Skip To Content

Athabasca University

Post-Masters Diploma: Nurse Practitioner
Program Regulations

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

For PMD:NP students admitted between 2012 and 2015, Cohort 2 regulations apply.

Note: For new PMD:NP student applications (January 1, 2016, or later), the regulations below 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 PMD:NP program are satisfied when the student has completed 12 credits in PMD:NP courses through Athabasca University. The remaining credits may be transferred from other institutions, provided they are applicable to the student’s program.

PMD:NP Program Requirements

The PMD:NP program is composed of the following 12 courses for a total of 30 credits. Students will write a comprehensive examination upon completion of PMD:NP courses. Students are required to attend a one-week on-site component in NURS 518 at their own expense.

Students are required to complete the non-credit Orientation and Introduction to Scholarly Writing Module prior to the completion of NURS 614.

All courses in the PMD:NP stream are offered in each semester (Fall, Winter, and Spring).

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 Drugs and Substances for NP Prescribers (1)

*Clinical Practicum

The PMD: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 such as Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia, and 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.

Program Completion Timelines

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

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.

Graduation Requirements

To be awarded the 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 21 2021 by laurab

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