Skip To Content

Athabasca University

Master of Nursing: Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Program Regulations

Regulations effective September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021.

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 those 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 15 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 are offered in each semester (Fall, Winter, and Spring). NURS 518 is offered in all three semesters but has limited seats in the fall term.

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 15 curriculum courses must be completed in the MN:NP stream.

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)
NURS 675 Nurse Practitioner Practicum I (0)
NURS 676 Nurse Practitioner Practicum II (0)
NURS 678 Nurse Practitioner Practicum III (0)

*Clinical Practicum

The MN:NP program requires the completion of clinical practicum hours. Information regarding the clinical hours can be found in the course syllabi of NURS 675, NURS 676, and NURS 678. 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 months prior to starting each clinical course.

Students are expected to work with Clinical Practicum Coordinators to identify appropriate preceptors and placements for their clinical practicum. Preceptor requests and accompanying prerequisite information (i.e. CPR, RN license verification) must be submitted according to the deadlines listed in the Academic Calendar.

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 jurisdictions including Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, a centralized preceptor request system is used. In those jurisdictions, students should not contact preceptors employed by the Health Authority directly. 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, 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 by submitting a Deferral Request form. 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 a Program Withdrawal form. 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.

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.
  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, 2020 to Aug. 31, 2021.

Updated June 03 2021 by laurab

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