GPA for nursing schools in Canada?

  1. I am a US student who has repeatedly been denied admission to nursing school, despite being consistently on the dean's list, volunteering, working as a CNA, and obtaining another degree. The sole purpose of me getting a degree in another area was to help with admission, but it really hasn't helped me as much as I had hoped. Now schools want to know why I am "changing my career."

    Anyway, I was wondering if anyone knew if Canadian nursing schools are less competitive. How would I go about attending nursing school in another country? What GPA is needed? Is it possible to get in to a Canadian school if your GPA is rather low by nursing school standards- like a 3.5-3.6? If I were admitted to a Canadian school, I would like to stay and work in Canada if possible.
  2. Visit CNAinNeb profile page

    About CNAinNeb

    Joined: Jan '08; Posts: 152; Likes: 37
    CNA, nursing student; from US


  3. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Competition for spaces in Canadian nursing schools is very stiff. There are probably a dozen applicants for every seat. The waiting lists of people accepted are huge. All of this is the effect of very poor decisions made in the early 1990's when budget-cutting was the driving force behind everything. The hospital programs were closed, entry to practice in most provinces went to the four year university degree and seats in the universities were eliminated. I applied to five hospital-based schools in 1990-1991. I interviewed at three of them and was rejected by all of them. After a really lengthy and difficult appeal process, I was accepted in 1991 and wait-listed for a year... and that was BEFORE the cuts. Now it's so much worse.

    Then there are issues of applying as a non-resident. Some schools may give priority to the non-resident applicant because of the much fatter tuition they charge them... At the University of Alberta it's about 247% of the resident tuition. Each full credit course is $3257 and a full course load is 6 full credit courses per year. I'm sure you don't need me to do the math. With all the other fees they slap you with, the annual tuition and fees would run nearly $21,000. Tack on living expenses and you're looking at well over $100,000 before you graduate. Having said that, U of A has higher tuition costs than some other universities, but you get the picture. Manitoba's annual tuition and fees would be about $14,000 and about another $8000 for other expenses. Saskatchewan charges 260%of their resident fees for international students or $2574 per full credit course, plus fees and expenses.

    Now about the GPA issue... the U of A web site says this:

    "There is a minimum application GPA (grade point average) and then there is the AGPA (admissions grade point average) for successful admissions. Many people confuse these.

    The stated minimum GPA just enters one into the competition. If your GPA is below the minimum, your application will be denied. Once admitted to the competition, admission is competitive. So, if there is space for 200 students, then the best 200 applicants with the highest AGPA will be admitted. The AGPA can vary from year to year depending on the results of those who apply. With this said, admission to this faculty is very competitive and strong grades are required for admission.

    There is no wait list. Applicants are ranked by their AGPA and offers of admission are made sequentially from highest AGPA to lowest, such as 4.0, 3.99. 3.98 until the last space is filled. In past years, the lowest grade required for admission hovers in the 78% range for high school applicants and 3.3 (B+) for post secondary applicants.

    The other universities follow similar procedures. Manitoba has probably the lowest minimum GPA for admission at 2.5, but the competition is no less stiff.

    I'm so sorry but I'm not sure this would be the easiest or best route to a nursing career for you.
  4. by   CNAinNeb
    Thank you so much for your promt respose. I had no idea Canada was that bad, that is crazy!!
  5. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    There are a couple of things you should remember about Canada. One is that all education in Canada, from preschool to post-doctoral, is subsidized by the taxpayer. The provinces make large annual payments to universities and colleges to keep tuition for residents as low as possible. Funding for post-secondary education is a perennial election issue. The schools charge the international student what the provision of the education actually costs.

    Another thing that should be kept in mind is that although Canada is the second largest country by landmass in the world, we have about 10% of the population the United States has. There are 3 MILLION more people in California alone than there are in all of Canada. In fact, that difference is roughly equal to the population of the province of Alberta! The financial burden of our social support networks is borne by a much smaller pool. We're a generous people, but we have to draw the line somewhere. I'm sure if you looked you'd find that American universities charge Canadian students substantially more than they do residents.

    And the third thing to think about is that Canada's health care is a universal, single payer system. The provinces are responsible for the provision of health care to their citizens within the requirements of the Canada Health Act. Education of health care providers is subsidized by the provincial health care system in addition to the provincial government support of education in general. All of these factors make it imperative that Canada look after Canadians first.
  6. by   spiritmagejkt
    It may be better if you try one of the other Nursing schools in the US. Just because one school deny's you doesn't mean they all will. Look at different programs. University of Kansas may be a better bet for you or even Mossouri . Also look at different legnths there are som ASN programs that are good but it may be easier to get into a BSN program. Your GPA sounds high enough to get in somewhere. Also try off semesters try enrolling starting in Janurary.

    Some of the schools in remote areas have a hard time attracting students. Alaska is heavily recruiting. I get emails from them all the time.

    Be aware if you do study out of country which I think isn't a bad thing its always good to get away and see how different people live. Remember, immigration is a huge huge stress to deal with in addition to all the other stuff you have to do. That is true no matter where you go. I did some work in Mexico while I was going through school and it gave me a new perspective on things. That kind of experience is valuble beyond price.

    Whatever you do.. Don't give up on your goal. There is more than one way to skin a cat. Your smart for looking around, shows that your doing some thinking.

    As far as Canada is concerned, there are some areas that are really really short of nurses. I would target schools in those areas. I'm not sure off the top of my head where those are. Look over the immigration site, look for expedited work visa's and perment resident visas or call them and ask. I would look under live in Caretaker also. If you decide to study outside the US be sure your prepared financially and that you have all your ducks in a row. This will make your life a bit easier.
  7. by   CanNurse06
    Hey There,

    I went to school in Toronto, graduating with my nursing degree in '06. Actually, getting in was very easy. The entry requirements were pretty standard - Biology, Chemistry etc at high school level. I actually switched schools after the first semester, as I moved house, and the second school's entry to the nursing degree program was also fairly straightforward. There are a bunch of schools that offer the BScN here in the Greater Toronto Area, so I guess that maybe it's easier to apply and get in here than some other areas of Canada where programs are more hard to come by. I think that Vancouver, BC is a different story....much harder to get into schools there, just because there are only a handful that offer nursing...or so I have heard.

    A couple of my classmates were from the US, and several of my graduating class moved to the US after graduation. I believe that tuition fees may be more expensive for students from the US, but check with the various schools for fee guides (often available online).

    A couple of schools here are also starting up second degree entry programs ie if you have a prior degree, then you get credit/advanced standing. My school expected a B average for nursing courses and I believe that they allowed Cs for non-nursing courses.

    Check out: York University, University of Toronto, Ryerson University, Humber College, McMaster University.....tons more. I would check out the RNAO website (Registered Nurses Association of Ontario) or the CNO (College of Nurses of Ontario) websites for full-lists of schools offering degrees in nursing. In Ontario, you must now have a degree as minimum entry to nursing in the province.

    I hope all of this helps. Don't be discouraged. Call, research and talk to different schools to find out their specific requirements.

    Good Luck!!!
  8. by   student456
    getting into my school in canada was easy

    i had friends that went to college for their BSCN here that got in with 65% to 75% - the schools that i know of do NOT look at other factors just your top 6 grade 12 grades...same as my school. i got in with an 80% overall average for my grade 12 gpa.

    and from the schools that are around me, you dont have to interview or take any tests.
  9. by   student456
    p.s: we also all got in directly after grade 12 high school on our first try

    tuition here is WAY cheaper than US universities...i pay just over 5000 $ a year for BSCN tuition for a university compared to the thousands of dollars i would spend for a comparable university in the states!
  10. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Just keep in mind that every university will have their own criteria for admission. While you might be accepted at University A with a GPA of 2.5 (C+) and no interview, University B across town might only consider those with a GPA of 3.5 (B+) and will interview everybody. With the shortage of seats at most major universities and the huge increase in applicants, they have to have some screening criteria. They're going to fill their seats with those who tick the most boxes for them. Another thing to remember is that there'a fairly high attrition rate for first and second year nursing students, so the candidates they accept will be the ones they believe will be able to follow through to graduation.
  11. by   linzz
    Just wondering janfrn, what is the reason for the high attrition rate in the first two years, is it an academic or clincal thing and do you think the instructors try to weed out those they don't think will cut it?
  12. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    I think it's a bit of a mixed bag. The academic expectations are very high and there are some who flunk out. Then there are personal factors, for example an unplanned pregnancy or a financial disaster. The clinical angle doesn't seem to weed out as many as it might... judging by the numbers of "I hate nursing, why did I ever do this" posts in the First Year forum. But then there isn't as much emphasis in clinical performance as there used to be and people with NO clinical skills are graduating. Some people get halfway through and realize they aren't cut out for it, so they change streams. Happened to both my daughters, though not in nursing. The oldest was in a pre-med program for a year and is now a geneticist, the younger one was in sports and exercise science for three years and is now a judicial clerk. For whatever reason though, between 10 and 20 percent of people who start a nursing program don't complete it.
  13. by   linzz
    Thanks janfrn for your input. It's interesting, one of my clinical teachers who was a BSN felt that she could have used a lot more clinical time and less classroom time in order to function as a floor RN. I guess this will always be an issue in nursing.