Nursing and allied health programs in Canada are extremely popular among international students, and provide training in various levels of health care. At the university level, students can take a Bachelor of Nursing (BN), Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNSc), Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc), or a Bachelor of Allied Health Sciences (BAHSc). More specialized allied health degrees are also offered such as Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy (BScOT), Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology (BScKin), Bachelor of Kinesiology (BKin), Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (BScPharm/ BSP) and Bachelor of Music Therapy (BMusTh). Most of these are highly competitive, limited-enrolment 3- or 4-year programs.
Within the nursing degrees specializations include critical care, palliative care, detox, mental health, neonatal, practical, community health, occupational health, psychiatric or pediatric nursing. Nursing for specific groups such as Aboriginal communities, women and the aging are also available. Allied heath specialization options include occupational or physical therapy, physiotherapy, athletic therapy, kinesiology and pharmacy. Many health sciences programs allow students to also take business and/or administration courses in preparation for careers in health care management. Most university degrees offer internship or clinical placements so students get hands-on, practical experience interacting with patients.
Community colleges also offer nursing and allied health programs, such as 1- to 2-year diplomas or certificates in nursing, practical nursing, personal support, therapeutic recreation, community mental health, mental health and addictions, health care management or health care technology. These credentials often qualify for university transfer, and community colleges may have collaborative degree programs in partnership with specific universities. Community college programs in nursing and allied health are a great way to prepare for continuing studies or directly enter the job market. A shorter credential may also be a good way to see if this field is right for you, so start exploring nursing and allied health programs as you plan your study in Canada.