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Athabasca University

Post-Masters Diploma: Nurse Practitioner

Welcome to the Post-Masters Diploma: Nurse Practitioner program. Our primary health care program prepares nurse practitioners to diagnose and treat common illnesses and injuries across the lifespan in settings such as primary care offices or community health centres. The program does not, however, prepare NPs to work in acute care settings or to focus on a clinical specialty.

The Courses

The Post-Masters Diploma: Nurse Practitioner program is composed of 30 credits (11 courses).


NURS 516 is a pre-requisite to NURS 517 and NURS 518. NURS 517 must be taken either before or concurrently with NURS 518. NURS 516, NURS 517, NURS 518 and NURS 614 must be taken before starting the life-stage courses.

The life-stage courses of NURS 522, NURS 524 and NURS 526 can be completed in any sequence. NURS 526 must be taken prior to NURS 528. It is recommended that NURS 526 be taken before the other life-stage courses. NURS 527 and NURS 531 should be taken after NURS 526.

NURS 530 must be taken as the final course in the program.

Non-Program Students

Non-program students may take any two of NURS 610, NURS 614, NURS 516 or NURS 517 only. All other NP can be taken only by students who have been admitted to the program.


Clinical Practicum

Each of AU’s life-stage courses (NURS 522, 524, 526, 528) requires the completion of 140 hours of on-site clinical practice. NURS 530 requires 180 hours of practice. A clinical practicum experience must be completed in each life-stage course. Students are expected to identify a Nurse Practitioner or physician to act as a preceptor for each clinical course. Preceptor requests must be submitted to the Faculty of Health Disciplines six months prior to starting each course. The Preceptor Request form will be available from within your Moodle course materials.

All clinical practice must be completed in Canada and the student must hold current RN licensure in the province where they are completing their clinical practice program.

Please note that in some jurisdictions, clinical placement opportunities may be limited. AU cannot guarantee that a placement will be available for the term, and in the place, in which a student wishes to take a clinical course. Students should begin the process of identifying potential clinical sites as early as possible. In some jurisdictions, such as Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia and parts of Nova Scotia, a centralized preceptor request system is used. In those jurisdictions, students should not contact preceptors employed by the Health Authority. To determine whether or not a preceptor should be contacted, please discuss this with the appropriate AU clinical practicum coordinator.


For additional program information, please email the graduate academic advisor at

Phone: 780-675-6818 or toll-free: 1-800-788-9041 ext. 6818

Updated October 05 2018 by Student & Academic Services

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