Registered Nurse – Operating Room Perioperative Nursing teaches the Registered Nurse how to work as an operating room nurse through two unique phases of theory and clinical practice.

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S414 Two nurses in the operating room, prepping a simulation mannequin for surgery.

Nursing students in the operating room, Four students, High-fidelity mannequin, Operating Room, Simulation Centre, Daphne Cockwell Centre for Health Sciences


Program name
Registered Nurse – Operating Room Perioperative Nursing
Experiential learning
Clinical Placement
16 weeks (1 semester)
Starting month
September, January
Ontario College Graduate Certificate
Method of study

Year of Study

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Program Availability

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

Full Description

This ORNAC-approved (2017) postgraduate program utilizes current perioperative nursing research and strictly adheres to ORNAC Standards of Practice, preparing the Registered Nurse to function at the beginner level as a team member in the perioperative setting. It includes intensive study of relevant anatomy and surgical interventions related to the nursing process and the perioperative patient. Simulation Lab practice consolidates the development of the "scrub" and "circulating" roles.

Students working in the Simulation Centre Operating Room

There are 2 modes of delivery – in-class and online.

In-class Students should have some registered nursing and surgical nursing experience. Phase 1 is completed at George Brown College where Theory and 75 Simulation Lab hours are completed over six weeks full-time at the Dapne Cockwell Centre for Health Sciences, located at the Waterfront Campus. This is followed by Phase 2, an eight-week full-time clinical placement.

Online Students are Registered Nurses that are new hires sponsored within their own hospital's perioperative setting or have some previous experience within the perioperative area. Phase 1 (the first 12 days) is partially completed at George Brown College. This includes the basic Lab Skills and the foundational Theory component. Test 1 is completed during this time. The remaining Phase 1 and Phase 2 are completed concurrently while the student returns to their own hospital to start their required clinical placement hours.

The program is organized into two phases.

Phase I Nursing 4045 consists of theory content and skills development, including:

  • current ORNAC standards, principles and application
  • surgical anatomy
  • intensive study of surgical interventions and surgical technologies (including indications and complications)
  • role of the circulating nurse
  • role of the scrub nurse
  • clinical lab skills, completed in a state-of-the-art Simulation Centre at George Brown College

Phase II Nursing 4046 includes an 8 to 14 week clinical placement (variable based on in-class or online mode of delivery).

In-class: 8 weeks full-time

Online: A minimum of 3 days per week in an operating room setting will be required. Learners must have passed Test 1 from Phase 1 in order to move to Phase II.

Students are exposed to several services (e.g. General Surgery, Urology, Gynecology, Plastics, ENT and Orthopedics). While in the clinical settings, learners will participate in online discussions, live video conferences and submit assignments through an online learning management system (Blackboard). Clinical experiences are scheduled in hospital operating rooms both within and outside of the Greater Toronto Area, or settings in which the learner is working.

Experiential Learning

Clinical Placement

Program Standards and Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Practice in a professional manner, within the legislated, ethical frameworks and exhibit cultural sensitivity in diverse clinical settings.
  2. Develop and sustain therapeutic relationships with surgical clients and their families.
  3. Communicate effectively with surgical clients, health care team members and others.
  4. Participate effectively as a team member to support surgical clients’ achievement of their expected outcome.
  5. Integrate theory, principles and concepts into competent surgical nursing practice.
  6. Complete health assessments in a holistic, comprehensive and analytical manner.
  7. Prioritize and organize nursing health care.
  8. Implement and evaluate nursing interventions competently.
  9. Use a variety of technological tools to support surgical clients’ achievement of their expected health outcomes.
  10. Apply principles of teaching-learning to promote surgical clients’ health and wellness.
  11. Practice according to the Standards of Practice of Operating Room Nurses Association of Canada, the College of Nurses of Ontario and The Canadian Nurses’ Association.
  12. Emphasize sustainable practices minimizing the environmental footprint consistent with the highest standards of practice in the perioperative setting.

Required Courses

semester courses
CodeCourse Name
NURS4045Operating Room Nursing – Theory and Labs
NURS4046Operating Room Nursing – Practicum

Note: Due to ongoing program improvements, courses are subject to change without notice.

Future Study Options

Students who complete this Post-R.N. certificate program are eligible to submit the Course Curriculum Outline from the year the program was taken. Students may apply for a transfer credit toward the Post-Diploma B.Sc.N. program at Ryerson University.

For further information, see


$2,374.00 *

Additional Cost

* Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for one semester of the program starting in fall 2017. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in fall 2018 and at later dates

Financial Assistance

Students who successfully complete the program may be eligible for tuition reimbursement through an Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care initiative implemented through the RNAO.

Admission Requirements

  • RN, Certificate of Competence, College of Nurses of Ontario without practice restrictions
  • BCLS (Heart and Stroke Foundation), HCP Level
  • lnterview - All applicants are interviewed by telephone or in person.
  • Resumé
  • Preferably 2 years surgical nursing experience in the hospital setting. No operating room experience necessary.

If taking this program as a non-sponsored student (independent student), students must meet all the mandatory pre-placement health requirements for this program.

This program is open to domestic applicants only.

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
  • Students must submit proof of a satisfactory medical examination before entering field placement. Students who are unable to provide a clear medical examination result to the college will not be able to start their field placement and therefore will be unable to complete the program.

Police Vulnerable Sector Check

  • 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

How Do I Apply to the Program

Please note: Due to the limited number of clinical placements available, this program has a limited number of seats open to applicants lacking specific clinical experience. Please contact for more details before applying.

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Contact Us

Sally Horsfall Eaton School of Nursing
Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 2367

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.


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    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.