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Practical Nursing

Algonquin College
2 years
Full time
Diploma / certificate
Scholarships available
Fall 2020
Algonquin College

Program description

Practical Nursing

Contributing to a healthcare team, support excellence in patient care.

The two-year Practical Nursing Ontario College Diploma program prepares you for work in the healthcare system. You learn the necessary skills and techniques for the workforce - the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation tools required to provide nursing care to those of all ages. Throughout the program, your education includes theory, lab techniques, applied experiences and independent study.

As a student, you have the opportunity to gain hands-on skills in a variety of healthcare facilities, as well as to participate in clinical placements. An added benefit of this program is the Simulation Lab and other Nursing labs on campus, where you experience realistic simulation scenarios. These help you to build confidence in your skills and techniques before working with patients in clinical placements in the community. Placements are in real-world settings such as long-term care homes, hospitals and community.

In order for you to practice in Ontario, you are required to be licensed by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO). This program gives you the necessary knowledge and skills to write the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination in Ontario.

Admission requirements

Program eligibility

  • English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent) with a grade of 65% or higher.
  • Mathematics, Grade 12 (MAP4C or equivalent) with a grade of 65% or higher.
  • Biology, Grade 11 or 12 with a grade of 65% or higher.
  • Chemistry, Grade 11 or 12 with a grade of 65% or higher.
  • All applicants must complete a health program assessment through the Test Centre, and will be required to pay the current fee of $50 (subject to change). Results from the health program assessment will be utilized to establish minimum eligibility and also ranked, with the highest ranked applicants given priority admission. The health program assessment can only be written once per academic cycle.
  • International applicants must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above along with proof of either: (IELTS / TOEFL) IELTS-International English Language Testing Service (Academic) Overall band of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band; OR TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 80, with a minimum of 20 in each component: Reading 20; Listening 20; Speaking 20; Writing 20.
  • Applicants with international transcripts must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above and may be required to provide proof of language proficiency.
  • International Applicants: International applicants who meet the program eligibility requirements are required to complete preparatory courses (4-months in duration): Introduction to Canadian Health Studies (ICHS). Students who successfully complete the introduction will then proceed to their original health program of choice. The ICHS requires applicants to submit an academic IELTS score.
  • Accepted applicants must be in good health and submit a Health Assessment form and an Immunization form prior to registration. The annual influenza vaccine is required prior to clinical. A T.B. test is required prior to clinical in year 1 and year 2.
  • A current Standard First Aid and CPR Level C certificate is required prior to registration. Students cannot attend clinical until this is completed. Annual CPR recertification is required.
  • Computer skills are required throughout the program.

Success factors

This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Enjoy the challenges of working with and accepting people of all ages and stages of development and of varying backgrounds.
  • Have good communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Enjoy working with others as a member of a team or in a leadership role.
  • Possess strong problem-solving and analytical skills.
  • Are dedicated patient advocates.
  • Can handle physically demanding situations.
  • Are mature and are flexible.
  • Can work any scheduled shift in a 24-hour period.

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Program content

Core courses include:

Level 01

  • Anatomy and Physiology I
  • Communications I
  • Nursing I Theory
  • Nursing I Practicum (L)
  • Nursing I Practicum (P)
  • Healthcare Consumer
  • Introduction to Psychology

Level 02

  • Anatomy and Physiology II
  • Communication Skills for the Practical Nurse
  • Nursing II Theory
  • Nursing Research
  • Health Assessment
  • Nursing II Practicum (L)
  • Nursing II Practicum (M)
  • Nursing II Practicum (S)

Level 03

  • Pathophysiology
  • Nursing III Theory
  • Nursing III Practicum (L)
  • Nursing III Practicum (P)
  • Pharmacology

Level 04

  • Nursing IV Theory
  • Nursing IV Practicum (L)
  • Nursing IV Practicum (P)
  • Current Issues
  • Consolidation II – Clinical
  • Principles of Sociology

Tuition fees

For more information about tuition fees, please visit the college website. 

Scholarships & funding

For more information about scholarships, please visit the college website.



Ontario College Diploma

Learning outcomes

  • Communicate therapeutically with clients and members of the healthcare team.
  • Assess clients across the life span, in a systematic and holistic manner.
  • Plan safe and competent nursing care, based upon a thorough analysis of available data and evidence-informed practice guidelines.
  • Select and perform nursing interventions using clinical judgment, in collaboration with the client and, where appropriate, the healthcare team, that promote health and well-being, prevent disease and injury, maintain and/or restore health, promote rehabilitation, and/or provide palliation.
  • Evaluate the outcomes resulting from all interventions in the nurse-client interaction and modify the plan of care as required.
  • Act equitably and justly with clients and members of the health care team.
  • Adapt to a variety of healthcare settings, using different leadership skills and styles as appropriate to each setting.
  • Contribute to creating a healthy and safe work environment in a variety of healthcare settings.
  • Practise in a self-regulated, professional and ethical manner, complying with relevant legislation and with the standards of both the regulatory body and the practice setting to provide safe and competent client care.
  • Identify and apply discipline-specific practices that contribute to the local and global community through social responsibility, economic commitment and environmental stewardship.

Career opportunities

To practice as Registered Practical Nurses, graduates must be licensed by the College of Nurses of Ontario.

Registered Practical Nurses work in close collaboration with healthcare teams. You may find employment on a team in a variety of:

  • Community clinics
  • Private homes
  • Nursing homes
  • Homes for the aged/geriatric
  • Rehabilitative, medical, surgical, and obstetrical units

About this institute

Algonquin College

Algonquin College

Consider Algonquin’s unique campuses Algonquin College offers an experience that includes personalized learning and industry-ready skills through field-work, work placement and co-op. Employers value the combination of theory and experiential learning, at Algonquin College you get it all. In addition...

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Why study at Algonquin College

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Contact info

Algonquin College

1385 Woodroffe Avenue
K2G 1V8 Ottawa Ontario


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