Come visit us at
Saturday April 1
MINISTRY-APPROVED PROGRAM TITLE: PRACTICAL NURSING
The Practical Nursing program option for internationally educated nurses is designed for applicants with nursing credentials from outside of Canada. It has been designed as a means to apply your nursing academic knowledge and skills from colleges and universities in other countries into the Ontario health care system. Successful graduates, who become registered practical nurses (RPNs), will combine knowledge, skills and good judgment to provide safe, competent, ethical nursing care to meet the needs of all patients throughout the continuum of care.
DC’s curriculum is in accordance with the College of Nurses of Ontario‘s Professional Standards and Entry-to-Practice Competencies for Ontario Registered Practical Nurses.
Following the assessment outlined by the College of Nurses of Ontario, and upon entrance to this program, Durham College will provide each student with her/his own program of study and requirements that will determine the program length in order to complete the diploma and CNO requirements.
Please note: This program may be highly competitive and have a specific selection process and application deadline. Please refer to Admission Processes for details regarding highly competitive programs.
View full costs
View all courses
View all career options
Approved by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO), the Practical Nursing full-time program teaches the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to practice as a safe, competent and professional practical nurse, within the province of Ontario, Canada.
Applying the concept of caring as the basis of nursing, you will develop knowledge, skills and judgment in assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating nursing care across the lifespan as they experience various health challenges. A particular focus is placed on the ability to communicate in a caring and therapeutic manner.
With a strong emphasis on practical hands-on experience, you will apply theory gained in the classroom and simulated lab practice to environments including:
Upon completion of your program, you must successfully complete the Regulatory Exam – Practical Nurse (REx-PN) to become a registered practical nurse (RPN) in Ontario and a member of the College of Nurses of Ontario. (CNO)**
Please note: in Ontario the following conditions are laid out by the Nursing Act to be registered as a practical nurse. These conditions may impact your ability to register with CNO as an RPN post-graduation.
To register as an RPN in Ontario you must meet the CNO requirements.
In accordance with the mandate of the CNO to communicate Practical Nursing program approval status with current and prospective students please note that:
The Practical Nurse Program at Durham College is approved by the Practical Nursing (PN) Programs (cno.org). Current graduates from this program are eligible to apply for registration as a Registered Practical Nurse in Ontario.
The Practical Nursing for Internationally Educated Nurses program is designed to meet the needs of:
The courses listed below are for incoming students. If you are a current student, please refer to your program of study for the year you began your program. Your program of study can be found on MyDC.
Courses and course descriptions are subject to change. Please note that as a result of COVID-19 the 2023-2024 program of study may be modified to accommodate program delivery changes.
More than 75% of this program is delivered in-person.
The rest of the coursework will be delivered using hybrid, flexible or online formats. Students will come to campus to complete in-person learning requirements. Detailed schedules, with course-specific delivery information, will be available after registration. Courses, course descriptions and delivery formats are subject to change.
Practicum allows students to apply their learning with a variety of clinically supervised practicum experiences that are designed to prepare you to function as a graduate in diverse settings. Placements are located at various local hospitals and agencies throughout Durham Region and at times, in the immediate surrounding areas. Please note that hospital placement may begin as early as 06:00 hours. Placements may take place on weekdays and on Saturdays or Sundays in 12-hour shifts with the exception of Semester 5 Professional Practice V (consolidation), where students are expected to be available to follow the preceptor’s schedule. Students are responsible for their transportation to and from their practicum placement.
Please note: There are costs associated with Electronic Student Permit Checking (ESPC), immunizations, lab tests and certifications. Be sure to keep all of your receipts for income tax purposes. These costs include:
It is required that students have completed the ESPC with Verified to be eligible for the field placement component of this program. You must (at your expense) provide:
Students will be placed on a Practicum Schedule following the Practical Nursing Program or the Practical Nursing Flex Program. Once determined, please refer to the appropriate program practicum page:
Qualified graduates can apply to Durham College’s:
Qualified graduates could also apply to the Ontario Tech University’s (Ontario Tech) Bachelor of Allied Health Sciences or Registered Practical Nursing to Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree programs.
Graduates may also be eligible to apply their academic credits toward further study through Durham College’s partnerships with many Canadian and international colleges and universities.
A laptop is required for this program. Most students tend to use Windows-based computers. Some prefer to use an Apple (Mac) device. Either platform can work within the School of Health and Community Services Practical Nursing program.
Here are suggested minimum hardware specifications recommended for your DC related computer activities like DC Connect and the Virtual Classroom: