Skip To Content

Athabasca University

Master of Nursing: Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Program Regulations

Regulations effective September 1, 2017.

If you were admitted to the MN:NP program in 2011 or earlier, use the Cohort 1 regulations.

For MN:NP student applications admitted between 2012 and 2015, the Cohort 2 regulations will apply.

Note: For new MN:NP student applications (admitted January 1, 2016, or later), the new regulations below will apply.

Program Students

Program students are enrolled in any of the degrees, diplomas, or certificates offered by Athabasca University. Students who change from non-program to a program category may use credits earned while in the unclassified category provided the course(s) meet the program requirements, including any restrictions on the age of a course, if applicable.

Program Residency Requirements

In keeping with Athabasca University’s mandate of open access, residency requirements for the MN:NP programs are satisfied when the student has successfully completed 18 credits in MHST/NURS graduate courses through Athabasca University. The remaining credits may be transferred from other institutions, provided they are applicable to the student’s program.

Program Requirements

The MN:NP program is composed of a total of 33 credits. Students enrolled in the MN:NP stream must complete a course-based route consisting of one core course and 11 nurse practitioner curriculum courses. Students who wish to undertake a thesis will be required to take four additional thesis-related courses.

MN: NP Courses

All courses in the NP stream except NURS 518 are offered in each semester (Fall, Winter, and Spring). NURS 518 is offered in Winter and Spring Session.

Students in the Nurse Practitioner stream are required to complete the non-credit Orientation and Introduction to Scholarly Writing module prior to taking NURS 614.

Core Courses

The following core course applies to the MN:NP stream:

MHST/NURS 610 Evidence-Based Practice in Health Care (3)

Curriculum Courses

The following 12 curriculum courses must be completed in the MN:NP stream. Students are required to attend a one week on-site component in NURS 518 at their own expense.

NURS 000 Orientation and Introduction to Scholarly Writing (0)
NURS 614 Foundations of Advanced Practice Nursing (3)
NURS 516 Pharmacotherapeutics and Pathophysiology for Nurse Practitioners I (3)
NURS 517 Pharmacotherapeutics and Pathophysiology for Nurse Practitioners II (3)
NURS 518 Advanced Health Assessment for Nurse Practitioners (3)
NURS 522 NP: Women and Men's Health* (3)
NURS 524 NP: Children's Health* (3)
NURS 526 NP: Adult Health* (3)
NURS 528 NP: Older Adult Health* (3)
NURS 527 NP: Mental Health (2)
NURS 530 NP: Practice Consolidation* (3)
NURS 531 Controlled Drug and Substances for NP Prescribers (1)

*Clinical Practicum

Each of AU's life-stage courses (NURS 522, 524, 526, 528) requires the completion of 140 hours of on-site clinical practice. NURS 530 requires 180 hours of practice. A clinical practicum must be completed in each life-stage course. Students are expected to identify a Nurse Practitioner or Physician to act as a preceptor for each clinical course. Preceptor requests must be submitted to the Faculty of Health Disciplines six month prior to starting each course.

Note that in some jurisdictions, clinical placement opportunities may be limited. AU cannot guarantee that a placement will be available for the term, and in the place, in which a student wishes to take a clinical course. Students should begin the process of identifying potential clinical sites as early as possible. In some jurisdictions such as Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia, and parts of Nova Scotia, a centralized preceptor request system is used. In those jurisdictions, students should not contact preceptors employed by the Health Authority. To determine whether or not a preceptor should be contacted, please discuss this with the appropriate AU clinical practicum coordinator.

Elective and Thesis Courses

There are no elective or thesis courses included in the MN:NP stream. Students who wish to undertake a thesis as part of the MN:NP stream will be required to take four additional thesis-related courses, as described for the MN:GEN stream. 

Program Completion Timelines

Students must complete the MN:NP program requirements within five years of their initial admission to the program.

Students who do not may be required to repeat courses completed at the beginning of their program.

Program Status

To maintain program status, course-based students must successfully complete six credits of course work during each academic year (September 1 to August 31). Students who do not meet the requirements for maintaining program status will be withdrawn from the program. If a student is unable and not expected to make progress in the program, the student may request a deferral in order to suspend the program requirements for a period of time. The maximum length of one deferral is one (1) year. In special circumstances, students may reapply for a second year of deferral during their time in their program.

Thesis-based students must also successfully complete six credits of course work during each academic year (September 1 to August 31) to maintain program status. Students who do not meet the requirements for maintaining program status will be withdrawn from the program.

Program Withdrawal

Students may withdraw from their program by submitting their request in writing to the CNHS office. Students who withdraw may re-apply to the program by following the regular application procedures. Students re-applying to a graduate program will be competing against all other applicants and will not receive special consideration.

Students enrolled in the MN programs may not normally withdraw from a course within 30 days of the final day of the course.

Two failures in one or more courses will result in the automatic removal of the student from the program with no option for re-admission to CNHS graduate programs.

Use of MN Credentials

The MN program does not have candidacy exams, therefore the use of MN (C) during your program is not permitted. When you have completed your program of study, applied to graduate, and your degree has been conferred, you may use the relevant credentials: MN. You may use this credential only after the degree is conferred.

Graduation Requirements

To be awarded the MN degree, a student must:

  1. successfully complete the program requirements. Students must achieve an overall average of B- (70 per cent) to graduate. The minimum passing grade requirement for all graduate nursing courses is C- (60 per cent), with the exception of those graded on a pass/fail basis.
  2. complete and submit an Application for Graduation Form to the Office of the Registrar, and
  3. meet all other regulations and requirements. In addition, students must have paid all necessary fees owed to the University and have returned all library resources.

 

Information effective Sept. 1, 2017 to Aug. 31, 2018.

Updated July 24 2017 by laurab

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.