Preparing Registered Nurses to work in operating rooms for over 40 years.

George Brown offers the only full-time 14-week Operating Room Nurses Association of Canada (ORNAC) approved course in Ontario.

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. 2020 Open
Jan. 2021 Open
May 2021 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.

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 a 9 to 14 week clinical placement (variable based on in-class or online mode of delivery).

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.

There are two modes of hybrid delivery: inclass/hybrid and online hybrid.

In-Class/Hybrid: 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 five weeks full-time at the Daphne Cockwell Centre for Health Sciences, located at the Waterfront Campus. This is followed by Phase 2, a 9-week full-time clinical placement.

Online/Hybrid: 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.

Part Time Study Options

This program is not available on a part-time basis.

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.

Detailed course outlines

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


$2,326.00 *

Additional Cost

* Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for one semester of the program starting in Fall 2019. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in Fall 2020 and at later dates.

Financial Assistance

RNs registered to practice in Ontario and employed in a Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) priority area may be eligible for a Nursing Education Initiative (NEI) grant to support their education and professional development. To learn more about this program, visit

This program is approved for OSAP funding, provided the applicant meets OSAP eligibility criteria.

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.

Apply to

Domestic students should apply through Ontario Colleges

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.

Success Stories

Mathumesa Muhunthan, RN (Graduate 2018, Registered Nurse – Operating Room Perioperative Nursing)

"The Registered Nurse – Operating Room Perioperative Nursing program provided me with the theory and skills in order to provide safe and effective patient care in a surgical setting. By practicing each new skill in the Simulation Centre, I was able to add on to my skill set and feel confident entering my 8-week clinical placement. We were given the knowledge and hands-on skills required in order to work alongside surgeons, anesthesiologists, RNFAs and other healthcare professionals in a fast-paced environment."

Kwesi Asamoah, RN, BScN (Graduate 2018, Registered Nurse – Operating Room Perioperative Nursing)

Headshot of Kwesi Asamoah

"The combination of in-class theory work and reinforcement in the skills lab creates an atmosphere where all aspiring perioperative nurses can succeed. The Perioperative RN program at George Brown College has had an invaluable impact on my nursing career."

Sabrina Sudhai, RN, BScN (Graduate 2018, Registered Nurse – Operating Room Perioperative Nursing)

“Having the access to apply what you’ve learned in theory to labs and clinical truly facilitated my learning in the clinical setting. I was able to become more confident in my skills in the Operating Room, which allowed me to become a competent Registered Nurse.”

Contact Us

Contact Chelsea Durocher at the George Brown College Sally Horsfall Eaton School of Nursingat 416-415-5000, ext. 2349 or email for more information.

For general information about George Brown College, 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.