Important Notice: COVID-19 Institute response

Emergency - Combined Emergency/Critical Care Option Part-time/Distance & Online Learning Bachelor of Science in Nursing 810nbsn


Fall 2020 Delivery Mode: ONLINE

  • This program will be delivered online for the fall semester.
  • 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 Bachelor of Science in Nursing Specialty Nursing is the only degree program in British Columbia designed to prepare Registered Nurses for employment in specialty nursing practice.

These specialties, and the contact numbers to call for more information, include:

Critical Care 604-451-7103
Emergency 604-451-7094
High Acuity
Neonatal 604-432-8982
Nephrology 604-454-2230
Occupational Health 604-432-8982
Pediatric 604-454-2230
Pediatric Critical Care 604-454-2230
Perinatal 604-451-7102
Perioperative 604-451-7102

For all programs, call toll-free in Canada and US 1-800-663-6542.

Learners in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Specialty Nursing program are Registered Nurses who are either seeking employment or are employed in one of the nursing specialties listed above. The program combines part-time distance study with practice-based clinical education. BCIT grants credit for previous experience and education through a variety of transfer credit, course challenge, and prior learning assessment procedures.

The collaborative efforts of the BCIT Nursing Specialties faculty, nursing curriculum consultants, employers, learners, practicing nurses, and clients have developed the curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Specialty Nursing. The curriculum focuses on the technology of specialized nursing practice. Technology is broadly conceptualized as the knowledge, skills and attitudes that specialty nurses require in order to practice.

The curriculum also focuses on building partnerships. BCIT views both nursing and learning as relational endeavours in which communication and collaboration enhance the processes and outcomes of these endeavours. Partnership, therefore, is the context in which students learn and enact specialty knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Faculty members are experienced clinical specialists, academically prepared as educators, who maintain their competency by regular clinical practice. They demonstrate their commitment to the profession and to practice-based education by active involvement in professional organizations and interest groups.

Graduate Characteristics
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing Specialty Nursing program provides a broad range of perspectives, specialized knowledge, and skills. The intent is to build on learners' previous experience and education to prepare them to competently care for individuals, groups and communities.

The following graduate characteristics facilitate competence in specialty nursing practice:

  • Development of reflective, critical-thinking skills
  • Participation in collaborative relationships
  • Further development of verbal and written communication skills
  • Development of systematic inquiry as a basis of practice
  • Expansion of professionalism through caring for and about individuals, groups and communities
  • Engagement in personal and professional growth

Flexible Learning Options
Learners may take all theory courses on a part-time basis via distance education modes. Selected courses may be offered on-site. Methods of delivery include print-based material, audio and video conferencing, computer-mediated communications, and classroom formats. BCIT designates three terms per year, each 12 weeks in length: winter, January to March; spring, April to June; fall, September to December. Registration should take place at least one month prior to the term start date.

BCIT offers clinical courses on a full-time or part-time basis at various appropriate clinical sites throughout BC The program may individually negotiate clinical placements outside of BC.

Program Entry

Application processing

Ongoing throughout the year.

Entrance 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.

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:

Requirements for clinical courses in Specialty Nursing:

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.

BCCNM Registration

As well as providing this information at the time of admission, BCIT requires students to provide proof of BCCNM membership (or Canadian provincial 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 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.

Apply to program

International students must receive program head approval before applying.

To submit your application:

  • Include proof of meeting all entrance requirements.
  • Convert all transcripts and supporting documents to PDF files.
  • Have a credit card ready to pay the application fee.
Apply Now

Learn more about how to apply

Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)

The program faculty assesses learners with previous Specialty Nursing course work and relevant work experience on an individual basis.

  • The program assesses learners with previous BCIT course work for potential credit into the degree program.
  • The program may grant transfer of credit for non-BCIT Specialty courses.
  • The program assesses experiential learning through prior learning assessment processes.
  • The Registrar's office assesses transfer of credit for Liberal Studies courses.

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 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.

Costs & Supplies

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

Financial assistance

Financial assistance may be available for this program. For more information, please contact Student Financial Aid and Awards.


Program matrix

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Required Courses: (34.0 credits) Credits
  NSCC 7150 Dysrhythmia Interpretation and Management 2.0
  NSER 7110 Emergency Nursing Theory 1 4.0
  NSER 7210 Emergency Nursing Theory 2 4.0
  NSER 7300 Emergency Nursing Clinical 1 5.0
  NSER 7410 Emergency Nursing Theory 3 4.0
  NSER 7500 Emergency Nursing Clinical 2 5.0
  NSCC 7320 Critical Care Nursing Theory 3 5.0
  NSCC 7420 Critical Care Nursing Clinical 1 5.0
Core/Management Component: (21.0 credits) Credits

Required courses: (18.0 credits)

  BUSA 7250 Management Skills and Applications 3.0
  NSSC 7115 Teaching and Learning in Specialty Nursing 3.0
  NSSC 8000 Systematic Inquiry 3.0
  NSSC 8300 Creative Leadership 3.0
  NSSC 8500 Professional Growth 3.0
  NSSC 8600 Community Nursing: Facilitating Health 3.0

Electives: (3.0 credits)

  NSSC 8800 Community Nursing: Facilitating Health Action 3.0
Note: Alternative Nursing electives need to be approved by the Program Head.
Liberal Studies Component: (12.0 credits) Credits

Required courses: (6.0 credits)

  COMM 7100 Intercultural Communication Competency and Diversity Awareness for Professionals 3.0
  LIBS 7021 Health Ethics 3.0

Electives: (6.0 credits)

6.0 credits of General Education [PDF] electives at a 100 level minimum in at least two different academic disciplines.
Total Credits: 65.0

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.

Graduating & Jobs

Health Match BC

Health Match BC is a new service that helps recent Specialty Nursing graduates find work within BC. Funded by the provincial government Health Match BC prioritizes hiring of BC nursing graduates. For more information, download the Health Match BC PDF.

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.

Contact Us

Maya Heskia
Program Assistant
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 7094

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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