Toronto is the capital city of Ontario in Canada, as well as the most populous city and the country’s financial center. In Canada, as with other beginnings of the nursing profession, the designation naturally falls on female members of the family. The late-nineteenth-century expansion of hospital care and health services was influenced further by Florence Nightingale’s efforts to establish a system for nursing education.

In 1847, the General and Marine Hospital in St. Catharines, Ontario, established the country’s first hospital-based nursing school, which catalyzed the establishment of nursing schools in large hospitals across the country. Graduates of these nursing schools worked hard to shape nursing education into what it is today. Following World War II, a shortage of nursing care led to the development of the country’s healthcare system, with numerous nursing schools and programs established, and nursing education becoming more systematized and scientific. For the first time since the nineteenth century, men were also encouraged to enter the profession.

In Canada, formal nursing education requires a four-year degree, with several schools offering accelerated programs that reduce the duration of the degree to 2-3 years.  In this article, we will be looking at the educational institutions in Toronto with the best nursing programs!

Top Schools Offering Nursing Programs in Toronto

1. University of Toronto

Kathleen Russell established the university’s nursing program as Public Health Nursing in 1920. Since then, the public nursing program at the University of Toronto is among the best programs for nursing in Toronto.  Her contributions and insights in public health education reinforced the knowledge of leaders in administration and public health, ultimately assisting the country in preparing to combat Spanish influenza in 1919, both in medical knowledge and in the public health workforce. Russel was a driving force behind the advancement of nursing education in Canada, with the public health nursing program becoming the country’s first university-based nursing school.

In 1942, the 3-year nursing program was changed to a 4-year bachelor’s degree program, followed by a master’s program in 1970, and a Ph.D. program in 1991. The university pioneered a new role for nurses with the master’s program in acute care nurse practitioner in 2001, the first program of its kind in the country. Lawrence S. Bloomberg’s generous donation to the nursing school resulted in the faculty’s current name.

In Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, local students pay US$10,599 for undergraduate, US$14,856 for master’s, and US$16,887 for doctoral tuition per year. International students pay US$45,165 in undergraduate tuition, US$34,932 in master’s tuition, and US$34,143 in doctoral tuition per year.

2. York University

York University is a high-ranking university in Canada and one of the best universities for nursing in Toronto, and topping the rankings for collaborative research as well as the quality of its education and research studies. The university has two main campuses: Keele and Glendon. Its school of nursing, which is part of the faculty of health and is located on the Keele campus, is strongly opposed to racism and is committed to creating an environment that fosters a culture of respect and equity. Following the murder of George Floyd, the school actively participated in starting conversations on how to address systemic racism and discrimination.

Students can enroll in a direct nursing program or a collaborative 4-year or 3-year nursing program at the bachelor’s level. Tuition is US$237 per credit for domestic students and US$1,084 for international students. Master’s degrees in nursing and Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioners are pursued over 2 years, and Ph. D. for the past four years The average tuition for a master’s degree is US$1,712 for domestic students and US$6,551 for international students. The average tuition for a Ph.D. is US$1,712 for domestic students and US$6,276 for international students per year.

3. Seneca College, Toronto

Seneca College was founded in 1967 and has campuses located throughout the United States. In addition to that, Seneca College is one of the best schools for nursing in Toronto and is recognized for delivering a world-class public nursing health program in the city. The opening of the college’s campus at York University in 1999 was one of the college’s major expansions. Since then, additional campuses have been established in King, Markham, Newmarket, Yorkgate, Vaughan, Newnham, and Peterborough Aviation.

Seneca’s nursing programs are currently approved by the College of Nurses of Ontario, and its graduates are eligible to apply for registration in the country’s designated nursing councils. The bachelor of nursing program is offered in collaboration with York University and costs $6,591 per year for domestic students and $21,407 for international students.

It also provides a diploma in nursing through the practical nursing program, which is available at the King and Yorkgate campuses and costs an average of US$3,183 per year for local students. The personal support worker certificate program is available at the King and Yorkgate campuses for one year and costs US$3,183 for local students and US$15,133 for international students.

4. Centennial College

Centennial College was founded in 1966 as a community college in Warden Woods. Since then, it has expanded to five campuses in Toronto: the Ashtonbee campus, the Downsview campus, the Morningside campus, the Progress campus, and the Story Arts Center.

Nursing programs are available through the Morningside campus’s School of Community and Health Studies, which houses all health-related programs. Its facilities are first-rate, and it can host large-scale disaster simulation programs.

Centennial College is a recognized institution for nursing in Toronto due to its high-quality nursing programs in the city. Aside from its bachelor’s program, which lasts four years and costs US$7,478 per year, fast-track nursing programs are also available: Bridging to University Nursing and RN – Perioperative Nursing.

5. Ryerson University

Ryerson University was the first in the country to offer a diploma in nursing in 1964, followed by a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1980. In 2001, the university established a collaborative nursing degree program with Centennial College and George Brown College. Finally, in 2008, the nursing school was named after Daphne Cockwell in honor of her efforts and her family’s ongoing support for the school. Since then, Ryerson University has become one of the leading nursing universities in Toronto.

Local students pay an average of US$7,133 per year in tuition, while international students pay between US$29,945 and US$38,457 per year. The estimated annual tuition for local students in the Master’s program is US$6,477, and an estimate of US$20,000 for international students.


We hope that this article on the Best Nursing Schools in Toronto was helpful. For more information on how you can study in Canada, check out the Available Canada Programs for International Students.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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