarded a baccalaureate degree. The undergraduate courses provide the necessary foundation to prepare students for the academic-oriented objectives of the graduate program.

This unique option at York increases educational accessibility and enables students and graduates to:

  • Exhibit professional stewardship and self-development to improve nursing practice, education, research and health care delivery in the human science tradition;
  • Study in their own province instead of commuting to the nearest similar program in the US; and,
  • Meet the needs of employers and clients by minimizing the time that would typically be spent in a full diploma RN to BScN program, followed by a Masters program.

Graduates of this MScN program will be prepared to assume roles as leaders in practice and education. They will make a significant contribution to improving quality of care by:

  • Integrating and interpreting human science into teaching-learning practices with nursing students, peers and recipients of care;
  • Fostering critical reflection on dominant ways of thinking and practicing within nursing, healthcare and society;
  • Leading change that promotes local and global health;
  • Participating in programs of research that focus on health and healing; and,
  • Grounding their practice in nursing science which focuses on understanding human health experiences and caring relationships.

Admission Requirements

As of September, 2017, We are no longer accepting new students into the RN-MScN entry

The following admission criteria have been established to enable candidates to successfully meet upper level undergraduate course requirements:

  • Official transcripts from approved college or hospital program
  • Minimum overall grade point average of B+ in approved diploma program (or equivalent)
  • Minimum 5 years work experience as a Registered Nurse in Canada
  • Current registration with the College of Nurses of Ontario
  • Portfolio demostrating significant accomplishments in the nursing profession and exceptional promise to be successful in the graduate program. Portfolio should include evidences such as:
    • Evidence of leadership positions (e.g., peer teaching, management)
    • Chairs of Committee (e.g., Quality Assurance, Best Practice, RNAO Sub-Committees, CNO or ONA Committees)
    • Current CNA certification
    • Evidence of the completion of a writing course
    • Post-diploma certificates
    • Sample of scholarly writing (e.g., a professional paper or recent publication, or academic work)
  • Statement of Intent showing evidence of lifelong l;earning and reflective practice and addressing:
    • Why is this program a fit for you at this point in your career?
    • What qualities will you bring to ensure success in this program?
    • How do you see this degree furthering your professional goals?
  • Proof of membership and liability protection with the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario
  • Letters of reference (3), including one academic reference and one which reflects significant contribution to leadership and clinical practice

The application deadline for this alternate admission option is February 22, 2017.


The alternate admission option requires the successful completion of 30 undergraduate credits as listed below. (If students have previously completed courses at the undergraduate level with a minimum grade of B+ in a course, course equivalencies will be assessed, and students will be advised as to the courses that are required for this option.)

Term 1 Fall Term 2 Winter Term 3 Summer
NURS 3010* 3.0 Nature of Nursing Knowledge
NURS 3515 3.0 Research and Inquiry
Non-nursing elective
PSYC 2021 3.0 Statistical Methods I*
NURS 4546* 3.0 Global Context of Nursing
NURS 4525 6.0 Community as Partner
NURS elective 3.0
NURS elective 3.0
Non-nursing elective

* or equivalent

More information about courses can be found at the York Courses website.

After completion of 30 undergraduate credits, students will:

  • Provide analysis of multiple ways of knowing in decision making and problem solving, in partnership with clients;
  • Demonstrate basic critical and reflective thinking;
  • Understand concepts of lifelong learning;
  • Participate in collaborative relationships in nursing, with the community and the interdisciplinary team;
  • Identify personal leadership goals in nursing practice;
  • Advocate for healthy organizational and public policy that promotes the health of individuals, families, groups and communities;
  • Understand mechanisms that advance the nursing profession through excellence in practice, education and research; and,
  • Understand global consciousness, both personally and professionally, that supports and promotes human and planetary health.

Upon successful completion of the 30 required undergraduate credits, students will be eligible to continue into the established MScN program. A cumulative grade of B+ or higher is recognized as an indicator of excellent potential in the MScN program.

The program requirements for the MScN can be found at the Graduate Program in Nursing MScN website.