Programs in the University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing are approved by the Nursing Education Program Approval Board (NEPAB), which regulates the policies and processes by which a nursing education program becomes and continues to be recognized as an approved nursing education program in Alberta.
Undergraduate nursing education at the University of Alberta is comprised of various components, which combine to deliver a comprehensive theoretical understanding of nursing and opportunities for students to learn and practice hands-on nursing skills.
The following sections outline these components:
The most current course descriptions are available on Bear Tracks. If you do not have a UofA Campus Computing ID, you can login to Bear Tracks as a Guest. Each course description lists the different course components, as well as includes figures in parentheses which provide information on how the hours of instruction per week are allocated. For example, a course with 1.5-6s-3 indicates 1.5 lecture hours, 6 tutorial (seminar) hours, and 3 laboratory hours per week. A course with 1-15c-2 indicates 1 lecture hour, 15 clinical hours, and 2 laboratory hours per week. A full explanation is available in section 230 of the University Calendar.
Class sizes will vary depending on the specific program and cohort that a student is in. In general, class sizes are approximately as follows:
- Lectures: 100-200 students
- Tutorials: 12-16 students
- Clinical Experiences: 7-10 students
- Laboratory Experiences (Labs): 12-16 students
- Students in the BScN-Collaborative Program have two electives included in their course sequencing and can select from a variety of courses offered at the University of Alberta. Depending on the courses selected for these electives, class sizes can vary significantly.
- Students in the BScN-After Degree Program in Camrose will have a maximum of 25 students in their classes.
Context Based Learning (CBL)
The predominant teaching strategy used in undergraduate nursing education at the University of Alberta is Context Based Learning (CBL). CBL is a variation of Problem Based Learning, which is used in a variety of disciplines (nursing, medicine, engineering, architecture, etc.) in major universities around the world. We use complex real nursing situations as the basis of the curriculum, allowing students to identify and research concepts and principles needed in order to work as a nurse.
Students spend a large portion of the program working in CBL tutorials. Under the guidance of an instructor, they work as a team to research and develop a care plan for the patient presented in each scenario. This learning process is more self-driven then students may be previously accustomed to, and is designed to help students succeed in a profession that is constantly changing as new research and practice methods emerge. Rather than simply memorizing information, students are learning how think critically, assess situations, work as a team, and find and apply new research.
CBL helps students become the nursing graduates that employers are seeking, and helps prepare students to pursue master’s and doctoral degrees if they so choose. Upon successful completion of their program, students will be able to:
- think critically and analyze real problems
- find, evaluate, and use resources
- work collaboratively
- demonstrate versatility
- communicate effectively
- function well in a global community
- deal with ambiguity and diversity
- continue learning after graduation
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy
Starting in the 2011-2012 school year, the Faculty of Nursing is situated in the new Edmonton Clinic Health Academy. This new 150,000 square meter building will give students a place for interactive, high-tech collaboration and team work. Home to all of the University of Alberta's health science disciplines, Edmonton Clinic Health Academy is designed specifically to teach team-based and patient-centred care.
eLearning Services provides services and support for traditional classroom lectures and seminars, as well as the use of technology-based methods such as audiovisual, computer-based, and teleconferencing media. The Faculty of Nursing uses eClass to extend the classroom, by providing a secure and easy-to-navigate interface for the distribution of course materials and the facilitation of discussion and interaction between students and instructors. For more information, please visit the Faculty of Nursing eLearning Services page.
Interdisciplinary Health Team Development
A unique opportunity included in the course sequencing for University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing students is INT D 410 - Interdisciplinary Health Team Development. Through participation on an interprofessional team of up to eight students, students build their knowledge and skills in interprofessional communication, interprofessional collaboration, role clarification, and reflection. Emphasis is placed on team processes and tasks while recognizing the unique contributions of patients, families, and professionals in working collaboratively to maintain health. (Refer to Bear Tracks for the full INT D 410 course description).
INT D 410 is a learning experience offered by InterProfessional Education (IPE), whose mandate is to champion and develop interdisciplinary activities for the University of Alberta’s Health Science Faculties. IPE is supported by the University of Alberta’s Health Sciences Council, which is comprised of the following Faculties: Medicine and Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Rehabilitation Medicine, Physical Education and Recreation, Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health, and Augustana Faculty. The University of Alberta is the only university in Canada to address interdisciplinary health scholarship via a coordinated and collaborative Council of equals. This approach allows each Faculty to maintain autonomy and develop their unique disciplinary strengths while addressing challenges and opportunities common to all.