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Northwestern Polytechnic offers students the option of pursuing a career in Nursing with the University of Alberta Collaborative Baccalaureate Nursing Program, a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) Degree program. This program will prepare the student to be licensed as a Registered Nurse.
All the courses in the Bachelor of Science, Nursing program can be completed at Northwestern Polytechnic but students will be required to attend at least one clinical placement outside of Grande Prairie. Practica may involve evening and night hours and weekends. Students are responsible for obtaining transportation to practica placements and for the costs of necessary travel and accommodations. Required practica placements may be a distance of 150 kilometres or more from Grande Prairie.
Special qualities are required for the nursing profession. A potential student must be a caring individual who considers the dignity, individuality and worth of the patient, client, and family. Knowledge and skills will be developed through a variety of structured and student-directed instructional delivery methods. Students will gain practical experiences in nursing laboratories and in local and regional health care facilities.
Students in the degree program should refer to the University of Alberta calendar for full program articulation, degree guidelines and graduation requirements.
High School Applicants
All applicants under 21 years of age must present a High School Diploma or equivalent and an overall average of 65 percent with no mark lower than 60 percent in any of the following:
- English 30-1
- Biology 30
- Chemistry 30 or Science 30
- Mathematics 30-1 or 30-2
- One of
- Aboriginal Studies 30
- Chemistry 30
- Science 30
- Mathematics 31
- Physics 30
- Computer Science – Advanced Level CTS (5 credit)
- Social Studies 30-1
- Physical Education 30
- 30-level Language
- Fine Arts course
Applicants must be aware of three important deadlines (in subsequent order):
- October 1st – Applications Open
- March 1st – Application Deadline
- March 15th – Document Deadline
*Applications received after March 1st may not be considered for admission.
The very high demand for the program in the past few years has made it impossible to accept all applicants; therefore, preference will be given to applicants who are best qualified.
Only completed applications will be considered; therefore, all official transcripts must be received by the document deadline of March 15th. Applicants with a completed post-secondary university degree will be assessed on an individual basis.
Preference will be given to applicants who are best qualified as determined by an admission scoring system based on high school and post-secondary course grades. Should two or more applicants have the same score, the students will be ranked according to the earliest application date. Conditional letters of admission will be mailed to successful applicants. Qualified applicants not selected for admission will be placed on a waitlist according to score.
As per Northwestern Polytechnic policy, outlined in the admissions section of the calendar, “the institution, at its discretion, may refuse admission to any applicant”.
Practicum agencies require Police Information Checks (PICs) of students working in their organizations. Information regarding PICs will be provided to students after they have been admitted.
Admission of Indigenous Students
Four seats in the first year of the nursing program will be reserved for qualified applicants of Indigenous ancestry. The top four applications, based on the outcome of the approved scoring system chart, will be selected for offer of admission and will be assigned these reserve seats. If the designated applicants do not fill these reserved seats by March 30th of each year, the seats will be offered to the general applicant pool.
If applicants are applying as an Indigenous student, they may be required to present proof of Indigenous ancestry.
If applicants have previously enrolled in a nursing program and stopped for any reason, their application to enter a Nursing program at Northwestern Polytechnic will be considered on an individual basis and contingent upon space being available in the program.
Students who started in the nursing program in the 2018/2019 academic year at Northwestern Polytechnic will not receive advanced credit for any of the courses previously taken, with the exception of NS1500, MI1330, English, and an elective, provided the minimum passing grade is achieved.
Transfer from Other Nursing Programs
If students are currently enrolled in a nursing program at another institution and are applying to transfer into year two or three at Northwestern Polytechnic, they must have a GPA of at least 3.0, no previous failures in clinical courses, and meet the minimum pass requirements for each course. Official transcripts of all post-secondary study and a letter of support from the Chair or Dean of their current program are required before their application will be considered. The letter of support must clearly indicate that they are a student in good standing.
Admission is subject to the availability of seats. Applicants for years 2 and 3 of the nursing program will be considered for admission based on the following priorities:
- former Northwestern Polytechnic nursing students who have withdrawn in good standing and who apply within 12 months of their withdrawal
- students currently enrolled in the University of Alberta Collaborative Baccalaureate Nursing Program at one of the partner sites
- students currently enrolled in other nursing programs and who are in good standing.
- students not currently enrolled in a nursing program who have withdrawn from a previous nursing program are required to complete the readmission process. Admission is subject to the decision of the Department of Nursing Education and Health Studies.
If more than one qualified applicant fits one of the previous categories and are equally qualified for admission, priority will be established by date of application.
Other Requirements for Students Admitted to Nursing
Health and Safety Requirements
All students admitted to the Nursing program must be capable of completing responsibilities and activities as required in clinical practice. In order to successfully pass clinical practice courses, students must consistently demonstrate the essential skills and abilities to safely provide nursing care to their assigned patient/client. The guidelines for Registered Nurses are applicable to students in the Collaborative BScN Program. The College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) set these guidelines. If a student believes they may require assistance to be successful in the program, they are encouraged to contact an Academic Advisor in the Registrar's Office as soon as possible after admission for any accommodations that may need to be arranged.
Students must have the following items completed and submitted by August 1, after being admitted to the program:
- Police Information Check with Vulnerable Sector Clearance
- Immunization - some immunizations, including Hepatitis B, may need to be initiated prior to the first day of the program.
- Standard First Aid
- CPR-BLS - must be current for the year as of the date set out by the department. No exceptions.
- COVID-19 Vaccination
There are also other forms that will be required by August 1 and those will be provided to students upon successful admission.
Students are required to purchase a stethoscope and a penlight, and scissors in the practice setting. Standardized uniforms are required - information will be provided upon admission.
Length of Time to Complete Years 1–3
The curriculum is designed to be taken over four years. Students should complete Years 1-3 of the program within four years after initial admission to the program.
Students 21 years of age or over will be considered for mature student admission based on minimum overall average of 65 percent with no mark below 60 percent in each of the following:
- English 30-1
- Biology 30
- Chemistry 30 or Science 30
- One of Mathematics 31 or Mathematics 30-1 or 30-2
Academic Progression Criteria
A grade of C+ is the minimum passing grade for the following courses: NS1500, NS1205, NS1160, NS1240, NS1250, MI1330, NS2200, NS2160. A grade of C- is the minimum passing grade for all other Nursing courses in the program. For promotion from year to year in the program and for graduation, students must have successfully completed all the required Nursing and non-Nursing courses of the previous year.
In order to progress to the Winter term of Year 1 of the BScN program, students must successfully meet the minimum passing grades for each course in Fall term. In order to progress to Year 2, students must successfully meet the minimal passing grades for all courses of Year 1.
A student with a GPA of 1.69 or lower must withdraw from the Nursing program. Readmission to program is subject to departmental review.
Students who withdraw or fail twice from a required nursing course will be withdrawn from the program and ineligible for readmission.
Students completing Year 3 apply to the University of Alberta for admission to Year 4. Admission to Year 4 and registration at the University of Alberta is contingent upon satisfactory academic standing in the first three years of the program. Satisfactory academic standing is passing grades in all previous courses with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 on the 4.0 scale. If these conditions are met, students will be granted block transfer for work completed at Northwestern Polytechnic. The University expects that electives and required courses in the support disciplines be completed in the recommended order. These courses require a minimum passing grade of C- for transfer approval.
NOTE: Students applying to the University of Alberta for admission outside of the block transfer are at the discretion of the University of Alberta for specific course transferability.
Clinical Progression Criteria
Students must complete theory and practice components of nursing courses to receive credit. Students who have not received a pass in the clinical or laboratory portion of a nursing course are not given credit for the course and must repeat both the clinical and non-clinical portions of the course. The clinical component, explained in the course outline, must be completed for credit to be granted.
A student who is absent more than two clinical days in one clinical nursing course may need to make up the lost time before being allowed to continue in the program. Absences from the clinical site may result in the instructor being unable to evaluate the student’s clinical performance. If clinical performance cannot be evaluated, a failing grade may be assigned in the course. Whenever a student’s clinical performance is considered marginal in a nursing course, the student’s total academic and clinical performance in the program is reviewed and considered in determining continuation in the program.
An instructor, in consultation with the Chair, may immediately deny assignment of a student to, may withdraw a student from, or vary the terms or conditions or a site of a practicum/clinical placement, if the instructor has reasonable grounds to believe that this is necessary in order to protect public interest.
Nursing, Degree Completion
First year (35 credits)
Second Year (33 credits)
Third year (30 Credits)
Fourth Year (24 credits)
The following are University of Alberta courses for which students apply to and register with the University of Alberta as per the University of Alberta calendar. Students attend classes at Northwestern Polytechnic.
- NURS422 (3)
- NURS425 (6)
- NURS485 (12)
- INTD420 (3)
Nursing Accelerated Program
Students who have completed all the required courses and electives identified in the third year of the curriculum may apply to an Accelerated Program. Students who qualify for admission to the Accelerated Program will register in NURS422, NURS425 and NURS485 in the Spring Term and the successive Fall Term. Acceptance into the Accelerated Program is based upon a competitive GPA.
The number of seats in the Accelerated Program is dependent upon clinical placement opportunities and instructor availability, and is not guaranteed.