Practical Nursing Program (PN) (S121)

Practical Nursing
Sally Horsfall Eaton School of Nursing
Waterfront Campus
2 years (4 semesters)
September, January
Ontario College Diploma
Practical Nursing is a two-year program that teaches you the necessary skills required to work as a practical nurse. Following successful completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to write the national Canadian Registered Practical Nursing examination.

Full Program Descriptions


Practical Nursing is a two-year program that teaches you the necessary skills required to enter the profession of practical nursing. The program has been designed to meet the new entry-to-practice requirements adopted by the College of Nurses of Ontario and new program standards set by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

This program is a College of Nurses of Ontario Category 2 approved program that provides you with the opportunity to acquire knowledge of:

  • nursing
  • human anatomy
  • physiology
  • pharmacology
  • pathology
  • the humanities

Students will have an opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom and interprofessional simulations in a variety of health-care settings.

Following successful completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to write the national Registered Practical Nursing examination (CPNRE) and the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) Jurisprudence examination.

After passing these examinations, graduates are granted a Certificate of Registration by the College of Nurses of Ontario and will be eligible to practice as a Registered Practical Nurse in the province of Ontario.

The George Brown College Practical Nursing program graduates achieved a 98.1% passing rate for first time writers on the CPNRE in 2012 and a 98.5% passing rate in 2013.  

Placement test: Based upon mandatory placement testing, some students may be required to enrol in courses aimed at enhancing profession-based written and verbal English language skills.

Program Standards and Learning Outcomes  

Program standards apply to all similar programs of instruction offered by colleges across the province. Each program standard for a postsecondary program of instruction includes the following elements:

  • Vocational standard (the vocationally specific learning outcomes which apply to the program in question),
  • Essential employability skills (the essential employability skills learning outcomes which apply to all programs of instruction), and
  • General education requirement (the requirement for general education in postsecondary programs of instruction).

The vocational and essential employability skills components of program standards are expressed in terms of learning outcomes. Learning outcomes represent culminating demonstrations of learning and achievement. In addition, learning outcomes are interrelated and cannot be viewed in isolation of one another. As such, they should be viewed as a comprehensive whole. They describe performances that demonstrate that significant integrated learning by graduates of the program has been achieved and verified.

View standards and outcomes by program.

Source: Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities website

Course Outline

Required Courses 


Code Course name
ANAT1052 Anatomy and Physiology for Practical Nursing I
NURS1026 Profession of Nursing I
NURS 1067 Foundations of Nursing Theory
NURS1086 Clinical Applications I (lecture)
NURS1087 Clinical Applications I (lab)
NURS1088 Clinical Applications I (practicum)
COMM1007 College English
MATH1135 Mathematical and Pharmacological Foundations for Practical Nurses
GNED General Education Elective
GSSC1057 Lifespan Development


Code Course name
ANAT1053 Anatomy and Physiology for Practical Nursing II
PATH1016 Pathology and Therapeutics I
NURS1027 Nursing Theory for Practical Nurses I
NURS1030 Clinical Applications II
NURS1057 Pharmacology for Practical Nurses I
NURS1068 Health Assessment in Clinical Practice I


Code Course name
PATH1017 Pathology and Therapeutics II
NURS1028 Nursing Theory for Practical Nurses II
NURS1059 Pharmacology for Practical Nurses II
NURS2018 Clinical Applications III
NURS2016 Profession of Nursing II
NURS2023 Health Assessment in Clinical Practice II
NURS1147 Critical Enquiry for Practical Nursing


Code Course name
NURS2017 Nursing Theory for Practical Nurses III
NURS2020 Clinical Applications IV
GSSC1120 Sociological Perspectives
GNED General Education Elective
PATH2016 Pathology & Therapeutics III


Code Course name
NURS2024 Clinical Applications V – Consolidation

Due to ongoing program review and improvements to meet the College of Nurses of Ontario entry-to-practice requirements, semester courses are subject to change with limited notice. Such changes will be reflected on the Sally Horsfall Eaton School of Nursing website and via correspondence sent out to semester students prior to start-up and/or return.

Careers and Post-Graduate Study Opportunities

Your Career 

Graduates of Practical Nursing programs have employment opportunities in practice settings such as:

  • acute care hospitals and community
  • long-term care
  • rehabilitation
  • other health-care facilities
  • organizations and agencies that require nursing knowledge and expertise

Tuition and Fees


$4,444.00 *

Additional Cost 

* Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for the first two semesters of programs starting in fall 2014. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in fall 2015 and at later dates.

Please note: This program does not accept International students.

International students: Visit the International Fees and Related Costs page for more information.

How to Qualify and Apply

Admission Requirements  

Applicants are selected on the basis of their academic achievement, including the required courses, and any other selection criteria outlined below.

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent**
  • Grade 12 English (C or U) - English with a grade of 70 or higher.
  • Grade 11 Math (M or U) or Grade 12 (C or U) - Mathematics with a grade of 60 or higher.
  • Grade 11 Biology (C or U) or Grade 12 (U) - Biology with a grade of 70 or higher.
  • Grade 11 Chemistry (U) or Grade 12 (C or U) - Chemistry with a grade of 60 or higher.

** Mature Student status (19 years of age or older) - Mature applicants are eligible to test for Mathematics, Science and English.

Please note:Subject to competition, candidates may be required to have averages / grades above the minimum stated.

Course Exemptions: College or university credits may qualify you for course exemptions. Please visit for more information.

Special Requirements  

Pre-placement Health Form

  • Upon confirmation of acceptance into this program, students must meet all the mandatory pre-placement health requirements for the program. It may take up to four months to complete all the requirements.
  • All costs, service fees and fines associated with the overall health requirements are the responsibility of the student.
  • For further details and to download the mandatory pre-placement health form, go to the Pre-placement website at

Police Vulnerable Sector Check (must be valid annually)

  • In compliance with the requirements of our placement partners, all students in this program are required to have a police vulnerable sector check completed, and this check must be renewed annually before entering into field or clinical placement.
  • The police vulnerable sector check process typically takes two to three months, but under some circumstances can take four to eight months. This is required to protect the clientele of our placement partner agencies, who are considered “vulnerable persons” under the law.
  • Students are responsible for ensuring that the police vulnerable sector check covers appropriateness for “individuals being employed and/or volunteering who will be working with vulnerable person(s).”
  • Students are required to keep the original copy of their police vulnerable sector check.
  • Students who are unable to provide a “clear” police vulnerable sector check may not be able to start their field or clinical placement and therefore may be unable to complete the program. Students who are not eligible to attend their practice placement due to a “not clear” status will jeopardize their progress in the program.
  • Failure to meet the requirements for field placement will prevent students from completing the program and/or securing employment.
  • The fees for the police record check vary and must be paid by the student. For more information, please visit the Pre-placement website at


Students are required to:

  • Submit a completed health record; date for submission of completed health record passports for semester 1 students will be outlined in the welcome letter students receive from the Program Chair. The Health Record form can be obtained from the Sally Horsfall Eaton School of Nursing website at
  • Provide evidence of yearly monitoring for tuberculosis (either a tuberculin test or chest x-ray).
  • Maintain their immunization status as current.
  • Maintain a current annual flu vaccination.
  • Complete mask fit testing as part of the health record passport.

Note: Students who are unable to comply with the program’s health policy requirements will be unable to complete their field placement and therefore will be unable to graduate.

Please keep a copy of your completed Health Record Form for your own records.†

The completed documentation must be in the Health Requirements File prior to the student being eligible to commence any clinical practice experiences.

The college recommends that you obtain the hepatitis B vaccination for your own safety prior to entry into the program.

†The Health Record Form can be obtained from the Sally Horsfall Eaton School of Nursing website at

For more information and to download your specific program health form, visit


All students must successfully complete the approved Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation CPR course – Basic Cardiac Life Support – Health Care Provider (BCLS – HCP) Level – annually, and a Standard First Aid Certificate course, before commencing the Clinical Applications courses. These requirements are a prerequisite for entry into the clinical practicum.

Students will not be eligible to participate in Clinical Applications activities in the clinical area if they do not hold current CPR-HCP and First Aid certificates. Current means “up-to-date” on a yearly basis for CPR-HCP. The First Aid certification is valid for three years. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange for and take the CPR-HCP and First Aid courses outside of regularly scheduled classes.

CPR-HCP and First Aid certificates must be presented to the student’s assigned Clinical Applications professor on or before the first clinical practice day of each semester in order for the student to take part in clinical practice in the agency assigned.

Apply To  

Ontario Colleges

Student Success

Success Stories  

With Julia’s confidence and knowledge base, one might have mistaken the dynamic 50-something-year-old for a professor when she was a Nursing student enrolled in the Bridging R.P.N. to B.Sc.N. program, a joint initiative between George Brown College and Trent University.

During her R.P.N. diploma program, Julia gained the hands-on experience she would need as a registered nurse. She did a four-month internship in the palliative care unit at Toronto Grace Hospital. They liked her work so much they offered her a paid position. Currently, she tends to individuals who are at the end of their lives.

S121 Julia Phelan

“It’s a place where people are going forward to the next stage of life, and our job is to provide them with the best possible care,” she says.

Julia Phelan (2008 graduate, Practical Nursing)

Contact Us

Contact Us  

Sally Horsfall Eaton School of Nursing

Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 2367 


Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Alternatively, you may visit us at the Sally Horsfall Eaton School of Nursing located on 7th floor of the Waterfront Campus to speak with our reception staff or arrange to speak with one of our Coordinators during regular business hours. 

For more information, you may also call the George Brown College Contact Centre at 416-415-2000 (TTY 1-877-515-5559) or long distance 1-800-265-2002.

George Brown College is continually striving to improve its programs and their delivery. The information contained in this calendar is subject to change without notice. It should not be viewed as a representation, offer or warranty. Students are responsible for verifying George Brown College admission, graduation, and fee requirements as well as any requirements of outside institutions, industry associations, or other bodies that may award additional designations concurrently with, or after completion of, a George Brown College program.