A Practical Nursing student at Georgian College wearing navy blue scrubs and wearing a stethoscope in the nursing simulation lab

Find your calling with a health-care career in practical nursing

Practical Nursing Ontario College Diploma program

Caring, committed faculty. More clinical time to build your skills. State-of-the-art facilities. Our students excel on provincial exams!

Program code PNRS
Duration 2.5 Years
Credential Ontario College Diploma
Delivery Full-time +
Part-time

Program information

Program description

Students engage with philosophy and curriculum that incorporates and utilizes the concept of caring as the basis of nursing practice. Students work with experienced, caring faculty to gain the knowledge, skills and judgment required to work in today’s complex health care system. Students learn how to engage in safe, competent professional practice with high expectations of accountability, collegiality, collaboration, leadership and ethical care.  

Students experience high-quality, innovative nursing education both in the classroom and simulation laboratory settings. Engaging in a mix of individual and team learning activities, students focus on the lived experiences of individuals, families, groups and communities. Through our partnerships, clinical experiences in diverse healthcare settings are offered in all five semesters and allow students to integrate their knowledge into the care of clients across the lifespan. In order to provide quality practicum placements, students have the opportunity to be placed in a variety of agencies in the region. 

The Practical Nursing program is currently approved (Category 1, the highest ranking) by the College of Nurses of Ontario. Current graduates of this program are eligible to apply for registration as Registered Practical Nurses in Ontario.

This program is highly competitive. Learn about admission requirements for highly competitive programs.

Intake information

Start date Campus
Winter 2023 Barrie, Muskoka, Orangeville, Owen Sound
Fall 2023 Barrie, Owen Sound

Tuition and fees

Work-integrated learning

This program includes a clinical placement component where you will gain practical work experience under the supervision of a registered or licensed professional.

What are the admission requirements for the Practical Nursing program?

Practical Nursing admission requirements

OSSD or equivalent with

  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 12 Mathematics (C or U)
  • Grade 11 or 12 Biology (C or U)
  • Grade 12 (C) or Grade 11 or 12 (U) Chemistry OR Grade 12 (C) or Grade 11 or 12 (U) Physics

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to: www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/academic-regulations/

Pathways

Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit for Prior Learning website for details:
www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/credit-transfer/

Selection Process

Applicants will be assessed and ranked based on academic grades. A minimum grade of 75% in each pre-requisite subject is recommended.

Criminal Reference/Vulnerable Sector Check

Placement agencies require an up-to-date clear criminal reference check and vulnerable sector check prior to going out on placement. Students should obtain their criminal reference three months prior to placement; checks conducted earlier may not be considered current. As some jurisdictions require longer lead-time for processing, please check with the program coordinator to ensure you allow for sufficient turn-around time. It is the student’s responsibility to provide the completed document prior to placement start.

NOTE: Individuals who have been charged or convicted criminally and not pardoned will be prohibited from proceeding to a clinical or work placement.

Admission details

It is required that students have a completed and verified Clinical Preparedness Permit in order to be eligible for practicum placements. Requirements for the permit include:

  • A mask fit test, renewed every two years (will be done at the College in Semester One);

  • Level HCP CPR and Standard First Aid prior to commencing the program (On-line courses are not acceptable). It is the student’s responsibility to renew their Level HCP CPR certification annually while in the program;

  • Up-to-date immunization records in compliance with the Public Hospitals Act. Completion and submission of this record is required during the first week of classes in order to ensure your placement in clinical and field placement facilities;

  • An up-to-date clear criminal reference check and vulnerable sector screen (renewed regularly so that it is never more than 6 months old).

Placement agencies require an up-to-date clear criminal reference check and vulnerable sector check prior to going out on placement. Students should obtain their criminal reference no more than three months prior to placement; checks conducted earlier may not be considered current. As some jurisdictions require longer lead-time for processing, please check with the program coordinator to ensure you allow for sufficient turn-around time. It is the student’s responsibility to provide the completed document prior to placement start.

NOTE: Individuals who have been charged or convicted criminally and not pardoned will be prohibited from proceeding to a clinical or work placement.

Applicants are encouraged to obtain volunteer or work experience in a health or human service field to assist them in making a career choice.

In order to provide quality practicum placements, students are placed in a variety of agencies in the region serviced by the campus. Students are required to provide their own transportation to practicum placements. Placements may be 6, 8, 10- or 12-hour days and may include holidays, weekends, nights and evenings starting as early as 0600.

Re-application to Program

Suspended students must reapply for re-entry to this program and will be considered based on eligible space and likelihood of success. Please refer to the Georgian College Calendar for the Academic Policies and Procedures.

Information about placement requirements

To help you navigate the requirements to complete the clinical placement component(s) of this program (e.g. immunization, First Aid and CPR, criminal record screening and other non-academic requirements), please review the details below.

For more information about placements, visit the Placement Offices webpage.

Placement requirementsGeorgian College Chevron

In order to provide quality practicum placements (“Placements”), students are placed in a variety of agencies, largely in the region serviced by the campus. Students are required to provide their own transportation to Placements. Placements may vary in length (e.g. six to 12 hour days) and may include weekends and evenings, with varying start and end times (e.g. day, afternoon, overnight).

Many programs, including Health and Wellness, have immunization, First Aid and CPR, criminal record screening and  other non-academic requirements that need to be met prior to Placements starting. You are responsible for carefully reviewing and meeting these requirements. The failure to meet them may mean that the host agency may refuse to accept you for a Placement or, if you have started one, that you may be prevented from continuing. The result may be that you cannot complete your program. Program-specific requirements can be found on page 2 of the Clinical Preparedness Permit specific to your program.

You are responsible for meeting all immunization, criminal screening and other requirements by the deadline provided by your program and before you start your Placement.

Notes regarding the Criminal Record Check (“CRC”) and Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS)

Individuals who have been charged or convicted criminally and not yet pardoned or who have adverse entries on their CRC or VSS will be prohibited from proceeding to a Placement. Such a student will normally be counselled to withdraw from the program because the successful completion of a Placement is a program requirement.

Obtaining the CRC and VSS usually requires a processing time of up to 12 weeks and can vary between police jurisdictions. As some jurisdictions require longer lead time for processing, ensure you allow for sufficient turn-around time. Record checks and screenings conducted earlier than six months may not be considered current and not be acceptable. Refer to your Clinical Preparedness Permit for information regarding this. A host agency may refuse a Placement if the CRC or VSS is not satisfactory to it. It is the student’s responsibility to provide the necessary completed documents prior to the start of a Placement at the designated check time, and in the format set by Georgian College and stated in the Clinical Preparedness Permit Information Package. More information can be found on the Placement Offices webpage.

The costs associated with the provision of the CRC and VSS, anything related to them (including, if applicable, obtaining a pardon), and meeting any immunization and other Placement requirements, are to be borne by the student. The non-academic requirements of clinical agencies as described in the Clinical Preparedness Permit are subject to change at any time and host agencies may accept or decline students for any reason at their discretion. Georgian College  is not responsible for any of the costs associated with the foregoing, nor for the consequences of failing to comply with, any of the requirements set out above.  

What career paths can I take as a practical nurse?

Your Practical Nursing diploma gives you many career opportunities

Graduates of the Practical Nursing diploma program are qualified to work as Registered Practical Nurses (RPN) upon completion of the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination (CPNRE).

The graduate may find employment opportunities in hospitals, long-term care settings, clinics or community health services.

Your future career in nursing

  • Case Manager
  • Community Health Nurse
  • Health Administration
  • Health Care Coordinator
  • Home Health Care Nurse
  • Personal Support Worker
  • Policy Development
  • Practical Nurse
  • Wellness Nurse

Accreditation

Become a Registered Practical Nurse in Ontario

Georgian’s licensed practical nurse course gives you the in-depth knowledge and skills you need to practice as a Registered Practical Nurse!

The Practical Nursing program at Georgian College is currently approved (Category 1, the highest ranking) by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO). Current graduates of this program are eligible to apply for registration as Registered Practical Nurses (RPN) in Ontario.

Practical Nursing graduates are also qualified to become a member of the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (RPNAO), also known as WeRPN.

College of Nurses of Ontario logo
Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (RPNAO) logo

Flex MORE. Study Practical Nursing part-time

Benefits of studying part-time:

What courses are included in the Practical Nursing diploma program?

Course overview

20 Program Courses

5 Clinical Placements
2 Communications Courses
3 General Education Courses

Program-specific courses

Semester 1 courses are listed below. For a full list of courses in the program including course descriptions, view the Practical Nursing program outline.

  • BIOL 1001 – Anatomy and Physiology – Introductory Concepts
  • NRSG 1004 – Introduction to Health and Wellness
  • NRSG 1005 – Profession of Nursing 1
  • NRSG 1025 – Fundamental Healing Arts
  • NRSG 1026 – Clinical Preparations
  • NRSG 1024 – Clinical Experience 1
  • Select 1 course from the communications list during registration.
  • Select 1 course from the general education list during registration.

Do you have questions about Practical Nursing? Contact us!

Thinking about applying to Georgian?

Contact our student recruitment team to explore your study options.

Already applied to Georgian?

Connect with the Office of the Registrar for admissions-related questions.

Are you an international student?

Contact our international recruitment team to learn more about studying at Georgian. 

Ways to connect

Open House

Join us IN PERSON for Open House on Saturday, Nov. 12 at all campuses!
RSVP to attend Open House

Get to Know Georgian

Attend a Get to Know Georgian
virtual information session.
Register for an upcoming session

Campus tours

Take a guided, in-person tour
of our campuses.
Book a campus tour

One-on-one appointments

Book a phone appointment
with a recruitment specialist.
Connect with a recruiter