Master of Nursing Nurse Practitioner Program

What are the admission requirements for the MN Nurse Practitioner Option?

Admission requirements:

Please see our Admissions Requirements for details
How do I submit application materials?

To begin your application, complete the online application form and pay the $115 application fee.
Payment must be received before your application is processed. Methods of payment are included on the online application.

Please be reminded that the application deadlines for Graduate Nursing Programs are specific to the School of Nursing and may differ from other programs at Dalhousie University:

  • The next intake for the Master of Nursing Nurse Practitioner Program will be January 2024. The deadline for receipt of the complete application package is October 1, 2023.
  • Deadline for receipt of the complete application package for September 2024 admission to all graduate nursing programs is February 1, 2024.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all application materials have been received

How do I submit references? What advice can you provide about references?
  • Applicants must include the contact information for three referees via EREF on the Dalhousie Application Portal
    • One (1) current employer – MUST be a direct supervisor/manager
    • Two (2) academic references.

  • Please note the following:
    •  for those applicants who have been out of school for some time, we do accept letters of reference from clinical instructors (if you are still in contact with any of them), clinical nurse educators with whom you have worked closely, or instructors from a certificate program (for example, the Nova Scotia Health RNPDC).
    • Your academic reference should come from someone who can speak to your academic ability, areas of expertise, ability to learn and problem solve, and your suitability for the NP  program from an academic perspective.
    • Your managerial reference must be from a manager who you directly report(ed) to. It should not be a peer or colleague – these references will not be included when evaluating your application – it must be someone who manages you directly and can speak to your nursing assessment skills and attributes that make you suitable for the MN NP Program.
    • Reference letters should be submitted through the electronic reference system in the online application. We do not require letters of recommendation other than the standard format provided through the e-reference system. If using the e-reference system, make sure to have the email addresses of your referees ready to list when completing the online application. Dalhousie University will only accept university, teaching hospital, and government email addresses (i.e. not personal email addresses, such as Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, or business addresses). Please allow five business days for your referee(s) to be contacted by our system. If you made an error in the submission of an email address, please contact
    • We prefer that all reference forms are sent using the electronic reference system. However, if you are using a professional reference for your application and are unable to use the graduate online e-reference system because of their email address (ie. Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail or business address), please email with your request, and provide the name(s) and email address(es) for your referee(s). We will send the confidential reference form to your referees, and request that they complete and send the PDF form directly to our office via email.
What else do I have to submit in addition to references and my Dal application? The following additional documents must be submitted electronically to
  • A current resume that clearly states all your education and professional clinical practise. Please note: clinical practise you obtained during your undergraduate program does not count towards the 2 years full-time requirement.
  • Statement of intent (interest) in a 2-3 page, double-spaced essay, discussing the following points: Tell us about your goals as a nurse practitioner student and after graduation, as a Nurse Practitioner. How will the School of Nursing, Graduate Program help you achieve these goals?   What are the strengths you would bring to the program and to the profession? Explain any gaps or deficiencies in your academic record, or any other factors you wish to have taken into account. 
  •  Supplemental application form (click link to access) in addition to your CV and statement of career goals.  Please use this form to identify your practice areas of interest, program option, provide current nursing registration details and your reasons and objectives for pursuing graduate studies in nursing. Verification letter/document from your HR Department (signed by appropriate HR department rep) that verifies that you have met the minimum requirement and which includes the number of hours worked with the agency/organization.

  • Official or unofficial transcript(s)
    • For your initial application to graduate studies, we only require your unofficial academic transcripts for each post-secondary institution you have attended. Please include degree certificates if degree conferral is not stated on your transcripts.
    • Email your unofficial transcripts to
    • Transcripts should include your first and last name, degree, program type and name of degree issuing university. 
    • If you are accepted for admission, your final and official transcripts will be required within 90 days of the start of your program.
    • If you are accepted for admission, please follow these instructions to arrange for official transcripts to be submitted.

  • Again, please note that all documents should be submitted electronically to (other than references that are submitted via EREF).
  • Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are not required by the School of Nursing Graduate Programs.
Are all applicants interviewed?
  • Only those applicants who are chosen to progress to the interview stage will be contacted at the email address provided on the Dal application.
  • Applying for admission does not guarantee an interview.

Other important notes

  • Please note that the application checklist currently used by the Registrar’s Office, on the Dal Application Portal, is not used by individual graduate programs. Please email if you wish to confirm that you have submitted all necessary application materials.
  • Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all submitted application materials meet departmental requirements (ie. Verification of hours, two academic references and one managerial reference from a current manager).

Please note, that theory courses are offered either synchronously or asynchronously online. Students in NURS5740, Advanced Health Assessment (required of all NP Students), must attend the weekly lab sessions that are scheduled on site (Halifax campus or Cape Breton) during the first 6 weeks of the Fall semester, and are required to be on site for objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) associated with other clinical courses (Full-time students are required to take 1 clinical course per term for program duration; Part-time students are required to take 1 clinical course per term, starting in year 2).

Am I eligible for admission to the MN NP Program if I will have the required minimum number of hours by the time classes begin? No.
I live out of province. Does the MN NP Program cater to only applicants from Nova Scotia? Can I attend online from another province?

We do not designate seats for in-province/out-of-province students. Preference is given to students from Nova Scotia, but students from outside the province are accepted to the program.

All applicants must have an active license in the province or territory in which they currently practice, and be eligible for a Nova Scotia RN License, for clinical placements. Clinical Placements outside the province are not readily available or guaranteed, and are only negotiable on a limited, case-by-case basis.

Distance delivery of the program is a combination of synchronous (live videoconference) and asynchronous (what one might term “online”) modalities.  In courses that are offered synchronously, classes are scheduled once a week for a 3-hour period.

NP students are required to be on site once a week for the first 7 weeks of the term in which they complete NURS5740, Advanced Health Assessment, for labs and OSCEs.  On-site OSCEs are also completed in NURS5485, Principles and Theories for Nurse Practitioner Practice and NURS5487, Principles and Theories for Health and Disease Management in Family All Ages Nurse Practitioner Practice.

Realistically, how much do you think a part-time NP student can work while they are completing NURS5732 and NURS5740?  Assuming they are working a 100% shift work position, how much should drop down? We would recommend working no more than .5 when taking these courses, given the time commitment and rigour of the course content.
I am curious about the specialty of the Nurse Practitioner Program, is it solely in primary health care or can graduates also work in the hospital setting (ex. MedSurg floor)? Currently, our NP students have a focus in the Family All Ages (i.e., Primary Health Care) option. Students may complete some of their clinical practical in hospital settings.
I am an internationally trained nurse living in Nova Scotia. Will my application to the MN NP Program at Dalhousie University be considered? Internationally trained nurses wishing to practice as an RN in Nova Scotia must contact the Nova Scotia College of Nursing (  Under the link to Registration & Licensing, there is a link to information for Internationally Educated Nurse Not Currently Licensed in Canada. Applicants to the Master of Nursing Nurse Practitioner Program must be licensed to practice as a registered nurse (active practitioner) in a province/territory in Canada (provide proof of current RN licensure). Please note that the majority of our clinical placements take place in Nova Scotia, so licensure in NS is required prior to starting the program unless other arrangements can be made.
I took NP courses at another university. Does this program grant transfer credit for previously completed courses? Our graduate programs are regulated by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, which mandates that students may complete no more than 33% of their program at another university.  Our MN-NP program is a 36-credit hour program, therefore, students may complete a maximum of 12 credit hours outside Dalhousie.  Courses syllabi must be submitted to so our faculty can examine and determine whether or not the course is equivalent to those courses offered in our program. Transfer credit is not guaranteed and is at the discretion of the Dalhousie University School of Nursing.
How long is the Master of Nursing Nurse Practitioner Program?

A full-time MN Nurse Practitioner student will complete the Master of Nursing program, Nurse Practitioner Option in 24 months.  A part-time student will complete the program in 36 months. Full-time students in the Master of Nursing (MN) program, Nurse Practitioner option, usually complete three courses per term, unless otherwise specified or pre-determined by the NP Coordinator. Part-time students in the Master of Nursing (MN) program, Nurse Practitioner option, usually complete two courses per term, unless otherwise specified or pre-determined by the NP Coordinator.   

The following table shows course sequencing for full-time and part-time students in the MN NP Program:

Fall Start
Full-time Nurse Practitioner Program

Term Year One Year Two
Fall N5050
Winter N5200
Summer 5060    

Part-time Nurse Practitioner Program

Term Year One Year Two Year Three
Fall N5050 & N5732 N5610 & N5740 N5487 & N5735

N5200 & N5893

N5485 N5620
Summer N5060    

January Start
Full-time Nurse Practitioner Program

Term Year One Year Two
Winter N5050
NURS 5200
Spring N5060 NURS 5620
Fall N5485

Part-time Nurse Practitioner Program

Term Year One Year Two Year Three
Fall   N5732 & N5740 N5487 & N5735
Winter N5050 & 5893 N5485 & N5610 N5620
Spring N5060 N5200