Nursing

With our master’s degree in nursing, you will make significant contributions to the field, apply your own expanded expertise to your nursing practice and help shape the development of the profession.

Our master’s degree programme:

  • gives you the tools to analyse highly complex problems, find innovative solutions, develop new concepts and research questions.
  • trains you to update your practice with the latest scientific findings.
  • enables you to assist in the further development of the healthcare system based on professional expertise.

Factsheet

  • Title/Degree Master of Science (MSc)
  • Specialisations - Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
    - Nurse Practitioner (NP)
    - Research
  • Mode of study Full-time studies: 3 semesters
    Part-time studies: approx. 6 semesters
  • Start date Calendar week 38
  • Application deadline 30 April 2020
  • ECTS credits 90 ECTS credits
  • Study language German / English
  • Location Bern
  • Department Health Professions

Structure + Content

In our MSc programme in nursing, you will grow your specialist and methodological skill set. We place critical emphasis on providing a solid scientific basis and hands-on learning experience in our programme. Our master’s degree programme is an attractive option for achieving your professional goals.

Portrait

In our MSc programme in nursing, you will grow your specialist and methodological skill set. We place critical emphasis on providing a solid scientific grounding and hands-on learning experience in our programme. Our master’s degree programme is an attractive option for achieving your professional goals. You will become qualified to operate as an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) or work in research. You will be prepared to participate actively in the many complex, dynamic changes shaping healthcare and society today.

Learning outcomes

As a graduate of our MSc programme in nursing, you will be equipped to analyse complex issues, develop solutions and innovative concepts and provide effective care incorporating the latest scientific findings. You will work on new or adapted models of care and contribute to developing and implementing appropriate strategies for action in nursing. You will remain attuned to operational factors such as budget constraints and inadequate staffing. With your comprehensive expertise you will be perfectly positioned to meet these challenges.

Portrait Daniel Koch

Specialisations + Areas of focus

Our MSc programme prepares you for the many demands in the broader field of nursing. You may gain the skills needed in these different areas of practice in the three following specialisations:

In the CNS specialisation, you will extend your skills as an APN providing in-patient care. You will become adept at applying evidence-based knowledge in practice, develop your skills in clinical assessment and generate recommendations for management and change processes.

The NP specialisation prepares you for work as an APN in outpatient care or as a visiting nurse (e.g. as an APN in an interprofessional healthcare centre). You will hone your specialist skills in areas such as clinical assessment and your knowledge of pathophysiology and pharmacology. You will gain new experience in diagnostics and treatment and develop a more nuanced view of your professional role and place in the larger field of healthcare.

If you choose to specialise in research, you will gain additional skills for your work in research hospitals or other health sciences research facilities. You will critically examine the steps of the research process, learn to apply various methodologies and develop your skills in communication, leadership and project and change management.

Mode of study + Duration

You may enrol in the programme as a full- or part-time student.

As a full-time student, you benefit from a more concentrated course of study. Completing the programme within three semesters is quick but intensive. It also allows you to meet new challenges in your professional practice more quickly.

Part-time studies require approximately six semesters to complete. Your studies benefit throughout from your ongoing professional experiences. You can immediately apply your new-found knowledge to your work (theory-practice transfer). You will also find it easier to finance your studies.

Curriculum + Modules

Our master’s degree programme in nursing is entirely modular. It is split into four module groups and the master’s thesis. The individual modules are completed over the standard course of three semesters (full-time) or six semesters (part-time).
The basic modules are compulsory for all students, regardless of specialisation. They provide relevant instruction for all areas of advanced nursing. You will select the other modules based on your area of specialisation.

In our profession-specific modules, we primarily cover topics that are relevant to advanced nursing practice. Depending on your specialisation, you will enrol in a variety of profession-specific modules:

  • Clinical appraisal and evaluation
  • Advanced Practice Nursing in primary care: Primary Care Management of the Adult Level 1
  • Physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology
  • Advanced Practice Nursing in primary care: Primary Care Management of the Adult Level 1

Our research modules cover such topics as research methodology, scientific philosophy and research ethics and processes. This will prepare you for carrying out your own practice-oriented research projects.

  • Scientific philosophy for healthcare professions
  • Research methods
  • Applied Statistics
  • Research planning
  • Research management

We developed the modules in this group with an interprofessional focus. They are relevant not only to nurses, but also to nutrition specialists, midwives and physiotherapists. They are taught in common to all our MSc students:

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

In the transfer modules I and II, you will gain hands-on experience in research, clinical nursing or other areas of healthcare. These practical experiences allow you to apply and deepen your theoretical knowledge of specific topics such as Advanced Practice Nursing (APN), research, leadership or development. You will encounter and reflect upon the challenges related to connecting theory and practice.
If you complete the APN Nurse Practitioner specialisation, you will work with professional supervision in clinical practice in both transfer modules I and II.

You must also enrol in an optional module. You could theoretically chose any of our modules. We recommend one of the following:

  • New technologies
  • Health policy and economics
  • Communications
  • Leadership, project and change management

In your master’s thesis, you will synthesise the knowledge you have gained in the research modules with current findings in your area of specialisation. You will examine an issue relevant to the field, employing the appropriate methods, and independently author an expert-level scientific research paper. You will incorporate every phase of the research process, and substantiate, evaluate and reflect upon your findings.

Student mobility

We highly value mobility for our students and professors alike. We maintain partnerships with various foreign institutions, which simplify the organisation of a stay abroad.

Student performance is measured and recognised according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).

Projects + Diploma theses

Cooperation

Partners

We highly value the collaborations with other degree programmes in our Health Professions department. 

Links to further institutions and organisations.

Eligibility + Entry


Are you looking to grow professionally?
Our consecutive master’s programme in nursing is the next step to achieving your career goals, whether you are active in practice, research, management or teaching.

Our consecutive master’s programme in nursing is aimed at holders of a BSc in nursing. Qualified nursing professionals with training equivalent to a bachelor’s degree (e.g. Master of Advanced Studies in nursing) are also eligible for the BFH MSc programme.

Academic requirements
 

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • College degree in nursing (e.g. AKP, PsyKP, KWS, IKP, DN II) with additional qualifications (i.e. holders of qualifications awarded in the 1990s by professional colleges that later became universities of applied sciences may contact the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) to obtain a UAS title on the basis of their previously awarded qualifications).
  • Master of Advanced Studies diploma in nursing

Knowledge + Abilities

If you do not hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing, we may apply certain stipulations to your admission (e.g. enrolling in training courses to obtain missing qualifications). The following specialist courses at BFH provide most of the required background knowledge:

Language skills

You will need strong English skills for this programme: level B2-C1 or completed First Certificate (grade A).

For foreign applicants: if German is not your first language, you must provide official documentation of very strong German skills: Goethe-Zertifikat C1, Zentrale Mittelstufenprüfung (ZMP) or similar certification.

Applicants with a foreign degree

Your application will be individually reviewed for equivalence. You must hold a recognised degree as a qualified nurse.

«Nurse Practitioner» specialization

At least two years' professional experience is required for admission to the «Nurse Practitioner» specialization.

You will be required to complete an aptitude test if you hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing from a Swiss university with an average final mark lower than 5.0, or if you do not hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

In preparation for the interview, you will have 30 minutes to read a scientific paper in English. In the structured discussion that follows, you will address various points covered in the article. The interview is conducted in German and lasts 40 to 60 minutes. We will evaluate whether you are a good fit for the programme based on your motivation, conceptual and professional skills, personal competence and capacity for reflection.

Preparing for the aptitude test:

  • Read scientific studies.
  • Review the scientific materials covered at the bachelor or equivalent degree level.

Qualification + Career prospects

The demand for highly qualified nurses with an academic background is already high – and growing. With a Master of Science in Nursing you are sure to gain interest from employers in various fields.

Title + Degree

Upon graduating, you will obtain the title ‘Master of Science in Nursing’. This degree is recognised in Switzerland, compatible with other European systems and regarded internationally as a higher-level degree.

Career prospects

Depending on your selection, you will specialise either in Advanced Practice Nursing (APN) or in medical research. You may also work in education or management.

Practicalities + Application

Visit one of our informational events. We’re happy to advise you in a personal consultation. If you fulfil the formal entry requirements, we will look forward to meeting you. Take the next step in your professional life with our consecutive master’s degree programme in nursing.

  • Submit your application to the master’s degree programme in nursing online.
  • The application deadline is 30 April 2020.
  • We will contact you to arrange a date for the aptitude test after reviewing your documents.
  • The programme begins in calendar week 38.

Fees

Public funds cover most of the cost of the programme. The portion that students must pay (semester fees, etc.) is based on the financial guidelines provided by the master’s degree programme in nursing. This varies by canton. Fees at BFH are calculated as follows:

Costs per semester
 

  • Tuition CHF 750
  • Examination fee CHF 80
  • Fee for social, cultural and sport facilities CHF 24
  • Optional membership fee for the BFH student body association (VSBFH) CHF 15
  • Flat fee for materials CHF 20

One-time costs
 

  • Application fee CHF 100
  • Aptitude test fee CHF 200
  • Diploma registration fee with the Swiss Red Cross (SRK) CHF 136

Please be prepared for additional costs over the course of your studies for specialist literature, software and other supplies. Costs may range between CHF 1,200 and CHF 1,500. This amount will vary depending upon how much you acquire.

Laptop

You must have your own laptop with a reliable internet (WiFi) connection. BFH will help you acquire the hardware and software required for the programme.

Grants, loans and other funding options

Financial aid. Financial aid is available through grants and loans. Grants are one-off or ongoing payments that don’t usually have to be paid back provided you complete your course. Loans are one-off or ongoing payments that must be paid back after you finish your course.

Cantonal grants

Grants and loans for Swiss students and overseas students are generally paid out by the canton where the students’ parents are tax residents.

Students who have been tax residents in the Canton of Bern for at least two years are able to apply for cantonal grants and loans. Applications should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office at the Department of Education.

Further information (incl. financial aid calculator):

The websites ausbildungsbeiträge.ch, stipendium.ch and European Funding Guide cover all the key information about grants in Switzerland and overseas.

Foundations and funds

There are also numerous private foundations and funds that offer financial support to students. The electronic foundation directory administered by the Federal Department of Home Affairs offers a comprehensive summary of these organisations and can be searched by keywords (e.g. student, research, financial aid, etc.). Other sources include the foundation directories for individual cantons and private foundations.

The following foundations offer funding specifically to BFH students and students from other universities:

Die Berner Fachhochschule BFH fördert die Vereinbarkeit von Studium, Berufstätigkeit und Betreuung von Angehörigen.

Die BFH bietet Studierenden und Mitarbeitenden eine beschränkte Anzahl Kitaplätze an. Interessierte Studierende und Mitarbeitende finden die Unterlagen auf dem BFH Intranet.

Die Preise sind einkommensabhängig und richten sich nach den kantonalen Tarifen gemäss der Verordnung über die Angebote der sozialen Integration (ASIV) des Kantons Bern. Die Anmeldung für einen Kitaplatz erfolgt über das Webformular im BFH Intranet.

Angehende Studierende und Mitarbeitende ohne Intranet-Zugriff wenden sich bitte an Frau Corinne Badertscher (Tel. 031 848 33 01, corinne.badertscher@bfh.ch). Es gibt keinen gesetzlichen Anspruch auf einen Kitaplatz.

Studierende müssen ihre Dienstpflicht auch während des Studiums wahrnehmen. Planen und koordinieren Sie Studium und Dienstpflicht frühzeitig.

Wir empfehlen Ihnen dringend, die Rekrutenschule und den Ersteinsatz im Zivildienst vor Beginn des Studiums vollständig zu absolvieren. Werden sie während des Studiums absolviert, hat dies Absenzen zur Folge und kann zur Verlängerung der Studiendauer führen.

Beratung

Informationen zur Koordination von Studium und Dienstpflicht erhalten Sie von den Ansprechpersonen.

Apply for our master’s degree programme in nursing online.

Tip: keep all required documents ((Link zu noch zu erstellendem PDF– Checkliste)) on hand in electronic format.
 
We only accept applications for the MSc programme in nursing via our online application form. We cannot accept any applications after the deadline.

The application and aptitude test fee of CHF 300 is itemised as follows:

  • Application processing fee of CHF 100 (credit card) or CHF 110 (paper invoice*); the fee is required in each case.
  • The fee for the aptitude test is CHF 200.

* To be paid within 10 days. The application will not be processed until payment has cleared.

Location + Facilities

Central and well-connected – Our Health Professions department is 10 minutes’ walk from Bern central station, or 5 minutes on public transport.

Skills Centre

The Skills Centre in our Health Professions department is a learning environment that resembles a professional practice. You will train the skills required for your professional development in a protected learning space. Working closely with expert instructors, you will practice transferring these skills to similar real-life scenarios.

Communication training

We take an innovative approach to teaching communication skills. You will practice effective communication strategies with professional actors simulating challenging situations from the field. Our mobile video recording system allows you to record and immediately analyse these scenes. This teaches you to approach difficult interactions professionally.