The two-year Practical Nursing program teaches students the skills required to work as a practical nurse. Following successful completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to write the national Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination (CPNRE).

Apply Now

Personal Support Worker student practices on low fidelity mannequin in the Simulation Centre on Waterfront Campus.


Program name
Practical Nursing
Experiential learning
Clinical Placement
2 years (4 semesters)
Starting month
September, January, May
Ontario College Diploma
Method of study

Year of Study

Select a year to view.

Compare Programs


Program Availability

Domestic students
Sept. 2018 Closed
Jan. 2019 Closed
May 2019 Closed
International students
This program is currently only available to domestic students.

Full Description

Practical Nursing teaches students the knowledge and skills required to enter the profession of practical nursing. This two-year program has been designed to meet the new entry-to-practice requirements adopted by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and new program standards set by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Classes are held at the Daphne Cockwell Centre for Health Sciences located at our Waterfront Campus.

The Practical Nurse program at George Brown College is approved by the College of Nurses of Ontario ( Current graduates from this program are eligible to apply for registration as a Registered Practical Nurse in Ontario.*

What you’ll study:

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

Hands-On Learning

The role of a Practical Nurse often means providing hands-on care to patients. To properly prepare you, you'll have the chance to practice your skills at our on-site Simulation Centre – a facility designed to look and feel like the hospitals and other environments where you could end up working.

You’ll also get the chance to gain clinical experience with one of our valued partners.

Clinical practice experience is gained under direct faculty supervision within varied patient care settings across the Greater Toronto Area and students may participate in placements requiring evening and weekend shift work. Typical settings include acute care hospitals, rehabilitation centres and long-term care facilities. The clinical practicum experience in the final semester of the program is completed with a preceptor, whereby the student works with their preceptor across all shifts and days of the week.

For more information on the required skills and abilities for the Practical Nursing profession, please review the fact sheet of Requisite Skills and Abilities on the College of Nurses of Ontario website: College of Nurses of Ontario - Requisite Skills and Abilities Fact Sheet

Following successful completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to write the national Canadian Practical Nurse Registration 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.

George Brown College Practical Nursing program graduates achieved a 98% pass rate for first time writers of the CPNRE (national licensing examination) in spring 2017+. In 2016, they achieved 93.7%++ compared to the provincial average of 91.1%.

* College of Nurses of Ontario – Approved (Category 1)
+Nursing Registration Exams Report 2015 Pub 45058 ISSN 2368-8599 Copyright © College of Nurses of Ontario, 2016
++College of Nurses of Ontario, Nursing Registration Exams Report 2016PDF icon

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.

Experiential Learning

Clinical Placement

Program Standards and Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Communicate therapeutically with clients and members of the health care team.
  2. Assess clients across the life span, in a systematic and holistic manner.
  3. Plan safe and competent nursing care, based upon a thorough analysis of available data and evidence-informed practice guidelines.
  4. Select and perform nursing interventions using clinical judgment, in collaboration with the client and, where appropriate, the health care team, that promote health and well-being, prevent disease and injury, maintain and/or restore health, promote rehabilitation, and/or provide palliation.
  5. Evaluate the outcomes resulting from all interventions in the nurse-client interaction and modify the plan of care as required.
  6. Act equitably and justly with clients and members of the health care team.
  7. Adapt to a variety of health care settings, using different leadership skills and styles as appropriate to each setting.
  8. Contribute to creating a healthy and safe work environment in a variety of health care settings.
  9. 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.

Required Courses


semester courses
CodeCourse name
ANAT1052Anatomy and Physiology for Practical Nursing I
NURS 1067Foundations of Nursing Theory
NURS1098The PN Role & Interprofessional Relationships
NURS1099Foundations in Clinical Practice (Lecture)
NURS1100Foundations in Clinical Practice (Lab)
COMM1007College English
MATH1135Mathematical and Pharmacological Foundations for Practical Nurses
GNEDGeneral Education Elective
GSSC1057Lifespan Development


semester courses
CodeCourse name
ANAT1053Anatomy and Physiology for Practical Nursing II
PATH1016Pathology and Therapeutics I
NURS1027Nursing Theory for Practical Nurses I
NURS1057Pharmacology for Practical Nurses I
NURS1068Health Assessment in Clinical Practice I
NURS1104Nursing Lab Skills II
NURS1105Clinical Practicum


semester courses
CodeCourse name
PATH1017Pathology and Therapeutics II
NURS1028Nursing Theory for Practical Nurses II
NURS1059Pharmacology for Practical Nurses II
NURS2018Clinical Applications III
NURS2016Profession of Nursing II
NURS2023Health Assessment in Clinical Practice II
NURS2028Nursing Lab Skills III
COMM1147Critical Enquiry in Practical Nursing I


semester courses
CodeCourse name
NURS2017Nursing Theory for Practical Nurses III
NURS2020Clinical Applications IV
GSSC1120Sociological Perspectives
GNEDGeneral Education Elective

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 webpage and via correspondence sent out to semester students prior to start-up and/or return.

Your Career

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

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

Future Study Options

Students who successfully complete the George Brown PN program or a two-year community college PN program in Ontario with a minimum cumulative average of 75% and not less than 70% in any element of the PN program may be eligible to study the R.P.N. Bridge to B.Sc.N. Pathway (S122). Upon successful completion of this bridge, students will be eligible to apply to Trent University’s Nursing degree program offered on-site at George Brown College.


$4,907.00 *

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 2017. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in fall 2018 and at later dates.

Please note: This program does not accept international students.

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 70% 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 70% or higher.
  • Interview by invitation only: This is a competitive program and only the most qualified applicants will be invited to complete an online, recorded interview to assess specific competencies related to the field of Nursing.^

** Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and no OSSD)

Mature Students may take the Admissions Assessment for English, Math or Science, OR may consider upgrading to achieve the credit(s) needed in English, Math or Science.

Applicants with existing post-secondary nursing education from Canadian or international educational institutions are required to submit all transcripts.

Transfer credit and course exemptions for credits taken at other institutions related to the field of nursing is restricted in this program, and will be decided upon on a case-by-case basis by the School of Nursing. Applications for Advanced Standing are not available for this program.

^ Details on the interview will be provided to qualified applicants during the application process. Applicants may take the interview only once per academic cycle, regardless of the results of the interview (i.e. only one interview valid for the Fall, Winter and Spring start dates).

^ Qualified applicants from the A109 Pre-Health Sciences program articulation with S121 Practical Nursing will be invited to complete the online video interview.

Please note: The grade(s) required in the subject prerequisites will be subject to competition. Only the most qualified applicants will be offered an opportunity to interview. Only the top ranked applicants will be offered a seat in the program.

Only applications to the first semester of the Practical Nursing program will be considered.

IMPORTANT: Course Delivery Format

This program is delivered in a 2-1-2 format. You will progress through the program with two consecutive semesters, one semester as a break, and then the final two consecutive semesters. This delivery format will apply regardless of the term that you start the program.

Course Exemptions

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

Special Requirements

Clinical Pre-placement health form requirements and program policy

  • Upon confirmation of acceptance into this program, students must meet and complete all the mandatory pre-placement requirements for this program. It will take up to 10 to 12 weeks to complete.
  • Students will need to process and provide proof of their medical records (such as MMR, Varicella, Hep B blood test reports/titres, Tdap shot valid every 10 years and Two Step TB Skin Test), a clear police vulnerable sector check renewed every year, Standard First Aid certificate renewed every three years, CPR level HCP renewed every year, annual flu shot and mask fit test renewed every two years. These requirements must be submitted by the given deadline to ParaMed.
  • The health policies and non-academic requirements are designed to protect clients and vulnerable populations that students will engage in practice. Students who do not comply with the program’s health policy and non-academic requirements, or who do not submit all required documentation by deadlines established by the program will be excluded from the clinical practicum. Exclusion from clinical practicum for any reason may jeopardize students' academic standing and successful completion of this program.
  • All costs, service fees and fines associated with the overall health requirements are the responsibility of the student.
  • To download the mandatory pre-placement health form and for more details, go to the Pre-placement website at

Police Vulnerable Sector Check requirements and program policy (must be renewed every year)

  • 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 will 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

Apply To

Contact Us

Sally Horsfall Eaton School of Nursing

Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 2367


Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Alternatively, you may visit us at the Sally Horsfall Eaton School of Nursing located on 7th floor of the Daphne Cockwell Centre for Health Sciences at 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 about George Brown College, you may also call the Contact Centre at 416-415-2000 (TTY 1-877-515-5559) or long distance 1-800-265-2002.

People who viewed this program also viewed:

    Looking for more?

    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.