UBC's 2 yr Program or BCIT's 3 yr Program

World International


Hello All,

I am desperate to find out further information on which program is more ideal. I live in Vancouver and I am 24years old and thinking of applying to Nursing school in the next couple of years. I have been looking at the UBC 2 yr program and BCIT's 3 yr program. BCIT seems to offer the ability to gain more clinical first hand experience but I love the idea of doing the program in 2 years. I also am finishing up a Political Science degree so would I be totally lost in the 2 yr program?

My concern would be that if I did the UBC program, I might not be as prepared as the other nurses with 3 or 4 years under their belt. Is this the reality?

If anyone has any first hand experience with UBC or BCIT for their nursing program that would be great!


27 Posts

Go for the UBC program. The program is quite intense but I liked it that way because it made the months fly. Before you know it, you'll be done and graduating. As for clinical experience, my personal experience is that UBC students tend to do more than OK when they start working because of the teaching model used at UBC. There is heavy emphasis on critical thinking which helps you to quickly adapt to the working environment. And the new grad programs in place in most hospitals means that you get tons of support during your first year of nursing. When I was starting my clinicals in semester 1, I met students from BCIT and other 4 year programs who seemed far more confident than I and other students in my clinical group. These students were sometimes a year ahead of us, but the nice thing is you catch up to them skillwise very soon, finish and start working before they do and meet them in the hospitals with your RN badge on doing the same kind of work you're doing and not getting paid for it (or getting paid ESN rates) because they haven't finished and have maybe a year or so to go. So I personally would recommend the UBC program because you work hard for the 18 months it takes to get your degree and thereafter you're an RN and earning a decent wage way before the 4-year degree people are done. Some RNs will tell you they prefer BCIT grads because they have more clinical experience but a month or less after starting the job as new grads you won't be able to tell who is from BCIT and who is from UBC. Might as well start earning the money sooner.


36 Posts

Thank you so much Tkhun!

I have some more questions for you if you are willing to answer them for me:)

I was able to talk to a friend who has been at the BCIT program since January. I thought I had decided on the UBC program but after talking to him, I'm not so sure anymore but your message is shedding some light.

He was able to tell me what the program was like at BCIT. Something that I am not clearly understanding about the UBC program is, as you mentioned, it takes a very critical look at the nursing programs and allows students to think in that way, which is very important, but do they teach such things as anatomy and pharmaceutical drug treatments or do they expect you to already know these things? Is it more problem solving that it is teaching or concrete knowledge? I ask because my friend told me of the methods of teaching at BCIT and it doesn't seem to be as critical but more knowledge based from scratch. I am just worried that with my lack of science background, I will not be able to keep up with the knowledge base.

Anymore advise would be greatly appreciated:)


27 Posts

H-Dog, I wouldn't worry too much about your previous degree if I were you. I think UBC does not specify previous degree in Sciences because they understand that as long as you have gone through some form of university training you are capable of taking responsibility for your own learning. UBC will not spoon feed you but will provide you direction on how to get the information you need. So the lecturers give you the basic vital facts and expect you to do pre and post readings to fill in the gaps. If you are disciplined and ready to put in the hours, you'll do very well. Some of the students who did best in my class were from non-science backgrounds just because they took the time to go through all the readings that we were assigned (and they are A LOT). I was an average student because I had too much going on in my personal life (family commitments) and rarely had time to finish the required readings before lectures. So if you are willing to put in the time, you'll get to lectures prepared and will do well on all exams.

You will most likely get skeleton information on things such as pharmaceutical drug treatments and will be expected to get the rest of the information you need. UBC gives you the tools to be successful in your learning but expects you to do a fair bit of the work yourself. The emphasis on critical thinking means that they teach you how to think yourself through any situation you may encounter, be it in your learning in class or on the nursing floor. Once you start working you will realise that the school you go to is only 1 part of the equation because a LOT of the actual nursing skills you will end up with are learned on the job. So if you are taught the concept of what to do with those nursing skills, you'll be a well-rounded nurse once you start acquiring these skills. So my recommendation - go to UBC, work your tail off filling in the gaps you think your previous degree gives you, get your RN license in the fastest possible time and start acquiring nursing skills while getting paid for it.


36 Posts


Thank you so much for all the help. I think I might be leaning back to UBC after your post. I do want to get it done in the shortest most efficient time possible.

Thank you so much and good luck with nursing in the future.

I pretty much have the same dilemma - BCIT vs. UBC.

Timeline wise, IF I applied to BCIT now, and was accepted for Jan 2010, when would I graduate? Would that be January 2013? (sorry if this is ridiculously straight forward). IF I was to apply to UBC this fall, for Sept 2010 intake, when would I be done (assuming I was accepted)?

Time isn't really a factor to me personally, but it is to my parents, who are are ultimately paying for my education. They think 7 years to a nursing career is too long (bachelors + nursing).

Anyhow, thanks for the information!


45 Posts


I discussed the BCIT program with another poster here:


I would really take the time to attend an information session on each school. BCIT has a "student for a day" program you can attend after going to an information session to get a first hand look at what the program is like. I am sure UBC has a similar option.

The disadvantage to getting opinions is that some people are going to love (or hate) both programs. There are people in my class that can't wait to get out of BCIT's program, but I really enjoy it. I have also spoken to other UBC students/graduates in clinical who also either loved or hated the UBC program. The important thing is to weight what is important for you (and timeline sounds important) when making a decision.

If you have any further questions about BCIT, you can feel free to ask me. I am in Level 6 of the program and will graduate next June, YAY! :yeah:Good luck in making a decision!


36 Posts

Awesome, thank you so much. I may take you up on that offer. Do you have an email address?

Silverdragon102, BSN

1 Article; 39,477 Posts

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC.

Please remember not to post email addresses on the forums but use the pm system and that you also need 15 or more posts to be able to send a pm but can read them with less than 15 posts


9 Posts

I have a difference of opinion on this matter...

I am currently entering level 2 at BCIT. BCIT's nursing program is far superior to UBCs. The teachers are dedicated and they care about their jobs and their students. The class sizes are small for the important core classes and the clinical groups are close-knit. BCIT takes pride in only hiring nurses who are experienced and dedicated. The program is intense but because it is mostly hands on training (as opposed to UBC's heavily theory based) it will make the graduated student much more prepared to practice nursing upon graduation.

Definately go for BCIT. I am sure that if you do the BCIT's student for a day program you will be convinced for yourself.


36 Posts

Thanks alot. I might look into the student for a day session to make my final decision.


446 Posts

I graduated from the ubc 4 yr program.

In my first job, i worked with new grads from bcit, langara and hospital program grads.

yeah, maybe they had more hands on bedside nursing from the start but by 6 months...all the same. By 1 yr, I think the degree nurses are better because of the critical thinking.

Of course, i am probably biased but that is the way I see it. I was a much better charge nurse at 1yr out than any of the others. By 1+ yrs out, I was a great charge nurse compared to any of the senior nurses. Sides, with a degree you have more career options.

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