Nurse practitioner option - frequently asked questions

Is a MN-NP considered a Masters in Advanced Nursing Practice?

Yes, it is.

What will my degree officially be called?

The degree is called a Master of Nursing (MN).

When can I officially use the title Family Nurse Practitioner?

The title "Nurse Practitioner" is protected under the Health Professions Act. In BC to register as a Nurse Practitioner (Family) with the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (CRNC), you must pass a written exam and a practice demonstration exam (OSCE or Objective Structured Clinical Exam) taken after completion of the NP Option within the MN degree.

Will I be able to work while completing the NP program?

Working while completing the NP program is strongly discouraged because the program is full-time. You can expect to spend twice as much time completing course work as you did in your undergraduate program - approximately 12 hours for each 1.5 unit course and you will be enrolled in 2-3 courses/semester. Therefore, three 1.5 unit courses require at least 36 hours of study a week. You will also complete 800 clinical practice hours, either 150 or 200 practice hours in all but the first term of the program, and travel anywhere in BC to gain appropriate practice experiences. Specific populations, content areas and care complexities are studied and built upon each term, thus practicum hours must be completed within each designated term. Dependent on preceptor availability, clinical practice involves 2-3 days per week spread over the term.

Can I study in the Nurse Practitioner option part-time?

No. This is a full-time two year intensive program. Continuous registration in three terms per year is necessary in order to meet graduation requirements to be eligible to write CRNBC exam and the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE).

How often will I be required to attend on-campus in Victoria?

You will be required to be on-campus each semester during the program. There is a required onsite orientation prior to the start of the program and each practice course (Advanced Assessment, PHC I, II, & III and NUNP 537) includes at least one 3-5 day onsite experience.

Where will my clinical practice experiences and internship take place?

Clinical hours may be completed in a primary care, residential care or acute care setting under the guidance of a NP or physician preceptor and a School of Nursing faculty member. While we make every effort to provide clinical placements in your home community, travel outside of your home community and anywhere in BC may be required.

Can I complete the clinical hours where I work?

No, you are not allowed to complete clinical hours within your employment locations(s) for several reasons, including the ethical dilemmas this presents for patients and providers. This is policy at both the School of Nursing and the CRNBC.

What kind of jobs will this program prepare me for?

As a graduate of UVic's Family Nurse Practitioner program, you will be prepared to work in primary care clinics, community health centres, ambulatory care, outpost stations, and in long term care. Check the BC Health authority websites for NP postings.

What is the difference betwen the APN-NP, APN-APL and APN-NUED program options?

All advanced practice nursing is guided by the CNA (2008) competencies contained in the consensus document, Advanced Nursing Practice: A National Framework. Graduates of the APL program are master's prepared advanced practice nurses who have specialized knowledge and skills to provide leadership, administrative and patient-centred consultation, and/or direct patient care usually with specific populations.

Graduates of the NP program are master's prepared advanced practice nurses with advanced knowledge and skills to provide primary health care for patients across the lifespan. Family nurse practitioners are prepared to complete independent health assessments, diagnose common acute and chronic health conditions, formulate comprehensive patient-centred treatment plans including prescribing therapies, ordering and interpreting diagnostic testing and patient education within the CRNBC scope of practice for Family Nurse Practitioners.

May I do a thesis or project in the NP option?

Students interested in completing a thesis or project may do so with special permission because this will require additional course work and will take longer than two years to complete. The NP program includes a 1.5 unit Evaluation Synthesis which is considered a graduate level capstone by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. If you wish to complete, in addition, a 3.0 unit project or a 6.0 unit thesis, you would complete this after all NP coursework is finished. If this is of interest, discuss with your faculty advisor early in your program.

May I begin the program in the APL or NUED stream and switch midway to NP?

No. The two streams of advanced nursing practice, Nurse Practitioner and Advanced Practice Leadership, prepare nurses for different roles within the healthcare system. If you are unsure of which option to apply for, please ask to speak to a faculty member before applying. If you do decide to switch you must fully apply and compete to be accepted to the new program.

Can I apply to the UVic PhD program with my Masters in Nursing - NP option, realizing that no thesis or project will be completed?

Yes, there are currently UVic NP grads in our PhD program.

Can I apply to other PhD programs with the MN-NP realizing that no thesis or project will be completed?

PhD programs may want you to have completed a thesis at the master's level. If you are interested in a particular PhD program, check with that program to determine whether a non-thesis masters degree such as the NP program would be acceptable to them.