Important Notice: COVID-19 Institute response

Part-time/Distance & Online Learning Advanced Certificate 680fascert


Fall 2020 Delivery Mode: BLENDED

  • This program will be delivered for the fall semester as a combination of online and on-campus learning.
  • Faculty will notify students of when their attendance on campus will be required.
  • We are putting measures in place for your safety and well-being, ensuring that all safety protocols are addressed. Please see BCIT COVID-19 Return to Operations for details on the mandatory procedures that have been implemented.
  • Your education is our priority and we will continue to deliver the applied instruction, collaborative experience, and industry connections that you expect from BCIT.

The only neonatal certification program in Canada, BCIT's Neonatal specialty nursing program is known in the industry for delivering quality training. Our comprehensive programming ensures you are fully ready for a career in neonatal nursing.

We equip nurses to care for infants who are in the first month of their lives and need hospitalization in neonatal nurseries and neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Our program trains you in the technical and emotional skills to effectively support infants and their families during this challenging time.

About the program

  • Part-time, advanced certificate program that takes an average of two years to complete
  • Distance and online learning gives flexibility to meet your work and life needs
  • Two full-time clinical experiences and two part-time clinical experiences taken concurrently with theory courses

Our program gives you training in every aspect of neonatal nursing. Visit Program Details for more information.

Who it's for

This program is for individuals who:

  • Are practicing registered nurses (RNs) wanting an advanced neonatal nursing certification, or to complete their specialty Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in neonatal nursing
  • Are undergraduate nursing students currently completing an accredited BSN program
  • Have six or more months of relevant work experience in an acute care setting
  • Can apply sensitivity and compassion in a high-stress work environment
  • Enjoy working directly with infants and their families

See Program Entry to learn more about entry requirements and details on applying.

Your work experience matters

At BCIT, we value your work experience. If you've been working as a neonatal nurse, take advantage of our Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) process and fast track your advanced certification education.

What grads can do

Our grads are ready to start their careers as soon as they graduate. See Graduating and Jobs to learn about careers in neonatal nursing.

Program Entry

Entrance requirements

The following are requirements for program entry into Specialty Nursing certificate and degree courses. Enforcement or waiving of any or all entry requirements is at the discretion of the program head.

If you have any questions about your experience or qualifications, please contact the Program Head to arrange program advising.

English Language Proficiency

Specialty Nursing courses are taught in the English language and require adequate English skills. To review BCIT’s requirements on English language proficiency, please visit BCIT’s Admission and Registration page on English requirements.

Work Experience

RNs or undergraduate students currently registered in an accredited RN or BSN program may start their Specialty Nursing certificate by taking entry level theory courses. Applicants to the more advanced Specialty Nursing certificate courses may require a minimum of 6 months to 1 year of relevant work experience in an acute care setting and a resume of work experience may be required to progress in the program. If you have questions about whether your work experience qualifies, please contact the program head.

If you are a long term or residential care nurse or an RN lacking current (within the last 2 years) acute care experience, Kwantlen College offers a Competency Assessment and Enhancement for Nurses course that provides a refresher in acute care principles.

This assessment involves an individual self assessment, multiple choice exam and practice simulation. This course may be required for admission in the Specialty Nursing programs. For more information on Kwantlen's offering please visit:

Once you have been assessed, you may be required to complete a tailored curriculum designed to meet BCIT's need for familiarity with acute care principles. This curriculum may include some of the following courses:

Clinical requirements

Note: Effective immediately, all health care workers who come into contact with patients at publicly-funded health care facilities or in the community, including at long-term-care facilities, will have to get the influenza vaccine or wear a mask during flu season. This policy affects all students who will be entering a clinical setting.

As such, you will be required to provide proof of your immunization or agree to wear a mask at all times prior to being placed in your clinical studies.

Note: Clinical applications must be completed and sent to us before the following deadline dates: February 1 for the April term, June 1 for the September term, and November 1 for the January term.

Basic Cardiac Life Support Certification

All students participating in clinical courses must have current Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Level C or Level Health Care Provider (HCP). The original certificate must be presented upon application to the clinical courses.

CRNBC Registration

As well as providing this information at the time of admission, BCIT requires students to provide proof of CRNBC membership (or Canadian provinvial equivalent) for each clinical course they enroll in. Without proper provincial registration, you will not be permitted to continue in the course.

Face Respirator Fit Testing

A face piece respiratory fit test is required before students are permitted to enter the clinical practicum. Upon successful completion of the fit test, the original certificate must be presented to the program and annual re-fitting is required. Students are expected to carry their certificate with them at all times during their practicum.

Respirator fit testing with a N95 respirator (1860, 1860s or 1870) is required and must be performed in accordance with CSA Standard CAN/CSA-Z94.4-02. Fit testing must also include inspection, cleaning, maintenance, and storage of protective equipment. Students will be given specific instructions in preparation for their fit testing by the provider they choose.

International applicants

International students outside of Canada

International students must be currently working in their nursing specialty area and have a practicing registered nurse’s license in their country to be eligible for this program. All courses are delivered through an online format, so students do not need a study permit.

International students working in Canada

International students who currently hold a work permit and are working in their specialty nursing area with a practicing registered nurse's license are eligible for this program. Students are responsible to maintain a work permit that is valid throughout clinical training. All courses are delivered through an online format, so students do not need a study permit.

International students are required to have a study permit before they attend any in-class courses/exams as part of the program.

Program declaration

Please contact the program assistant to declare this program.

Scheduled intakes

Ongoing Part-time Studies intakes: January, April and September.

Costs & Supplies

Face respirator fit testing - approx $25 per year; annual re-fitting required.

Tuition fees

Please see the Part-time Studies Tuition & Fees page for information on part-time tuition fees.

Tuition is charged on a course-by-course basis. View the courses in the program matrix for individual course fees.

Books and supplies

Please check the BCIT Bookstore for most current prices.


The core, required courses in the program address content and skills that are basic to Neonatal Nursing regardless of the setting. The elective credits and courses enable you to pursue relevant areas of interest, based on your educational and career goals.

The first course in the program, NSNE 7100 (Neonatal Theory 1), focuses on infants and families as clients. It explores partnership with infants and families; and introduces developmentally supportive care and family care as frameworks for neonatal nursing practice. The course begins by looking at healthy newborns and ends with a group of modules that introduce the concept of vulnerability. It explores three sources of vulnerability: fetal growth and development/gestational age, transition to extrauterine life, and the environment.

The second course, NSNE 7200 (Neonatal Theory 2), further explores neonatal vulnerability by examining the pathophysiology underlying common neonatal health challenges. Specifically, it examines asphyxia, dehydration, jaundice, apnea, bradycardia, patent ductus arteriosus, opiate dependency, hypothermia, and respiratory distress. Throughout the course, issues are examined in development, family, feeding and assessment.

The third required course in the program, NSNE 7300 (Neonatal Clinical 1), focuses on the knowledge and skills required to begin practicing Neonatal Nursing. The course is organized around seven key areas of Neonatal Nursing practice. They are: assessment, nutritional support, thermal management, medication administration, infection control, respiratory support and developmentally supportive care. The emphasis in this course is synthesis of knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable nurses to provide competent care to vulnerable infants.

The fourth course in the program, NSNE 7900 (Clinical Preceptorship in Neonatal Nursing), provides 75 hours of clinical practice and is used to provide novice neonatal nurses with additional time to focus on the basics, or may be used to provide clinical practice in an area not address in the required clinical courses.

The final course that is required prior to taking any Neonatal clinical course is NSPN 7450 (Neonatal Resuscitation [NRP]). This course prepares health care professionals to provide skilled neonatal resuscitation during the first moments of an infant's life.

Together, the first four courses in the program prepare you to begin working with stable, non-ventilated, vulnerable infants.

The remaining credits and courses in the program are electives. Choose electives from within the Neonatal Nursing Specialty: NSNE 7400 (Neonatal Theory), NSNE 7911 (Neonatal Respiratory Care), NSNE 7920 (Neonatal Acute Care), NSNE 7940 (Advanced Concepts in Neonatal Nursing), or Acute Care Of at Risk Newborns (ACORN). Choose electives from other related BCIT Specialty Nursing Programs, such as Perinatal Nursing and Pediatric Nursing.

Program matrix

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Required Courses: (14.0 credits) Credits
  NSNE 7100 Neonatal Theory 1 3.0
  NSNE 7200 Neonatal Theory 2 3.0
  NSNE 7300 Neonatal Clinical 1* 4.0
  NSNE 7900 Clinical Preceptorship in Neonatal Nursing 3.0
  NSPN 7450 Neonatal Resuscitation 1.0
*Contact Program Head for more information.
Complete an additional 10.0 credits of electives from the following: Credits
  NSNE 7911 Neonatal Respiratory Care 4.0
  NSNE 7920 Neonatal Acute Care 4.0
  NSNE 7940 Advanced Concepts in Neonatal Nursing 3.0

Electives must be approved by the Program Head.

Total Credits: 24.0

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

Program Details

Program length

The length of the program varies, as it is offered in a variety of formats:

  • BCIT offers theory and some clinical courses by part-time, independent study. We deliver theory courses over a 12-week term using guided-learning modules and telephone tutor support. They often include teleconferences, which provide opportunities for students and tutors to discuss issues relevant to the course. If you work full-time, you would generally register for one theory course per term, although this can vary depending on your additional commitments.

  • Through independent study, learn in you own community and structure your learning schedule in a manner that is most convenient for you. Complete full-time clinical courses at clinical sites throughout BC, over 3 to 4 weeks. If you live outside BC, clinical placements may be negotiated.

  • Most Specialty Nursing programs arrange special offerings of courses as "Compressed Time Frame programs". Offered in full-time study formats, they enable you to take several courses over a specified period of time. If you are interested in this option of study, contact the program assistant for more information and program start dates.

  • Nurses with relevant experience and/or previous courses can request assessment for credit for prior learning.

Maximum program length for either the Advanced Certificate or the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is seven years. Preparedness for employment can take from 10 weeks to 1 year.

We offer a Compressed Time Frame (CTF) that consists of two required courses (NSNE 7200 and NSNE 7300) plus a clinical elective and course elective (NSNE 7900 and NSNE 7911) via a full-time, 11-week program in greater Vancouver. The first theory course (NSNE 7100) is a prerequisite for this program.

Continue your education

You are eligible to apply for an Advanced Certificate in Neonatal Nursing after completing 24 credits of approved courses. After receipt of an Advanced Certificate, you can choose to continue in the degree completion portion of the program, which requires completion of another 36 credits. Upon completion of all 60 credits of approved courses (including the Advanced Certificate courses), you are eligible to receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Specialty Nursing.

Graduating & Jobs

UVIC Master of Nursing Our grads are ready

Neonatal nurses work hard to give the best possible care to a special group of patients. Our grads have everything they need to start their career off right or enhance their current neonatal nurse position. Trained neonatal nurses are in demand. BCIT grads are ready.

Career opportunities

Our grads can seek employment anywhere in the world. Neonatal RNs work primarily in hospitals, providing specialized care to infants with health problems due to illness or premature birth. Careers start at approximately $32 per hour. Opportunities are available in many areas, including:

  • Hospital nurseries
  • Hospital perinatal units
  • NICUs
  • Community health programs

Keep learning

Looking to get your BSN? Use your advanced certificate toward completing our Bachelor of Science, Specialty Nursing degree.

Beginning in 2018, BCIT Specialty Nursing Advanced Certificate Graduates can apply to receive transfer credits towards the online, two-year UVIC Master of Nursing program. Applicants can chose from the Advanced Practice Leadership of Nurse Educator options.

Graduate employment outcomes

The BCIT student outcomes reports present summary findings from the annual survey of former students administered by BC Stats one to two years after graduation. These reports combine the last three years of available results for the 2017-2019 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2016-2018 graduates and for Degree 2015-2017 graduates. The reports are organized into three-page summaries containing information on graduates' labour market experiences and opinions regarding their education. More detailed information can be accessed at the BC Student Outcomes website.

To view these results, you may need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your Web browser.

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

Annie Silveira
Program Head
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 76837

Sandra McIvor
Program Assistant
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 8982

Contact Us

Sandra McIvor
Program Assistant
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 8982

Questions or comments?

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The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Information Access and Privacy.

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