Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) - Three-Year Compressed Program


Two nursing students setting up an IVLakehead University’s three-year compressed Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program is designed to prepare students to become an essential member of an interprofessional health care team, sooner. Through three years of accelerated, focused study and practical experiences, you will develop the skills you need to provide quality care in a variety of health-care settings. Our emphasis on Indigenous health and wellness will provide you with insight and preparation for these important areas of nursing practice.

Program highlights

  • Condensed version of the BScN (4 Year) program
  • Students are able to complete all courses and clinical placements in just three years
  • Upon graduation students are eligible to write the NCLEX-RN exam
  • "Early Finisher" option
  • A focus on northern health issues
  • Learn from faculty who are leaders in health care research

Clinical Practice

At the School of Nursing, we believe that the professional socialization process for students should begin during the first year of the program. Clinical practice is incremental throughout the BScN program, reflecting ongoing growth and development of students' knowledge and nursing skill set. Clinical practice is also supplemented and supported by time spent in nursing practice labs and our nursing simulation lab.

Students checking the dummy with a stethoscope

Year 1
Focus on the foundations of relational nursing practice. Students take integrated anatomy and physiology, health-to-toe health assessment, nursing research, introductory psychology, and electives. Simulation and lab experiences augment clinical nursing practice in long-term care settings.

Year 2
In the fall/winter of Year 2, focus on the medical and surgical care of ill adults. Students integrate their knowledge of pathophysiology, microbiology, pharmacology, nutrition, clinical skill, with theory on lifespan development and nursing ethics.

In the spring/summer of Year 2, students complete Year 3 of the program over a three-month period and focus on nursing specialties, including maternal-infant, child-youth, mental health and addictions, and older adult nursing care. Students integrate their knowledge from years one and two with theory on community health and family nursing across the lifespan. Simulation and lab experiences augment clinical nursing practice in acute and chronic care settings.

Final Year (Year 4)
Focus on professional nursing practice and leadership, supported by six-weeks of nursing theory courses. Students complete three six-week clinical placements in final year. Simulation and lab experiences augment clinical nursing practice across various sectors of health care service delivery in Northwestern Ontario and beyond.

Choose Your Career

Students checking a needle

The BScN program opens doors to many professional career opportunities in a variety of health-care settings. Here are a few:

  • Surgical acute care nurse
  • Maternal-infant nurse
  • Paediatric nurse
  • Public health nurse
  • Mental health nurse
  • Community health nurse
  • Peri-operative nurse
  • Critical care nurse
  • Occupational health and safety nurse
  • Primary health care nurse practitioner
  • Nurse administrator

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the three-year compressed program?

The compressed program is the four-year program compressed into three years. Following the first year of the compressed program students will take 1.0 FCE (full course equivalent) elective(s) in the spring/summer term. 1.5 FCE electives are required in the program.

The second year will include two third year courses. NURS-3033 is taken in the fall term and NURS-3036 is taken in the winter term.

Following the completion of second year, compressed students will finish the remaining third year theory courses and the three clinical placement courses during the Spring/Summer term.

Students are ready to start their fourth year in September. The compressed program reduces the length of time to complete the BScN degree by one year.

What types of clinical practice do nursing students experience?

As a professional program, we create clinical learning experiences that reflect the many settings where registered nurses work. Our students practice in acute care hospitals, rehabilitation, long-term care, and psychiatric care settings. Our students practice in a variety of community-based environments including public health, home nursing, schools, industries, correctional facilities and health centres. Students work collaboratively with individuals, families, groups, communities and populations.

Is there a choice for clinical placements?

The first three years of the BScN program, clinical placements are usually in small groups of seven or eight students with a "clinical instructor".  The choice of placement is determined by the curriculum focus of each year.  The first three years expose nursing students to the variety of settings for nursing practice.

Fourth year students will be provided an opportunity to indicate their preferences for placements.  At least one of the 3 six-week placements must be done in the Thunder Bay region.  Students may have the opportunity to practice "out-of-town", across Canada and Internationally.  All expenses involved in these (out-of-town) placements are the student's responsibility. 

What are the required clinical documents to attend placements?

See the page on Required Clinical Documents

What is the "Early Finisher Option"?
Students entering the final year of their BScN program can choose to start their 4th year Acute Care Preceptorship Placement 6 weeks early, in the summer term.  Successful candidates will then be on track to complete their full BScN program requirements  by mid February.  When degree audits are complete, confirming that all program requirements are met, the School of Nursing will send a letter to the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) confirming that the student is eligible to apply for a temporary licence and/or write the NCLEX, whichever each student chooses.
Who do I contact for information regarding transfer credits and advanced standing?

For information regarding transfer credits and advance standing, please see the Transfer Credits page.

How do I apply?

For information regarding entry into the program please visit the Admissions website: