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Perioperative Nursing (Ontario College Graduate Certificate)

A team of medical staff in scrubs, masks, and medical gear
Ontario College Graduate Certificate

Ontario College Graduate Certificate

Program Description

This Ontario College Graduate Certificate will support Registered Nurses (RN) and Registered Practical Nurses (RPN) in building the necessary knowledge and expertise to care for clients in perioperative settings. Areas of study include the basic equipment and instruments used, the principles of aseptic technique, and the importance of infection control and their role within the perioperative setting.

The program includes four theory courses designed to provide a theoretical knowledge base in perioperative nursing, followed by a transition to practice course and a field placement targeted at the application of concepts learned throughout the program.

This program is best suited for nurses who are currently working in a Perioperative Nursing role OR who have, prior to beginning the program, secured employer support to complete a perioperative nursing placement within their current place of employment (i.e. hospital).

Please note that the Transition to Practice and the Clinical placement courses are completed through our partner colleges.

Admission Requirements

  • Current registration as a Registered Nurse or Registered Practical Nurse with the College of Nurses of Ontario
  • Clear Criminal Reference Check with Vulnerable Sector Screening is required for Field Placement. Without this, you may not be accepted for placement by a field placement agency and may be unable to complete the requirements of the program
  • You must maintain an overall average of 60% or a GPA of 2.0 in order to graduate
  • A minimum of 25% of courses must be completed through Durham College
  • This program contains 2 courses that will not be completed through Durham College: Transition to Practice and Perioperative Nursing Field Placement.

Program Admission

  • Only original or certified copies of academic records will be accepted. In order for transcripts to be considered official, they must bear an original seal/stamp and/or official signature from an appropriate signatory. We do not accept photocopies or photos as this will make them unofficial as the school seal will not show.
  • Official transcripts must be sent by the issuing institution via email or an official credit service such as MyCreds™ – a secure digital credential platform that allows you to access and share the documents from anywhere in the world and at any time.
  • You can learn more about MyCreds™, including privacy and security, at MyCreds™.ca
  • For more information on admissions click here.

Click to access the Program Admission Form

This form must be submitted and an Admission Acceptance Letter received prior to registering for any courses.

Program Of Study

Students are required to print or save a copy of the Program of Study when beginning the program. This document contains critical details about program progression and graduation requirements specific to the academic year in which your program was started.

Click to access the Program of Study for the current academic year.

Students who began this program prior to the current academic year may contact the Professional and Part-Time Learning office at or 905-721-3052 to obtain your Program of Study and graduation requirements.

Transition to Practice and Field Placement

Transition to Practice

  • This course will be completed through our OntarioLearn partner college, Lambton College - Course Code PERI2012.
  • Students will be required to register for this 2 day workshop located in Sarnia and pay course fees to Lambton College.
  • Once you have successfully completed the workshop we will transfer your course credit back to Durham College. Please contact the Professional and Part-Time Learning office once you have successfully completed the workshop.
  • Students must contact the Professional and Part-Time Learning Office to obtain further details of how to register with Lambton College.

Field Placement

  • This 150 hour course will be completed through our OntarioLearn partner college, Loyalist College - Course Code WKPL8003.
  • Students will be required to register and pay course fees to Loyalist College.
  • Prior to registering for the field placement course, you must complete a pre-placement orientation course (Distance Placement Orientation Course - course code LMPS8001) through Loyalist College, and submit required documentation information according to Loyalist College's deadlines. Information about pre-clinical paperwork requirements is shared in this course.
  • Travel outside of Durham Region may be required for placement, and is likely.
  • Once you have successfully completed the placement we will transfer your course credit back to Durham College.
  • Registration information for Loyalist Courses can be found on the Loyalist College website.

Students should be in a perioperative role or have employer support to complete a perioperative nursing field placement within their current place of employment (i.e. hospital) before starting the program.

Please note: Placements will take a considerable time to secure. In many cases, it may take two or more terms. Additionally, most organizations require placement hours to be completed on a full-time basis.

Steps to register for the placement course:

  1. Email Durham College Professional and Part-Time Learning office, your intent to take the field placement course so we can verify that you have successfully completed all the five prerequisite courses that comprise the certificate.
  2. Email Loyalist College's placement coordinator at least six (6) months in advance of the start of the term in which you wish to complete your placement.
  3. Register online with Loyalist College for the pre-placement orientation course and submit all required information and paperwork (e.g. health form, criminal reference check, proof of current CPR/First Aid etc.) according to Loyalist College's requirements and posted deadlines.
  4. Register online with Loyalist College for the field placement course.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be equipped to:

  • Practice in a professional manner, within the legislated and ethical framework
  • Develop and sustain therapeutic relationships with surgical clients and their families
  • Communicate effectively with surgical clients, health care team members and others
  • Participate effectively as a team member to support surgical clients' achievements of their expected outcomes
  • Integrate theory, principles and concepts into competent perioperative nursing practice
  • Complete health assessments in a holistic comprehensive and analytical manner
  • Prioritize and organize nursing and health care
  • Implement and evaluate nursing interventions competently
  • Use a variety of technological tools to support surgical clients' achievement of their expected health outcomes
  • Apply principles of teaching-learning to promote surgical clients' health and wellness
  • 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
  • Emphasize sustainable practices minimizing the environmental footprint consistent with the highest standards of practice in the perioperative setting

Career Options

Potential career and industry options may include:

  • Scrub Nurse
  • Circulating Nurse

Program Related Questions? Call 905.721.3052

If you are interested in applying for financial aid, please visit the Professional and Part-Time Learning OSAP Eligibility webpage.

Currently offered

Course Title Location/
Delivery Method
NURS 1581Perioperative Nursing IOnline
NURS 2581Perioperative Nursing IIOnline
NURS 3581Perioperative Nursing IIIOnline
NURS 4581Perioperative Nursing IVOnline