Nursing

Take your professional skills further with a Master of Science in Nursing and open up a range of career options in management, education and research.

A Master of Science in Nursing puts you in demand. Contribute to the development of nursing, provide professional care for people in challenging situations, teach Bachelor-level classes and work in research. You can study full-time or part-time, according to your needs.

Begin your studies in autumn 2023.

Factsheet

  • Title/Degree Master of Science (MSc)
  • Specialisations Clinical Nurse Specialist
    Nurse Practitioner
    Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
    Forschung
  • Mode of study Full-time (3 semesters)
    Part-time (approx. 6 semesters)
  • Start date 18 september 2023
  • Application deadline Application available from 1 October 2022
  • ECTS credits 90 ECTS credits
  • Teaching language German / English
  • Location Bern
  • School School of Health Professions
  • Next info event 27 October 2022

Focus areas

The master’s degree programme consists of five module groups: Profession-specific, Research, Interprofessional, Transfer and Master’s thesis. In the Profession-specific module group, we offer you the following specialisations: Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Nurse Practitioner (NP), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) and Research. Theory-practice transfer is important to us, so academia and practice are closely interlinked throughout the degree programme.

What you stand to gain from this degree programme

The Master of Science in Nursing programme provides you with a foundation for your work as an advanced practice nurse.

As an APN, you will build a close relationship with your patients and advise and support them and their families during the treatment process. You will advise nursing professionals on administering medication and work interprofessionally within the treatment team. In modules on ethics, advanced practice or interprofessional communication, you will gain a nuanced understanding of healthcare. Research and practice receive equal weight. Upon completion of your master’s programme, you will be equipped to plan, design and lead complex care situations on your own.

The specialisations

Set the focus for your professional future. The Master of Science in Nursing degree programme offers you four areas of specialisation.

As nursing experts, clinical nurse specialists focus on implementing knowledge, coaching staff and promoting interprofessional collaboration. With an eye on the wider picture, their responsibilities are divided equally between patients and operational procedures/processes.

Content in five module groups 

  • Research: Research methods 1 + 2, Research planning, Applied statistics, Philosophy of science for health professions
  • Interprofessional: Advanced practice, Applied ethics, Interprofessional communication, Leadership, project and change management
  • Profession-specific: Evidence-based interventions, Clinical assessment and judgement Clinical Nurse Specialist CNS
  • Transfer 1 + 2
  • Master’s thesis

In this specialisation, you will tailor your studies to your needs by choosing a compulsory-elective module.

Nurse practitioners are nursing experts and care for  patients with complex conditions: from diagnosis to end of life. The goal: Patients should be able to live in familiar surroundings for as long as possible. To enable this, nurse practitioners draw up comprehensive clinical assessments of their condition and, together with the patients, plan their treatment and support by third parties.

Content in five module groups 

  • Research: Research methods 1 + 2, Research planning, Applied statistics, Philosophy of science for health professions
  • Interprofessional, Advanced practice, Applied ethics
  • Profession-specific: Physiology, Pathophysiology and pharmacology, Primary care for adults 1 and 2, Clinical assessment and judgement Nurse Practitioner, Health promotion and disease prevention 
  • Transfer NP1 + NP2 
  • Master’s thesis

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners specialise in the treatment and care of adults with mental health conditions in different care structures. They can assess the situation of patients, draw up multiprofessional treatment plans and implement measures to promote good mental health and prevent mental health issues.

Content in five module groups 

  • Research: Research methods 1 + 2, Research planning, Applied statistics, Philosophy of science for health professions
  • Interprofessional: Advanced practice, Applied ethics
  • Profession-specific: Psychopathology and psychopharmacology Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Clinical assessment and judgement, Mental health care 1 and 2, Health promotion and disease prevention
  • Transfer PMHNP 1 + 2 
  • Master’s thesis

Nursing researchers primarily work in an academic nursing practice, such as in the research department of a hospital. They plan research processes, apply different research methods and implement research findings in a hospital setting. To do this, they not only need good research skills but must also be skilled in communication, leadership and project and change management. 

Content in four module groups 

  • Research: Research methods 1, 2 + 3, Research planning, Research management, Applied statistics, Philosophy of science for health professions
  • Interprofessional: Advanced practice, Applied ethics, Interprofessional communication, Leadership, project and change management
  • Transfer 1 + 2 
  • Master’s thesis

In this specialisation, you will tailor your studies to your needs by choosing a compulsory-elective module.

Combining theory and practice in research projects

Teaching, practice and research are closely connected. Your course programme will be linked to examples from our lecturers’ nursing research.

View research in nursing

Career prospects

Our master’s degree programme prepares you for the many demands in the broader field of nursing. Our specialisations also prepare you for advanced roles in specific fields of practice.

Ready for leadership and expert roles?

A Master of Science in Nursing qualifies you to work as a professional in hospitals, long-term facilities and outpatient services, for health authorities or in teaching and research as a lecturer.

Our graduates work in the following roles:

  • CNS in all clinical areas, such as visceral surgery, urology, neonatology
  • NP in primary care practices, home care, long-term facilities
  • PMHNP in inpatient and outpatient care
  • Research in universities and hospitals
  • Research or teaching associate in academia and practice

A doctorate – your career in teaching and research

The Master of Science in Nursing opens the path to a doctorate. In our doctorate programme, you deepen your scientific work, expand your knowledge in a field of your choice and conduct your first independent research project. A doctorate opens up further career options, especially in teaching and research at universities and in practice. BFH allows you to complete your doctorate in cooperation with other universities in Switzerland and abroad.

Duration + content

We offer programme structures that suit your lifestyle. You can study for a Master of Science in Nursing on a part-time or full-time basis. The languages of instruction are German and English.

Full-time or part-time

Studying full-time takes three semesters and takes up 80–100% of your time. Part-time work while studying full-time should take up no more than around 20% of your time.

Part-time studies allow for greater flexibility. You will study at 60% capacity for six semesters. It is easier to hold a part-time job while also studying part-time.

Need help deciding which plan works best for you? We’re happy to help.

Study plan

Whether full-time or part-time, our master’s programme consists of five module groups. We pay particular attention to the close relationship between theory and practice.

Modules

The programme is divided into five module groups.

In this module group, you will deepen your knowledge on the following topics:

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

  • Evidence-based interventions
  • Clinical assessment and judgement CNS
  • Compulsory-elective module chosen from the Profession-specific and Interprofessional module groups

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

  • Clinical assessment and judgement NP
  • Physiology, pathophysiology & pharmacology
  • Primary care for adults Level 1 NP
  • Primary care for adults Level 2 NP
  • Health promotion and disease prevention

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

  • Clinical assessment and judgement PMHNP
  • Psychopathology & psychopharmacology PMHNP
  • Mental health care Level 1
  • Mental health care Level 2
  • Health promotion and disease prevention

In this module group, you will deepen your knowledge on the following topics:

  • Philosophy of science for health professions
  • Research methods 1 + 2
  • Applied statistics
  • Research planning 
  • Compulsory-elective module chosen from the Profession-specific and Interprofessional module groups

You will complete the modules together with other master’s students in the Health Professions Department, developing your interprofessional skills and expanding your knowledge of the following topics:

  • Applied ethics
  • Advanced practice (AP)
  • Interprofessional communication
  • Leadership, project and change management

In the Transfer module group, students gain practical experience in research, university teaching or practice. You will encounter and reflect upon the challenges related to connecting theory and practice.
 
If you select the Nurse Practitioner specialisation, you will be assigned to a practitioner partner in both Transfer module 1 and Transfer module 2 and will work under supervision.

The Transfer module group comprises two 15-day to 17-day modules. You are free to choose the days in the given semester.

In the Master's thesis module, you will work on a question within a nursing-related research project. You will write an academic research paper on your findings: you will reflect on connections, provide reasons for your decisions and recommendations, and employ scientific methods to evaluate your own work.

Admission requirements

Do you hold a degree issued under the former diploma-based system? To be considered for our programme, you must first apply for the required title (Swiss NTE procedure) from your former university.

Academic prerequisites

You will be admitted directly to the programme:

  • With a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from a Swiss university with a minimum grade point average of 5.0

  • With an equivalent degree from a university abroad with a minimum grade point average of 5.0

You will be admitted to the programme pending an aptitude assessment:

  • With a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from a Swiss university with a minimum grade point average of less than 5.0

  • With an equivalent degree from a university abroad with a minimum grade point average of less than 5.0

  • With a degree in nursing from the former diploma-based system along with a subsequently acquired title. This requires a continuing education programme certified according to SERI

  • With a recognised qualification as a nursing professional and additional advanced training comparable in content and scope to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, e.g. Higher Technical School qualification as a nursing professional plus Master of Advanced Studies in the field of Nursing

You will receive the date for the aptitude assessment after we have reviewed your documents.

List of continuing education programmes of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation 

The Head of Degree Programme may impose conditions on your admission. These conditions are typically related to such matters as scientific work, applied statistics and clinical assessment.

You would acquire the required competencies at BFH in the following courses: 

Pending approval by the Head of Degree Programme, you may receive credit for specialist courses from other universities with similar content.

Professional prerequisites

For the Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner specialisations, applicants must be able to demonstrate two years of relevant professional experience.

Supplementary information on admission

The languages of instruction are German and English. You must demonstrate very good oral and written skills in both languages (German level C1 and English level B).

We consider international applicants’ degrees on a case-by-case basis. If need be, the requirement for recognition by the Swiss Red Cross will be dropped.

Information for international students

The Swiss education system is designed to be open and facilitate all students’ learning. Depending on your educational background, you may also be admitted to the programme with a comparable bachelor’s degree. Please make an appointment for a consultation with the Head of Degree Programme.

Application

Submit your application early. Not sure you meet all the requirements? We’re happy to help.

Application deadlines

Application deadline: 30 April 2023
Start date: 18 September 2023

Application available from 1 October 2022.

You will receive the date for the aptitude assessment after we have reviewed your documents.

Brief explanation of the online application

Online applications only.
Our Online Application Guide explains how it works, step by step.

Application documents

You will need to make PDF or JPG copies of the following documents:

Mandatory requirements:

  • ID or passport
  • Passport photo that meets international passport requirements

Other documents (certificates, etc.)

  • Diplomas and leaving certificates (e.g. vocational baccalaureate/specialised baccalaureate with grades, university entrance qualification, Abitur or upper secondary level qualification)
  • Swiss Federal VET diploma with grades
  • Employer references and/or internship certificates
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Additional documents may be required, depending on your educational background

The costs for the programme comprise application, tuition and examination fees plus the cost of course materials and excursions.

Kosten

Anmeldung (pro Anmeldung)*

CHF 100.–

Immatrikulation**

CHF 100.–

Studiengebühr (pro Semester)

CHF 750.–

Studiengebühr für Bildungsausländer/innen*** (pro Semester)

CHF 950.–

Prüfungsgebühr (pro Semester)

CHF 80.–

Gebühr für soziale und kulturelle Einrichtungen sowie für Sport (pro Semester)

CHF 24.–

Mitgliederbeitrag Verband Studierendenschaft der BFH (VSBFH) (pro Semester) 

CHF 15.–

* zuzüglich CHF 10.– Bearbeitungsgebühr bei Bezahlung via Einzahlungsschein / Papierrechnung.
** Führt die Anmeldung zur Immatrikulation, wird die Anmeldegebühr als Immatrikulationsgebühr angerechnet.
***Als Bildungsausländer/innen gelten alle Personen mit ausländischer Staatsangehörigkeit, die zum Zeitpunkt des Erlangens des Hochschulzulassungsausweises ihren zivilrechtlichen Wohnsitz weder in der Schweiz noch im Fürstentum Liechtenstein hatten. Diese Regelung gilt ab Herbstsemester 2018/19.

Aptitude assessment fee

The aptitude assessment costs CHF 200.

There are two ways to finance your studies: loans and grants. More information here:

Information on financial support

Advice + information

Still have questions about the programme? We are happy to answer all of your questions about our programme: admissions, organisation, administration, structure and support.

Advice

Still have questions about the programme and your career? The Administrative Office of the master’s degree programmes is here to help. The Admissions Office and Student Administration can help with information about admissions, aptitude assessments and applications.

Information event

Visit one of our information events and find out all about the degree programme, the admission requirements and your career prospects.

Location + facilities

The degree programme Master of Science in Nursing is based in Bern. Bern is a remarkable educational hub. Our faculty provide you with a range of perspectives on learning and research.

Bern – Health Professions Department

Our Health Professions Department is located within a 10-minute walk or 5-minute bus ride from Bern central station.

Show location

The Learning Centre

The Learning Centre in the Health Professions Department provides a modern learning and teaching environment with digital teaching, communication skills training and a Skills Centre. Training in the Learning Centre is conducted using equipment and models in a realistic, simulated professional setting. 

More info on the Learning Centre