Undergraduate FAQs

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Q: What is the BSN Program?

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing - BSN program is an innovative approach to providing excellence in nursing education within a flexible and dynamic learning environment. The program combines focused nursing study with solid academic support to prepare outstanding professional nurses.

The UBC School of Nursing BSN Program is an accelerated program leading to a BSN degree. Currently, students enter this UBC program in Year 3 either after completing a bachelor degree or achieving a minimum of 48 credits in another field of study at UBC or another recognized college or university. All nursing courses are taken in Years 3 and 4 plus a summer term between these years, resulting in a five term BSN program (i.e., 20 consecutive months of study). Visit the UBC Academic Calendar Program Description

The BSN program offers a program of study to students with advanced standing or previous bachelor degrees and prerequisite courses. Students enter directly into third year level courses, and focus exclusively on nursing courses so they may complete the BSN degree in 20 months.

The BSN program is specifically designed to prepare nurses to meet current and emerging health care needs in Canada within the context of increasing globalization of health care concerns, and to meet the BCCNM Entry-Level Competencies for Registered Nurses. In keeping with the SoN Academic Plan, set within the context of the University’s vision for the 21st century (TREK 2010), overall key priorities are people, learning, research, community, and internationalization.

All clinical learning experiences provide students with the opportunity to apply entry-level competencies in providing direct care to clients. The expected level of student performance increases as students progress from basic client experiences to more complex client conditions and situations.

The School provides enriching learning environments; whether in the classroom, Learning Resource Centre, or placements in the community or at acute care hospitals. Students learn to be self-paced as they prepare to effectively define problems, gather and evaluate information and develop solutions to complex nursing care situations.

The nursing program is approved by the Provincial Government and the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM). At the completion of the program you will be eligible to apply to the BCCNM to write the national exam and on successful completion apply for provincial nursing registration, which is required to practice as a Registered Nurse in BC. Visit the BCCNM on the web to learn more.

Q: I want to apply to the program. How do I do that?

There are two steps to apply to the Nursing program, and both can be done once you create an account and access the Student Service Centre. You must complete two applications - one for UBC and one for the School of Nursing (called the Supplemental Application).

Visit http://you.ubc.ca/how-to-apply/, read instructions and then click Apply Now. After you pay the processing fee and submit the Undergraduate Admission Application, the system will give you access to the Supplemental Application.

Note: Current UBC students applying for a change of degree program will not lose their eligibility in the current program.

Be sure to remember that there are fees attached to each application.

Q: Am I eligible to apply for admission to the BSN program?

You are eligible to apply to the BSN program if you have a bachelor's degree or significant progress (minimum of 48 non-nursing, undergraduate level university transferrable credits) toward a degree in another field of study at a recognized university and will complete the prerequisite courses by April of the year they apply for entry (i.e., end of April, 2022 for September 2022 intake). Note: Applied degrees will be considered on case-by-case basis.

Q: How is the BSN Program Structured?

To make the most of your program we strongly encourage you to consult the Program Overview and Course Descriptions.

Q: Is this an accelerated BSN program and how many months does it take to complete the program?

Yes, we offer an accelerated BSN program where students enter at the third year level and complete 81 nursing credits in 20 months (5 continuous terms). 

Q: What are the specific outcomes of the BSN Program?

The Nursing Code of Ethics outlines the values that guide nursing practice while the Practice Standards are the criteria against which practice is measured. Key attributes described in the outcomes reflect the standards of practice set forth by the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM).

It is important to note that all courses are levelled throughout the program so that students’ acquisition of knowledge and expertise builds in a progressive fashion. Core concepts of professional practice, relational practice, and critical inquiry, as well as leadership, ethics and policy are built upon at each Level.

There 5 specific program outcomes in the BSN Program.

1. Practice within the Scope of Professional Nursing

     a. Consistently apply and justify application of the Professional Standards at current level of practice

     b. Consistently apply a variety of knowledge, skills, attitudes and judgments in providing nursing care for individuals, families, communities, and populations

2. Engage in Relational Practice with Individuals, Families, Communities and Populations

     a. Foster quality in their relationships with all parties involved in health care encounters.

     b. Strengthen their own ability to engage relationally

     c. All types of knowledge, including but not limited to evidence-based (include in Term I specific content on what we mean by knowledge)

3. Uses Critical Inquiry in the Provision of Health Care for Individuals/Families/Populations/Communities.

     a. Engage in critical problem solving

     b. Draw upon research evidence, experiential knowledge, the knowledge from other disciplines, and nursing’s distinct disciplinary perspective to make practice decisions about the health and healthcare experience of the client

     c. Critically analyze the social context of health and health care

4. Exhibit Leadership in the Provision of Health Care for Individuals/Families/Populations/Communities.

     a. Practice according to the ethical standards of nursing

     b. Understand the structure and function of the Canadian healthcare system and are able to articulate nursing’s unique contributions within it

     c. Apply basic leadership and management concepts within the healthcare context

5. Engage in Interprofessional Practice in the Provision of Health Care for Individuals/Families/Populations/Communities.


Q: Do you offer a direct entry 4-year nursing program?

No, students interested in a direct entry program should consider applying to UBC-Okanagan or other institutions offering 4-year nursing programs.

Q: Where can I find more information about UBC's general admission policies?
Q: Who do I contact when I need help?

To find out where you can access help for questions related to courses, the BSN Program, Student Services (both UBC & School of Nursing), and any other questions you may have please review the Lines of Communication Flow Chart.

Q: What is an ESA and how can they help me?

Enrolment Services Advisors (ESA) are here to provide personalized support throughout your time at UBC. If you have questions about the registration process or your student account, contact your Enrolment Services Advisor. ESAs are available to help all UBC students.

All undergraduate students in a degree program at UBC's Vancouver campus have their own dedicated Enrolment Services Advisor. Your ESA can help you over the phone, by email, or you can make an appointment to meet with your ESA in person at a time that's convenient for you. 

Your ESA will be your go-to person for help with anything from your tuition payment to your application to graduate:

  • Tuition and fee collection and inquiries
  • Financial assistance and planning
  • Registration help
  • Support for U-Pass, your medical/dental plan and opting out
  • Requests for transcripts, etc.
  • Referrals to the right student services and resources across campus

Find your ESA's contact information on the Student Service Centre (SSC) under Personal Info > UBC Contacts.

Q: When are the application and transcripts deadlines for the BSN program?

For more information on UBC Vancouver BSN program application deadlines, please visit our website under Ready to Apply? - Important Application Deadlines.

Q: How would I find out if the courses I took at another college or university are transferable to UBC?

The BC Transfer Guide provides comprehensive information about transfer credit for courses taken mainly in BC (some of the courses completed outside of BC and internationally are also listed). Courses taken outside of BC will be assessed on an individual basis after an applicant has formally applied to UBC and submitted all required documents. However, UBC Student Services has been developing UBC Transfer Credit Search. It may give you some information.

Q: How do I know if my degree is considered an applied degree?

An applied degree is typically a 4-year undergraduate program that combines theoretical instruction with practical work experience. It may be offered at a college, university or technical institute, and usually consists of a 2-year diploma plus two additional years of study.


Q: How will my applied degree be evaluated?

Due to their vocational focus, applied degrees will be considered on case-by-case basis. The Admissions Office will evaluate the coursework completed in the applied degree on a course-by-course basis to ensure that the 48-transferable credit requirement is met.

Q: I noticed that you don't grant transfer credits for nursing courses taken at other nursing schools. Does this mean you don't accept applications of nursing students from other institutions to the BSN program?

No. Applicants who are enrolled in nursing programs at other institutions are eligible to apply to our program, but they will not receive any transfer credit for nursing courses. Such applicants must meet the entrance requirements for the Advanced Standing entry: minimum 48 non-nursing, university transferable credits including 3 credits of English at 100-level and 6 credits of Human Anatomy and Physiology. 

Q: Can I get credit for courses completed at another university during my studies?

Yes, if approved.  Many schools in Western Canada are part of the Western Dean's Agreement which allows graduate students of the member institutions to take courses at another member institution without having to pay the host university's tuition fees.  

Read about the Western Dean's Agreement process

To start the program extension request, log into the Student Tracking System (https://sts.nursing.ubc.ca/) with your CWL.  On the right side blue menu, click "Courses".  On the new page, click the button "Request Transfer Course" and fill in the information.  Once you submit, an automated email will go to your supervisor and program coordinator for their review and approval.  Once their approval is granted the Student Support Office will complete the paperwork for submission to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. 

Schools not listed under the Western Dean's Agreement may qualify for other exchange agreements.  

Reference links:

Q: I have graduated from a university outside of Canada. How can I find out if my degree is recognized by UBC?

UBC Enrolment Services does not provide pre-application evaluation to any of the UBC applicants. If you are unsure and have unique situation, please visit our drop-in application advising session.

Q: What is included in the supplemental application which is submitted to the School of Nursing Student Service Centre?

The supplemental application includes: 
1) a personal statement that will introduce you to the committee;
2) a resume which showcases your education history, work experience, volunteer/community service work, leadership roles or activities, and extra-curricular activities (structured form provided in the application;

Q: What is the required minimum academic standing to apply?

Applicants are required to have a minimum 70% average, or grade point average of 2.8 (calculated on a 4-point scale) based upon the most recent 30 non-nursing, university transferable credits completed at the undergraduate level. Note: Due to enrolment limitations, the academic standing required for admission is much higher than the above average and is subject to change each academic year. 

Q: Which credits are used to calculate the grade point average?

To be eligible for admission into third year nursing, applicants need at least 48 non-nursing, university transferable credits. However, the GPA is calculated on the most recent completed 30 transferable credits up to December of the year of application, including any failed and repeated courses. In cases where counting back 30 credits lands in the middle of an academic term, the academic average of that term will be used for the remaining required credits to reach the total of 30.

Q: Is there a GPA score that will guarantee admission to the BSN program?

No. All applicants are evaluated on academic and non-academic criteria. Non-academic criteria are derived from the supplemental application which includes a personal statement and a resume describing work experience, volunteer/community service work, and extra-curricular activities. 

Q: Where could I find information on the equivalents of English and Biology required courses?

The tables with English and human Anatomy & Physiology (HAP) course equivalents are available on the BSN Admissions website under Course Prerequistes.


Q: If I have an applied degree from an accredited university where English was the main language of instruction, am I still required to complete a 3-credit university transferable English course?

Yes, applicants with applied degrees are required to complete a 3-credit university transferable English course.

Q: Could I have the 3-credit English requirement waived?

The English requirement may be waived if you have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university provided that English was the main language of instruction during that degree.

Q: I have checked the table with the English course equivalents, but the English course I completed is not on the list. Do I have to take another English course?

If you completed a first year (or higher level) university transfer English composition course at a North American post-secondary accredited institution, you do not have to take another English course.