Top 10 Best nursing schools in Alberta

In this article, you will learn about nursing schools in Alberta and the types of professional nursing programs that are offered in Alberta, Canada.

To meet Alberta’s growing needs in health care, the demand for licensed practical nurses is increasing which is why you should consider a career in nursing. The best nursing colleges discussed in this article are for both domestic and international students seeking knowledge and hands-on training in the healthcare industry.

In Canada, there are four types of nursing programs, the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), the Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN), the Registered Nurse (RN), and the Nurse Practitioner (NP).

Who is a Licensed Practical Nurse?

A Licensed Practical Nurse is a nurse who performs basic medical tasks like checking patients’ signs and feeding them, they’re responsible for maintaining a clear line of communication between a patient, their family, and their caregivers. These set of nurses work under registered nurses and qualified doctors. They only monitor patients’ health, administer basic medical care to patients, and provide basic comfort care to patients.

Who is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN)?

A Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN) is one who cares for patients directly. such patients include; patients with mental illness, patients with physical and developmental disabilities, and patients with addictions. Nurses in this field work to promote optimal mental health in community clinics and other healthcare settings.

Some of the places they work include; Mental health facilities or community clinics, Hospitals or health care centre, Correctional facilities, Long-term care facilities, Communities, and Schools.

Who is a Registered Nurse (RN)?

Registered Nurses are those who provide and coordinate patient care, they’re licensed medical professionals who work with patients, doctors, and other healthcare workers.

RNs are considered the backbone of the nursing system because they play an important role in coordinating healthcare, as well as ensuring that everything is running smoothly overall in patient care.

Registered Nurses (RNs) work in a variety of specialties with many different patient populations such as schools, camps, operating rooms, doctor’s offices, home healthcare, nursing care facilities, prisons, and community clinics.

Who is a nurse practitioner in Alberta?

A nurse practitioner is one who is advanced in nursing, they are often referred to as ARNP (Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner) or APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse).

  • A nurse practitioner is one who must have completed their high school education
  • A registered nurse who has completed the requirements of a registered nurse such as earning a Bachelor of Nursing degree and passing the National Council of Licensure Examination (NCLEX)
  • One who must have completed the nurse practitioner training program
  • One who must have passed the nurse practitioner registration exam
  • One who must have applied for registration in Alberta and joined a professional membership group

How to become a nurse practitioner in Alberta?

To become a nurse practitioner in Alberta, you have to first be a registered nurse and obtain additional education at a graduate level.

To become a nurse practitioner, you are expected to have advanced education and training in nursing in other to be able to provide specialized healthcare services.

You’re also expected to earn a graduate-level education in nursing in one of the best colleges/universities in Alberta which will definitely qualify you to perform more advanced tasks in healthcare facilities than registered nurses.

As a nurse practitioner in Alberta, you’re to know how to diagnose and treat illnesses without the doctor’s supervision, you will also know how to prescribe medications and perform necessary medical procedures.

Professional nurse practitioners work in some of the best health facilities in Alberta such as; nursing homes, community health clinics, doctor’s offices, hospitals, and school clinics which means you’re expected to always be updated with recent developments in the healthcare factor and as a nurse practitioner, you can only achieve that by conducting research to learn about these developments and how best to incorporate them into practices.

What are the important skills needed for a nurse practitioner in Alberta?

The necessary skills you need as a nurse practitioner in Alberta include; Commitment, leadership skills, empathy and interpersonal skills, ethics, and communication skills.

What is the work of a nurse practitioner?

  • Address the mental health needs of patients
  • Schedule and assess diagnostic tests
  • Conduct research and incorporate what they learn into their work
  • Oversee chronic illness treatment plans
  • Provide information and support to patients
  • Obtain patients’ medical history
  • Participate in programs that support community health or provide education
  • Prescribe medications and treatment plans
  • Address the mental health needs of patients
  • Update medical records
  • Provide updates to physicians and work with them during patient treatment

NP works in a variety of specialties such as;

  • Cardiology
  • Emergency
  • Family practice
  • Geriatrics
  • Neonatology
  • Nephrology
  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics
  • Primary care
  • Psychiatry
  • School Health
  • Women’s Health

Now, let’s find out the top ten best nursing schools in Alberta.

Top 10 Nursing Schools in Alberta for international students

The following are the top nursing schools in Alberta:

  • University of Lethbridge
  • Mount Royal University
  • Norquest College
  • MacEwan University
  • University Of Alberta
  • Sterling College
  • Athabasca University
  • University of Calgary
  • Columbia College
  • Northern Lakes College

#1. University of Lethbridge

This is a public comprehensive and research higher education institution in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. It was established in 1967. The University of Lethbridge offers both graduate and undergraduate degrees across four faculties and three schools.

The University of Lethbridge is accredited under Alberta’s Post-Secondary Learning Act. Lethbridge offers a Bachelor of Nursing program and Bachelor of Nursing After Degree programs in Collaboration with Lethbridge College, a Nursing Preparation Program, and Graduate Program in Nursing.

Students enrolled with Lethbridge study theory and experience clinical practice in medical and surgery areas, pediatrics, maternity and child, long-term care and continuing care, labour, and delivery, mental health, rural acute and community health.

The University of Lethbridge nursing program gives students access to write the Canadian licensure exam to become a Registered Nurse (RN).

The Bachelor of Nursing After Degree program offered at the University of Lethbridge is designed for applicants who must have completed an approved undergraduate degree.

Apply here

#2. Mount Royal University

Mount Royal University is one of the best nursing schools in Alberta, located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It was founded by Alberta provincial charter by the Arthur Sifton government in 1910 but officially opened in 1911.

The nursing department at Mount Royal University helps students to learn about health, wellness, collaborative health care, and how to effectively engage with communities.

Students are engaged in practical experience which allows them to learn how to work in a variety of potential healthcare settings which includes rural hospitals, schools, clinics, labs, and other healthcare settings.

As a student, you will be equipped with an in-depth, intense theory and practice in seniors’ health, family newborn health, child health, mental health, and adult health to improve your learning and enable you to move further in your studies.

The Bachelor of Nursing at Mount Royal University meets the accreditation requirements of the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing which is the body that establishes and promotes national standards of excellence for nursing in Canada.

Graduates of Mount Royal University is prepared and eligible to write the required National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) and become Registered Nurse.

Apply here

#3. Norquest College

Norquest College is a publicly funded community college located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, it was officially established by the Government of Alberta in 1965. Norquest offers diplomas and certificate programs as well as preparatory programs.

Norquest College offers one of the largest and most highly-rated practical nursing programs in Canada which prepares students to become professional practical nurses educated to give high-quality care to clients in a variety of healthcare settings.

Nursing at NorQuest College is available to domestic and Internationally educated nurses who are seeking to start a nursing career in Canada. The international program is designed to train internationally educated nurses to become professional practical nurses who can provide high-quality care to clients in a variety of healthcare settings in Alberta and the nation at large.

The practical program will help you to build your previous education and experience while learning the Canadian healthcare system.

Apply here

#4. MacEwan University

MacEwan University is one of the leading nursing schools in Alberta, It is a public undergraduate university located in the downtown core of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

It was the sixth university that came into existence in Alberta, MacEwan offers 10 baccalaureate degrees, 43 diplomas, and certificate programs, and it serves as the largest transfer-in post-secondary institution in Alberta.

MacEwan comprises four faculties and two schools offering programming in fine arts and communications, health and community studies, liberal arts and sciences, engineering, physical education, nursing, and business.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing offered at MacEwan University prepares students for entry into direct practice while providing them with the skills they need to play a more advanced role in nursing leadership, education, and research.

The study program uses an integrated approach that focuses on knowledge, concepts, and theories from nursing, the liberal arts, and science.

MacEwan’s curriculum is designed to promote the integration and application of knowledge and diverse skills, such as relational and ethical practice, critical thinking and clinical judgment, risk and health assessment, health promotion, injury prevention, and writing.

Apply here

#5. University Of Alberta

The University of Alberta is a public research university located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It is one of the leading nursing universities in Alberta and the nation at large.

It was founded in 1908 by Alexander Cameron Rutherford and enabled through the Post-secondary Learning Act. The University Of Alberta comprises four campuses in Edmonton, an Augustana Campus in Camrose, and a staff center in downtown Calgary.

Its Faculty of Nursing offers undergraduate programs which lead to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) degree and students who complete this program are eligible to write the NCLEX Examination to become a Registered Nurse in Canada.

The nursing programs they offer include BScN Collaborative, BScN Bilingual, BScN Honors, and After Degree Program.

Apply here

Nursing schools in Alberta
Nursing Schools in Alberta

#6. Sterling College

This is one of the leading nursing colleges in Alberta, It is a private evangelical Christain College in Sterling, Kansas accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Sterling College was founded in 1887

Sterling Health Care Practice and Management program prepares Internationally Educated Nurses to integrate their prior education and take them on management or leadership roles in the dynamic Canadian healthcare environment.

Their nursing program is a two-year program that enables students to enhance their theoretical nursing knowledge and clinical nursing skills within the Canadian context.

If you are an international student seeking admission in Canada, Sterling College is the right choice for you or your ward.

Apply here

#7. Athabasca University

Athabasca University is a Canadian public research university that primarily operates through online distance education. It was founded in 1970 and is one of the four comprehensive academic and research universities in Alberta.

It was the first Canadian university to specialize in distance education. Athabasca offers a Bachelor of Nursing, Post-RN, Bachelor of Nursing, and Post-LPN. The Post-RN Bachelor of Nursing program is offered through the Faculty of Health Disciplines.

Post-RN at Athabasca University is designed to provide Registered Nurses with the opportunity to acquire a broad liberal university education with particular emphasis on advanced theoretical and practical knowledge related to nursing informatics, nursing research, primary health care, leadership, management, family, and community health promotion.

Athabasca University Post-LPN program is designed for students who want to advance their education in nursing in a baccalaureate program that is flexible and backed up with a clinical focus. It is one of the leading nursing schools in Alberta.

Apply here

#8. University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is a public research university located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It was established in 1944 as the Calgary branch of the University of Alberta.

This university is one of the leading nursing universities in Alberta, they cultivate an environment where students develop confident and resilient identities as nurses, health advocates, and change agents.

U of C’s mission is to lead the generation of research and scholarship to improve and innovate nursing education, health outcomes, and systems transformation, the university’s School of Nursing delivers resilient-informed experiential programs that develop the future leaders and innovators of the discipline and nursing program.

Apply here

#9. Columbia College

Columbia College offers one of the best nursing programs in Alberta. The nursing department at Columbia College improves the lives of students by equipping them with clinical care and leadership skills.

Whether you are an international student or a domestic student, enrolling with the nursing department at Columbia College will help you to develop complex clinical reasoning, decision-making, and collaborative skills that contribute to patient safety and quality processes.

Columbia College teaches basic medical-surgical nursing as well as various specialties and community care service programs which will help you to gain a better understanding of nursing fundamentals, pharmacology, human nutrition, and mental health nursing.

At the completion of your nursing program at Columbia College, you will be eligible to write the licensure examination (NCLEX-RN).

#10. Northern Lakes College

Northern Lakes College is a publicly funded comprehensive community college in Nothern Alberta, Canada, and a member of the Alberta Rural Development Network.

Northern Lakes College offers education and training programs that include trades and apprenticeships, career education, university studies, and workforce development.

Looking for a challenging and rewarding career in health care? becoming a Practical Nurse could be the best choice for you! enrolling with Northern Lakes College will groom you in the healthcare industry and help you to become a global healthcare professional.

The college practical nursing programs follow all practical requirements as defined by the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta and Alberta Health Services.

It takes 68 weeks to complete the practical nursing program offered at Northern Lakes College and graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

How long does it take to become a nurse in Alberta?

It takes 2-4 years to become a nurse in Alberta, it all depends on your program of study.

What is the salary of a nurse in Alberta?

The average salary of a Registered Nurse (RN) in Alberta is $73,000.00.


There are other prestigious schools of nursing in Alberta, the list provided above is based on the top 10 best nursing schools in Alberta, Canada according to research. Do well to check out each school properly before applying to their nursing programs.


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