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Basic Stream

Basic (A) Stream (4 years)

McMaster’s Basic (A) Stream program is unique in that it emphasizes person-​centered learning within a problem-based approach, uses tutorial classes, and facilitates self-directed learning. The curriculum is designed so that the study of nursing; the humanities; and the physiological, psychological and social sciences are interrelated and threaded throughout the program.

Upon graduation, students wishing to engage in the professional practice of nursing and use the title Registered Nurse are subject to qualifying examinations and other requirements by the licensing body, the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO).

*Note: All students must review the CNO's Requisite Skills and Abilities and assess their ability to meet the criteria set forth in this document. ​

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Level 1

In Level 1, students are provided with a strong foundation in the health and social sciences and are able to choose a variety of electives. They learn about themselves and their clients as individuals, while focusing on health, health assessment and the promotion of health.

Level 1 students are required to spend four hours per week working in a laboratory setting with a tutor. During this time, they focus on ​fundamental nursing skills such as communication, hand-washing, vital signs and physical assessment.

Fall Term
​Winter Term
NURSING 1F03 - Introduction to Nursing & Health I NURSING 1G03 - Introduction to Nursing & Health II
NURSING 1I02 - Introduction to Nursing Practice NURSING 1J02 - Professional Nursing Practice I
WHMIS 1A00 - Introduction to Health and Safety HTHSCI 1LL3 - Human Biochemistry I
PSYCH 1X03/1N03 - Introduction to Psychology , Neuroscience & Behaviour PSYCH 1XX3/1NN3 - Foundations of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
 ELECTIVE (3 units)  
Fall Term and Winter Term
 HTHSCI 1H06 AB - Human Anatomy & Physiology I
 NURSING 1K02 AB - Community Engagement and Citizenship


Level 2

In Level 2, students expand their definition of the client as an individual and now begin to consider the client as a family and the community.

Level 2 requires that students spend eight hours per week at a practice placement where they work together with a group of fellow students and a single faculty member. All students complete one medical placement and one surgical placement, learning to respond to ​chronic, acute, and complex health care situations.

Fall Term
​Winter Term
​HTHSCI 2H03 - ​Introductory Pharmacology ​HTHSCI 2HH3 - ​Introductory Microbiology
HTHSCI 2RR3 - Introduction to ​the Social Determinants of Health HTHSCI 2S03 - ​Introduction to Statistics for Nursing
NURSING 2MM3- ​Nursing Concepts in Health & Illness I NURSING 2NN3 -​Nursing Concepts in Health & Illness II
NURSING 2L03 - ​Professional Nursing Practice II NURSING 2P03 - ​Professional Nursing Practice III
Fall Term and Winter Term
 NURSING 2LA2 AB - ​Introduction to Integrated Pathophysiology for Nursing
NURSING 2K02 AB - Health & Well-being of Diverse Populations II
Fall Term or Winter Term
 Elective (3 units)​


Level 3

In Level 3, students are required to spend 12 hours per week working in acute and varied clinical settings, such as pediatrics, mental health and maternal/child, among many others.

Fall Term
​Winter Term
HTHSCI 3BB3 - ​Human Biochemistry II: Nutrition & Metabolism​ HTHSCI 4NR3 - Nursing Research
OR Elective (3 units) if taking HTHSCI 4NR3 in Level 4
​NURSING 3SS3 - ​Nursing Concepts in Health & Illness III NURSING 3TT3 - ​Nursing Concepts in Health & Illness IV
NURSING 3X04 - ​Professional Nursing Practice IV NURSING 3Y04 - ​Professional Nursing Practice V
Elective (3 units) ​​Elective (3 units)
Fall Term and Winter Term
NURSING 3PA2 AB​Integrated Pathophysiology for Nursing
Fall Term ​or Winter Term
NURSING 3QQ3​​Professional Community Nursing Practice


Level 4

In Level 4, students are placed individually in a variety of settings where they are actively involved in enacting the nursing role for 24 hours per week first term; and 24 hours per week in the first six weeks and 36 hours per week in the last six weeks of the second term.

Students are directly supervised by a clinical preceptor and indirectly supervised by a ​faculty member.

Fall Term
​Winter Term
NURSING ​4P04- ​​Advanced Nursing Concepts I NURSING 4Q03​Advanced Nursing Concepts II
NURSING 4J07​Professional Nursing Practice VI ​​NURSING 4K10​Professional Practice & the New Graduate

HTHSCI 4NR3 - Nursing Research
OR ​Elective (3 units) if took HTHSCI 4NR3 in Level 3

 ​Elective (3 units)  ​​​


Basic (A) Stream elective requirements:

18 units of electives of which:

  • Minimum 6 units at Level 2 or above
  • Maximum 6 units from NURSING or HTHSCI courses

Elective course work must be completed prior to the start of the final term in Level ​4.

Elective Options:

McMaster offers a variety of courses across all Faculties that students can complete to satisfy their elective requirements. Students in the Nursing program can also take non-mandatory NURSING or HTHSCI courses offered by the School of Nursing toward their elective requirements (to a maximum of 6 units), including independent study/research project courses HTHSCI 4AR3 and 4BR3

Mohawk and Conestoga site students have the option to take COLLAB courses at their respective site.

Letter of Permission

All students may request to complete electives at another institution on Letter of Permission (LOP)​

Details on applying for LOP


For information about the School of Nursing’s admission requirements and process, visit the Admissions page.

Next Undergraduate Application Deadline

January 11

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