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For general admission inquiries, please contact

Nursing Graduate Program Open House 

October 13th, 6:30pm
Meeting ID: 912 4195 6005
Passcode: 953125

Zoom Link

October 21st, 1:30pm
Meeting ID: 970 0401 4175
Passcode: 136337​​

Zoom Link

Nursing Graduate Program Applications

Applications for Fall 2023, will open October 11th, 2022 and close January 15th, 2023. 

Please email for questions or concerns.

PHCNP Graduate Diploma

Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner (PHCNP) Graduate Diploma​


Post-Master’s degree applicants who wish the Graduate Diploma in Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner (PHCNP).

What is PHCNP?

Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioners (PHC NPs) are registered nurses, who are specialists in primary health care, who provide accessible, comprehensive and effective care to clients of all ages. They are experienced nurses with additional nursing education which enables them to provide individuals, families, groups and communities with health services in health promotion, disease and injury prevention, cure, rehabilitation and support.

History of the Field 

The Council of Ontario University Programs in Nursing (COUPN) established the Ontario Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner (PHC NP) Programme in 1995. A consortium of nine Ontario universities offers the program. Graduates are eligible to write the Canadian Nurse Practitioner Exam Examination: Family/All Ages to qualify as an NP-PHC.

PHCNP Workplaces 

Where do primary health care nurses practitioners work? Where ever there is a need for primary health care services, including:

  • Community Health Centres
  • Long Term Care
  • Palliative Care
  • Aboriginal Centres
  • Community-based facilities (public health, occupational health, correctional services)
  • Ambulatory Care Centres (i.e., urgent/emergency departments, primary care clinics)
  • Family Health Teams (FHT)


Admission Requirements

Please review all application requirements below. All documents should be uploaded into your online application.

Candidates must comply with the School of Graduate Studies Regulations.

The specific admission requirements are:

  1. A completed Master’s degree in Nursing, and achieved the equivalent to a McMaster B+ GPA average. Please note, at this time the degree must be a MN or MScN. A Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (60 units taken at a university) with a minimum of the equivalent of a McMaster B+ average over the final 60 units from an undergraduate nursing program, or its equivalent. Applicants who are graduates of a baccalaureate nursing degree program for registered nurses and who have between 50 and 59 units of university study will be considered on a case-by-case basis. These 60 units will not include advanced credit for college courses.
  2. Submit Verification of Employment Hours. Two years of full time nursing practice within the past five years (3640 hours) is required to begin the program. Please download the form here. Please note: applicants are not allowed to submit this document - this document can be submitted on your behalf by HR via email to 
  3. Submit one official transcript of academic work completed to date, sent directly from the issuing institution. This document can be sent electronically to or the Nursing Graduate Office. Please include any additional course work. Please note that non-English transcripts must be translated and notarized.​ Please submit one unofficial transcript in your online application. 
  4. Submit two academic references. See Grad FAQ for details on academic versus clinical references. McMaster University uses the Electronic Referencing System. By entering the email address of your Academic referee through the online application, the system will automatically send an e-Reference request on your behalf.
  5. Submit two clinical references, references should be someone who has known you in a professional context. McMaster University uses the Electronic Referencing System. By entering the email address of your clinical referees through the online application, the system will automatically send an e-Reference request on your behalf.​
  6. Submit personal essay responding to four questions related to the PHCNP program​. Please download the guidelines here and answer the questions directly in the online application. Answers should be limited to one page per a question, single spaced. 
  7. Submit a Curriculum Vitae, please upload this document directly in the online application.
  8. Submit Health Professional Requirements: Please upload these documents directly in the online application. Evidence of health professional requirements include: copy of Ontario RN license/registration or renewal.

    If English is not your native language, an official copy of your TOEFL score, or other evidence of competency in English. A minimum TOEFL (iBT) score of 92 (580 or 237) is required. IELTS minimum score 7.0.


With an understanding that Indigenous learners can face specific barriers or challenges when pursuing higher education, schools and programs within McMaster’s Faculty of Health Sciences have facilitated admissions streams for applicants with Indigenous North American (First Nations, Inuit or Métis) ancestry. This process is intended to provide equitable access to Indigenous applicants and aligns with the intent of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action. Applicants wishing to apply through McMaster’s FIAP need to complete the supplementary self-identification application in addition to  McMaster university and program specific application processes. All Indigenous applicants who meet the admission criteria will be considered within an Indigenous applicant cohort.

Full details are found on the Indigenous Students Health Sciences Website:


Masters (MN or MScN), Baccalaureate Nursing, minimum B+ average, 3,640 hours of RN employment hours


Seven half courses:

SGS 101 and SGS 201

Indigenous Health Online Modules​

NUR 761 Pathophysiology
NUR 762 Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnosis 1
NUR 763 Advanced health Assessment and Diagnosis II
NUR 764 Therapeutics in Primary Health Care I
NUR 765 Therapeutics in Primary Health Care II
NUR 766 Roles and Responsibilities
NUR 767​ Integrative Practicum in Primary Health Care

Requirements for Degree Completion

Once the courses have been completed successfully, students are eligible to write their RN (Extended Class) exams.

Program Timeline:


Students complete the program full-time in one year.


Related Pages

Graduate Application Deadline

January 15

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