The only neonatal certification program in Canada, BCIT’s Neonatal specialty nursing program is known in the health care industry for delivering quality education. 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 helps you develop the technical and relational skills to effectively support infants and their families during this challenging time.
The BCIT Nursing Specialty Bachelor of Science (BSN) is a combination of our advanced certificate program and our specific academic BSN courses. Choose to complete both concurrently or study in the order that works best for you.
Visit Nursing Specialty BSN for information about the required academic courses.
Visit Neonatal Nursing Advanced Certificate for information about the required specialty courses and clinicals.
Ongoing throughout the year.
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.
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: Two years of education in English in an English-speaking country with one of the following:
Adequate Work Experience
Applicants to Specialty Nursing Certificate courses should have a minimum of 6 months to 1 year of relevant work experience in an acute care setting. Exceptions may be granted for undergraduate students taking entry level theory courses. However, 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:
Basic Cardiac Life Support Certification
All students participating in clinical courses must have current Current Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Level C or Level Health Care Provider (HCP). The original certificate must be presented upon application to the clinical courses.
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.
For the Respirator Fit Testing, 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 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.
International students must receive program head approval before applying.
To submit your application:
The program faculty assesses learners with previous Specialty Nursing course work and relevant work experience on an individual basis.
BCIT requires original, sealed transcripts and course outlines to assess transfer of credit.
Within two business days of submitting your completed application, BCIT will send a message to your personal and myBCIT e-mail addresses. All correspondence regarding your application will be posted to your online myCommunication account at my.bcit.ca. We'll send you an e-mail when a new message is posted. It's important to watch for these e-mails or regularly check your account online.
You can expect to receive communication concerning the status of your application within four weeks.
Financial assistance may be available for this program. For more information, please contact Student Financial Aid and Awards.
Check current availability of courses for this program.
|Required Courses: (14.0 credits)||Credits|
Neonatal Theory 1*
Healthy Childbearing Experiences and the Newborn is the combined introductory theory course of the Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing Specialty Programs. This course explores a number of concepts that are foundational to the practice of perinatal and neonatal nursing and healthy childbearing experiences. Within the context of building partnerships, learners are exposed to holistic caring for childbearing women, their fetuses and newborns, and their families.
Neonatal Theory 2
This course builds on the concepts presented in NSNE 7100. Specifically, the relationship among infant vulnerability, pathophysiology, and assessment will be explored. A case study format will be used to address common health challenges that increase infant vulnerability in preterm, late preterm, term and post-term infants. Concepts of family-centered care, infant transition, hypoxia, and multi-system organ effects will be examined throughout the course. Prerequisites: NSNE 7100 or NSNE 7110
Neonatal Clinical 1**
This clinical course introduces learners to the care of infants experiencing common health challenges. This three-week clinical course takes place in a NICU and focuses on the following key areas of practice: assessment and care planning, medication administration, thermal management, nutrition, infection control, and developmentally supportive and family-centered care. Prerequisites: NSNE 7100 and NSNE 7200 and NSPN 7450 and RN practicing licensure in a provincial/territorial college of Registered Nurses.
Clinical Preceptorship in Neonatal Nursing
This two-week clinical course provides the opportunity to engage in clinical learning that is tailored to the student’s individual needs. Using a preceptorship model in an NICU, students will have an opportunity to build upon prior clinical experiences of caring for infants with common health challenges. The following key areas of practice will be used to guide clinical learning: assessment and care planning, medication administration, thermal management, nutrition, infection control, and developmentally supportive and family-centered care. Prerequisites: NSNE 7100 and NSNE 7200 and and NSNE 7300 and NSPN 7450 and RN practicing licensure in a provincial/territorial college of Registered Nurses.
The Newborn Resuscitation Program (NRP) is an eight hour interactive skills testing day that builds on the knowledge gained by reading the Neonatal Resuscitation text book. The text must be read in its entirety prior to attending the one-day workshop. Each participant must complete the online NRP exam prior to coming to the on-campus workshop. The exam can be accessed on the Canadian Pediatric Society website. Proof of successful completion of the online exam must be brought to the one day workshop. Participants will be turned away without proof of exam completion. The workshop includes practicing and testing the hands-on skills of newborn resuscitation. To ensure adequate time for course preparation and pre-readings, enrolment in the course will be closed three weeks prior to the course start date. Perinatal Specialty students must complete NSPN 7100 and 7200 prior to enrolling in NRP. NSPN 7450 is a prerequisite for NSPN 7300, Perinatal Clinical 1 and NSPN 7500, Perinatal Clinical 2.
|* Substitute NSNE 7100 with NSNE 7110 if you have perinatal experience (Program Head approval is required).
** Contact Program Head for more information.
|Complete an additional 10.0 credits of electives from the following:||Credits|
Neonatal Theory 3
A phenomenologic approach to family-centered care will be used to build on student’s communication, collaboration, systematic inquiry, critical thinking and professional caring abilities. This course builds on student’s philosophical and theoretical foundation when partnering with childbearing families. Prerequisites: NSNE 7100 and NSNE 7200
Neonatal Respiratory Care
This course builds upon the concepts presented in NSNE 7100, 7200, 7300, and 7900. This combination theory and clinical course delivers twelve weeks of guided independent study, a one-day workshop, and 40 hours of clinical practice. A case-study format is used to address high-risk respiratory health challenges of infants. Concepts of respiratory distress syndrome and bronchopulmonary dysplasia will be examined throughout the course. Non-invasive and invasive ventilation modalities will be explored using a developmentally supportive and family-centered care approach. Prerequisites: NSNE 7100 and NSNE 7200 and NSNE 7300 and NSNE 7900 and NSPN 7450 and RN practicing licensure in a provincial/territorial college of Registered Nurses.
Neonatal Acute Care
This course builds on the concepts presented in NSNE 7100, 7200, 7300, 7900 and 7911. This combination theory and clinical course delivers twelve weeks of guided independent study, a workshop, and 40 hours of clinical practice. A case-study format will be used to address the care of infants experiencing life-threatening health challenges, including aspiration, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, sepsis, multiorgan dysfunction, abdominal wall defects, hydrops, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, and extremely low birth weight. Treatment modalities such as venous and arterial access, various modes of invasive respiratory support, pharmacological support, and blood products are examined using a developmentally supportive and family-centered care approach. Prerequisites: NSNE 7100 and NSNE 7200 and NSNE 7300 and NSNE 7900 and NSNE 7911 and NSPN 7450 and RN practicing licensure in a provincial/territorial college of Registered Nurses. *Note: NSNE 7911 or equivalent education and/or experience. Contact Program Head for approval.
Electives must be approved by the Program Head.
|Core/Management Courses: (24.0 credits)||Credits|
Management Skills and Applications
The course provides an overview of the basic skills of a manager and applies these skills through a series of projects and case studies. It examines the evolution of management and the organizational culture and environment. It also teaches the decision-making skills and the skills involved in planning, organizing, leading and controlling, including planning and facilitating change, teamwork, applying motivational techniques and effective communication.
Teaching and Learning in Specialty Nursing
Introduces diverse perspectives on teaching and learning related to specialty nursing and explores the impact that connected teacher-learner relationships have on effective learning. Teaching and learning are viewed as mutual and parallel processes, being influenced by beliefs, intentions, and capacities of both teachers and learners. Teaching and learning abilities are further developed according to mutually agreed upon learning outcomes and intentions.
In this online course, learners explore how research informs evidence-based nursing practice. Foundational research concepts and processes in quantitative and qualitative paradigms are examined. Learners critique primary research reports of interest, both individually and in groups, and address research utilization in practice.
Independent Study in Specialty Nursing
Provides the opportunity to pursue a particular area of interest in specialty nursing. You and course tutor determine the learning intentions, activities and evaluation strategies for the course. For further details, contact the program head in your chosen specialty. Requires program head approval to register.
This on-line course offers students the opportunity to develop their leadership knowledge and skills within the context of specialty nursing. Leadership is explored from multiple perspectives with an emphasis on contemporary theories and frameworks. Topics that are examined include followership, contextual influences, power, navigating change and transitions, and teambuilding. Students engage in a work related leadership project to apply leadership knowledge and skills to their practice.
Professional growth is explored from personal, professional, and historical perspectives. Students choose a focus for growth which is fostered by ongoing critical reflection and journaling. Relational practice is explored through the lenses of mentoring and harmful workplace relationships. Contemporary trends in ethical practice are examined, including the contextual influences on practice; the development of moral identity; and the enhancement of moral integrity. An anticipated trajectory for professional development is envisioned and described.
Community Nursing: Facilitating Health
This course explores contemporary community health nursing, examining multiple perspectives on community, health, and relational practice. Community health nursing is examined through the lenses of primary health care, health promotion, and ethics. Clinical practice is focused on facilitating participatory dialogue with a selected group to explore perspectives on relational practice in health care.
Community Nursing: Facilitating Health Action
Based on the Canadian Community Health Nursing Standards of Practice, this course provides opportunities for exploring contemporary perspectives on health promotion, protection of health, a community health nursing process, and participatory decision making. Clinical experience occurs through engaging in participatory dialogue with a selected group; exploring salient health issues; and facilitating collective health action. Prerequisites: NSSC 8600
|Liberal Studies Component: (12.0 credits required)||Credits|
|Mandatory Courses: (6.0 credits)|
Critical Reading and Writing
This is a course in advanced composition and rhetoric, in which students will develop skills in complex critical analysis and interpretation by analyzing and evaluating materials from a variety of discourses or genres, including visual, online, and print; developing and writing essays, including critiques and research papers; applying and discussing principles of rhetoric and critical theory; examining and using methods of interpretation and analysis from the humanities and social sciences; evaluating the credibility of primary and secondary sources, including as it applies to media literacy, and for the purposes of academic research; situating discourses within their historical context and relevant to rhetorical theories of different periods (for example, Aristotle in the ancient world and Bakhtin in the twentieth century). The course format will include lecture, discussion, and both individual and group activities. Prerequisite: BCIT ENGL 1177 or (equivalent), OR 6 credits BCIT Communication at 1100-level or above.
This course introduces students to contemporary issues in health ethics by examining and applying ethical theories to moral dilemmas at the clinical, professional, and organizational levels. To this end, developing competence in moral reasoning is an important goal, one that will be emphasized through the analysis of case studies that test personal, professional, and societal values. Prerequisite: BCIT ENGL 1177, or 6 credits BCIT Communication at 1100-level or above, or 3 credits of a university/college first-year social science or humanities course.
General Education [PDF] electives at a 100 level minimum in at least two different academic disciplines (6.0 credits)
Check current availability of courses for this program.
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.
|Nursing Component||44.0 - 55.0|
|A. Advanced Certificate||21.0 - 34.0|
|B. Core Courses||18.0 - 24.0|
|Liberal Studies Component||12.0|
|Total||60.0 - 67.0|
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 2016-2018 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2015-2017 graduates and for Degree 2014-2016 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.
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