About the Program
The Practical Nursing program provides students with the knowledge, skills and experiences required to prepare for a career as an important member of the nursing and health-care teams.
The program combines current concepts in nursing theory with instruction in social and biological sciences, communications and general education courses. The updated curriculum reflects the expanded role of the RPN, including dispensing or administering of drugs. Clinical experiences take place in a variety of settings: long-term care, medical, surgical, and community health. A twelve-week field placement is provided at the end of the program prior to graduation.
All prospective nursing students should be aware that the College of Nurses of Ontario has outlined the requisite skills and abilities necessary to practice nursing in the province of Ontario. We encourage applicants to consider these carefully as part of the preparation to pursue a nursing career: http://www.cno.org/Global/docs/reg/41078%20SkillAbilities%204pager-Final.pdf
The Nursing Act requires that program graduates applying for Nurse Registration in Ontario must not have been convicted of:
- a criminal offence; or
- an offence under the Narcotic Control Act (Canada) or the Food and Drugs Act (Canada).
In addition to the above, the Nursing Act also identifies a number of other abilities and requirements that must be met in order to practice nursing in the province of Ontario. Please see detailed information about these requirements at the following website:
The Practical Nursing Program has been awarded a five-year Category 1 Approval by the College of Nurses of Ontario effective to December 31, 2017
Length: Two-year Ontario College Diploma program
Doon (Kitchener) - September/2014 (Open) - Fall | Winter | Fall | Winter
Doon (Kitchener) - January/2015 (Open) - Winter | Fall | Winter | Fall
Guelph - September/2014 (Open) - Fall | Winter | Spring/Summer | Fall
Location: Doon (Kitchener) and Guelph (Note: Guelph Location is Village of Riverside Glen, Guelph)
Start: September and January
First-Year Capacity: 120 (Doon, September and January), 48 (Guelph, September only)
- This is an oversubscribed program. Applicants applying to oversubscribed programs beginning in September must apply by February 1 of the same year. Applicants applying to oversubscribed programs beginning in January must apply by July 15 of the previous year. Ontario residents will be considered first.
- Admission requirements for this program may be met by completing Conestoga's Health Science Foundations - General Arts & Science Health Option program.
- International students interested in studying in the Practical Nursing program are required to successfully complete the Health Science Foundations - General Arts & Science Health Option prior to admission: http://www.conestogac.on.ca/fulltime/1306.jsp. Direct entry into the Practical Nursing program is not available.
- Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or equivalent, or 19 years of age or older with mature student status (See Mature Student definition for details.)
- Grade 12 compulsory English, C or U, or equivalent, OR Conestoga College Preparatory Communications (COMM1270)
- Grade 12 Mathematics, C or U, or equivalent, OR Conestoga College Preparatory Mathematics (MATH1395)
- Grade 11 or 12 Biology, C or U, or equivalent, OR Conestoga College Preparatory Biology (SCIE1010)
- Grade 11 or 12 Physics, or Chemistry, C or U, or equivalent, or Grade 11 or 12 Science (SNC3M or SNC4M) OR Conestoga College Preparatory Physics (SCIE1020) or Preparatory Chemistry (SCIE1030)
- For more information on preparatory programs, visit Academic Upgrading
Note re: Admission Requirements
- It is recommended that Biology be completed within five years prior to the start date of the program.
- An academic strength is calculated by averaging the submitted marks of required subjects. If more than one mark is received for a required subject, the highest mark will be used in the calculation.
- Ten (10) additional marks are added to each Advanced level, OAC, U, U/C, and post-secondary course used in the calculation of academic strength.
- Applicants meeting minimum academic requirements (75%) are invited to begin the selection process which requires them to:
- Final selection is made using a formula which considers academic strength, the results on the HOAE, and an assessment of any completed health-related academic credentials the applicant may possess. Such credentials may include, but are not limited to, completed programs in Respiratory Therapy, OTA&PTA, Personal Support Worker, Paramedic, Dietetic Technician, and/or others.
- A sound mathematical and English background is important for success in this program and is considered during the admission selection process. Minimum cutoffs may apply.
- Applicants who have completed part of an approved nursing or practical nursing program may apply for advanced standing following assessment of transcripts and experience.
- Practicum health and/or safety requirements must be completed in order for students to attend the practicum experience. This placement is mandatory for the completion of the program. Students who do not attend field/clinical placement will not be promoted to the next semester, which will ultimately result in non-completion of the program.
To qualify for field/clinical placement learning experiences, students must present the following at the start of the program in accordance with pre-admission information which will be provided by the College:
- a clear (no criminal offences) Police Check for Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS), completed annually
- completed immunization records, which are to be maintained throughout the program
- Standard First Aid and CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) /AED (Automated External Defibrillator) HCP (Health Care Professional) certification; CPR is to be updated annually
- completed mask fit testing for infection control and for self-contained breathing apparatus as required
- Criminal Screening: To be eligible for practicum, students must not have been convicted of any criminal offence for which they have not been pardoned. An unpardoned criminal record will result in the inability to participate in field placement/clinical and will jeopardize progress in the program. Acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency; some agencies may request students provide a VSS completed within six months of placement start date. Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the program chair for academic counselling to determine program suitability. Offences under the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act of Canada:
- Applicants are advised that a latex-free environment in the College or clinical setting is NOT guaranteed.
- Travel within the program: Students are responsible for arranging their own travel to and from learning settings external to the College and for covering any costs incurred.
- Applicants should display integrity, reliability, maturity, self-direction, self-discipline, determination, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, poise and leadership attributes.
- Applicants are advised that the program uses self-directed/independent study in the delivery of some courses and portions of other courses throughout the program.
Tuition & Fees
Tuition: Please refer to the previous academic year program fee chart for an approximation as fees for the next academic year are unavailable at this time.
*Fees are higher for international students on a Student Visa.
*Fees for recreation/athletics, graduation/alumni, insurance, as well as program-related costs such as books and supplies, are additional.
The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a needs-based program designed to help Ontario students cover the cost of post-secondary education. Funded by the federal and provincial governments, OSAP is intended to promote equality of opportunity for post-secondary studies through direct financial assistance for educational costs and living expenses. These interest-free loans are intended to supplement your financial resources and those of your family. The majority of students apply for loan assistance via the OSAP website
. Students can also print the application booklet through the OSAP website.
For more information, please visit Financial Aid/Awards
Graduates are prepared to function as members of a nursing team in accordance with the Standards of Nursing Practice published by the College of Nurses of Ontario. Students who successfully complete the program are eligible to write the National Registration examination, the successful completion of which deems the graduate eligible for registration by the College of Nurses of Ontario as a Registered Practical Nurse. Graduates find employment in nursing homes, acute and chronic care hospitals, residential homes for the aged and other community health-care settings.
90% of 2011-2012 graduates found employment within 6 months of graduation. Their average starting salary was $46,248.
For more details on related occupations, job market information and career opportunities, see the Government of Canada website: http://www.workingincanada.gc.ca
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)
Conestoga recognizes prior learning of skills, knowledge or competencies that have been acquired through employment, formal and informal education, non-formal learning or other life experiences. Prior learning must be measurable at the required academic level and meet Conestoga standards of achievement for current courses. Challenge exams and portfolio development are the primary methods of assessment. Other methods of assessment may be available depending upon the nature of the course objectives. Successful completion of the assessment results in an official course credit that will be recorded on the student's Conestoga transcript. PLAR cannot be used by registered Conestoga students for the clearance of academic deficiencies, to improve grades or to obtain admission into a program.
For more information on the PLAR process, please contact 519-748-5220 ext 2260, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the testing website.
- Meet the Entry to Practice Competencies of the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and the Program Standards of the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities (MTCU).
- Be proud members of the nursing profession. Our graduates will:
- Practice in a professional, legal and ethical manner that meets the College of Nurses of Ontario Entry to Practice Competencies for Registered Practical Nurses.
- Utilize evidenced-informed practice when providing care.
- Utilize reflective practice to identify own strengths and how to use resources to improve their practice.
- Function autonomously and identify own limitations and when it is appropriate to seek assistance in the form of consultation/collaboration.
- Support professional nursing by monitoring trends in society, health and nursing, being receptive to new ideas and collaborating to evoke change.
- Possess the requisite knowledge and competency for intraprofessional and interprofessional practice.
- Practice independently/autonomously with clients (individuals, families, groups and communities) and consult with others if the client's condition becomes unpredictable or unstable.
- Be empowered to engage directly with other members of the health care team.
- Assume a leadership role capable of inspiring a shared vision within the multidisciplinary healthcare team.
- Participate in change initiatives to enhance client outcomes.
- Demonstrate effective advocacy skills to promote client well-being.
- Provide appropriate leadership and demonstrate a commitment to fostering the education of students, unregulated health care providers and other team members.
- Promote healthy lifestyles through health teaching and role modeling.
- Demonstrate competencies supportive of collaborative practice and leadership for care delivery and team effectiveness. Our graduates will:
- Discuss the value of own roles and contributions to person-centered practice.[knowledge in practice, judgment, assessment and relationships].
- Encourage and value contributions of all team members in providing person - centered care and optimizing the use of resources.
- Share information and use interpersonal skills that promote effective communication and enhance effectiveness of the care process for person-centered care.
- Demonstrate understanding and behaviours supportive of team accountability.
- Utilize reflection for continuous learning, quality care and patient safety.
- Provide and promote informal co-mentoring with peers that supports person-centred care.
- Demonstrate the ability to respond to situations that challenge Interprofessional collaboration.
- Use knowledge of care and/or service delivery systems to engage team members in contributing to person and population-centred care.
- Demonstrate skills that engage others in the care process and promote shared decision-making.
- Provide and promote informal co-mentoring with peers of other professions that supports professional development.
- Utilize reflective processes to ensure client-centred, integrated care/service provision and organizational development.
- Communicate and collaborate effectively with clients, families, communities and members of the multi-disciplinary team to enhance client care and team effectiveness. Our graduates will:
- Be compassionate, caring and demonstrate exceptional listening skills.
- Demonstrate effective communication with clients, peers & other health professionals.
- Provide culturally competent and sensitive care.
- Develop and sustain therapeutic relationships with clients and families.
- Communicate effectively using a variety of written, oral, nonverbal and electronic communication techniques with clients and others.
- Utilize conflict resolution and negotiating skills in interactions with individuals and groups in a variety of health care settings.
- Respond to written, spoken or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.
- Be proficient and confident in psychosocial, psychomotor and technical skills using the caring process. Our graduates will:
- Work collaboratively with clients, families, nurses and other interdisciplinary team members to support the client's achievement of their expected health outcomes.
- Utilize best-practice guidelines.
- Assess clients in a holistic, comprehensive and analytical manner.
- Demonstrate effective time management skills while organizing and prioritizing nursing care.
- Utilize client centered goals to assess, plan and follow through with nursing interventions.
- Safely and competently implement nursing interventions directed toward the client's optimum health outcomes.
- Use the appropriate technology to ensure safe, effective and efficient nursing practice.
- Provide holistic care for all age groups and the changing needs of the increasing population of older adults.
- Utilize the principles of gerontological nursing in the care of the aging population to promote the best possible quality of life and wellness.
- Have excellent critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Our graduates will:
- Demonstrate leadership in best-practice & evidenced-informed care.
- Integrate theory, principles, concepts of nursing, anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology and social sciences into competent nursing practice.
- Critique research in nursing and heath sciences and, in consultation, integrate the findings into nursing practice.
- Utilize critical thinking and problem-solving in decision-making.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of nursing interventions including the achievement of client goals.
- Think creatively to solve individual problems.
- Recognize the value of and have developed the skills for lifelong learning. Our graduates will:
- Possess the ability to identify knowledge gaps, find and utilize new information.
- Demonstrate professional accountability by participating in reflective practice to update competencies based on self-awareness of own strengths, weaknesses and learning needs.
- Demonstrate personal growth through goal-setting.
- Demonstrate an increased appreciation and understanding of concepts and values required that enhance the quality of life for oneself and others in the home, workplace, local and global community.
- Commit to self-learning and the teaching of others.
Program Advisory Committees
The College appoints Program Advisory Committee members for diploma, degree, certificate and apprenticeship programs. Committees are composed of employers, practitioners and recent program graduates. College representatives (students, faculty, and administrators) are resource persons. Each committee advises the Board on the development of new programs, the monitoring of existing programs and community acceptance of programs.
For a list of the current members, please visit our Program Advisory Committees
Domestic students should apply online at www.ontariocolleges.ca
or by phone at 1-888-892-2228.
60 Corporate Court
Canada N1G 5J3
International students should apply online using a Conestoga College International Application Form
. Please note: not all programs are open to international students. Interested students should check the listing of open programs on our international students web page
For program information, call the Information Centre at 519-748-5220 ext 3656.