College of Nurses of Ontario

Program Information

  • Practical Nursing on
  • Credential: Ontario College Diploma
  • Duration: 2 Years
  • Area Of Interest: Health Sciences
  • Program Code: 1704X01FWO
  • Academic Year: Sept 2021 – Aug 2022
  • Campus: Ottawa
  • Other Campuses: Pembroke Perth
  • Work Integrated Learning:
    • Clinical Placement


Contribute to a healthcare team and support excellence in patient care.

The Practical Nursing Ontario College Diploma program prepares you for work in the healthcare system. You learn the necessary skills and techniques for the workforce. This includes assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation tools required to provide nursing care to those of all ages. Throughout the program, learning opportunities include theory, lab techniques, applied experiences and independent study.

As a student, you have the opportunity to gain hands-on skills in a variety of healthcare facilities. An added benefit of this program is the Simulation Lab on campus, where you experience realistic patient care scenarios. These help to build confidence in your skills and techniques before working with patients in clinical placements. Placements are in community settings such as retirement homes, long-term care homes, and hospitals.

To practice as a Registered Practical Nurse in Ontario, you are required to be licensed by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO). This program gives you the necessary knowledge and skills to write the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination in Ontario.

Registered Practical Nurses work in close collaboration with healthcare teams. You may find employment a variety of settings such as:

  • community clinics
  • private homes
  • long-term care homes
  • medical, surgical, and obstetrical units

You may also choose to pursue further studies after graduation.

For more information on the Nursing Profession, please review the Fact Sheet Requisite Skills and Abilities for Nursing Practice in Ontario, available on the CNO website at


This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Enjoy working with and accepting people of all ages and stages of development and of varying backgrounds.
  • Have good communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Enjoy working with others as a member of a team or in a leadership role.
  • Possess strong problem-solving and analytical skills.
  • Are dedicated patient advocates.
  • Can handle physically demanding situations.
  • Are mature and flexible.
  • Can work any scheduled shifts in a 24-hour period.
  • Are proficient in math.

Application & Admission Details

2022/2023 Academic Year

College Eligibility

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Applicants with an OSSD showing senior English and/or mathematics courses at the Basic Level, or with Workplace or Open courses, will be tested to determine their eligibility for admission; OR
  • Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate; OR
  • General Educational Development (GED) certificate; OR
  • Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program). Eligibility may be determined by academic achievement testing for which a fee of $50 (subject to change) will be charged.

Program Eligibility

  • English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent) with a grade of 65% or higher.
  • Mathematics, Grade 12 (MAP4C or equivalent) with a grade of 65% or higher.
  • Biology, Grade 11 or 12 with a grade of 65% or higher.
  • Chemistry, Grade 11 or 12 with a grade of 65% or higher.
  • All applicants must complete an assessment of their knowledge and skills through the Test Centre, and pay an exam fee. Results from the Algonquin College Health Program Admissions Test (AC-HPAT) will be utilized to establish minimum eligibility and applicant ranking. The AC-HPAT can only be written once per academic cycle. For further information on the HPAT and how to book your assessment, please visit Algonquin`s Test Centre.
  • Applicants with international transcripts must provide proof of the subject-specific requirements noted above and may be required to provide proof of language proficiency. Domestic applicants with international transcripts must be evaluated through the International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS) or World Education Services (WES).
  • IELTS-International English Language Testing Service (Academic) overall band of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band; OR TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 80, with a minimum of 20 in each component: Reading 20; Listening 20; Speaking 20; Writing 20.
  • International Applicants:
    International applicants who meet the program eligibility requirements are required to complete preparatory courses (4-months in duration): Introduction to Canadian Health Studies (ICHS). Students who successfully complete the introduction will then proceed to their original health program of choice. The ICHS requires applicants to submit an academic IELTS score.
  • Please click this link for more information:

Agencies that provide placement opportunities require you to have a clear Police Records Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector (PRCSVS). If you register in the program without a clear PRCSVS and as a result are unable to participate in placement, you will not be able to graduate. A clear PRCVS is required annually, and more often if requested by the clinical agencies. Successful completion of clinical placement is a requirement for graduation from the Practical Nursing program.

Accepted applicants must be in good health and complete a Health Assessment form providing information related to medical and non-medical requirements 8 Annual requirements include Tb testing, the influenza vaccine, CPR Level C re-certification and a Police Records Checks for service with Vulnerable Sector. These are required prior to clinical commencement. Should there be a delay in starting the clinical placement, program progression could be negatively impacted.

Computer skills are required throughout the program.

Clinical Placement Eligibility:
To be eligible for placement, you must submit proof of a clear PRCSVS, which will be retained on your departmental file and used only for purposes related to your placement. You will be required to disclose the contents of the PRCSVS, including all notations, to the placement agencies.

It is your responsibility to obtain the PRCSVS from your local Police Department prior to the deadline identified by your Department and to pay any associated costs. It may take a long time to obtain this documentation; please submit your application as early as possible. Should you require further information, contact the Program Chair as part of the application process.

Application Information

Program Code 1704X01FWO

Applications to full-time day programs must be submitted with official transcripts showing completion of the academic admission requirements through:
60 Corporate Court
Guelph, Ontario N1G 5J3

Students currently enrolled in an Ontario secondary school should notify their Guidance Office prior to their online application at

Applications for Fall Term and Winter Term admission received by February 1 will be given equal consideration. Applications received after February 1 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as places are available.


Programs at Algonquin College are delivered using a variety of instruction modes. Courses may be offered in the classroom or lab, entirely online, or in a hybrid mode which combines classroom sessions with online learning activities. Upon registration, each full-time student is provided an Algonquin email account which is used to communicate important information about program or course events.

Level: 01


Course Name


Anatomy and Physiology I

An understanding of human biology is essential to nurses. Learners are introduced to the human body and its functions. Learners build founda… + READ MORE



Communications I

Communication remains an essential skill sought by employers, regardless of discipline or field of study. Using a practical, vocation-orient… + READ MORE



Nursing I Theory

Understanding nursing concepts and theories is essential to the provision of optimal nursing care. Learners are introduced to the nursing me… + READ MORE



Nursing I Practicum (L)

Nurses care for persons across the lifespan promoting healthy living that is person-centered. Learners apply basic therapeutic communication… + READ MORE



Nursing I Practicum (P)

Nurses care for persons across the lifespan promoting healthy living that is person-centered. Learners gain practical experience applying k… + READ MORE



Healthcare Consumer

Person-centered care is imperative in the delivery of quality health care. Learners are introduced to theoretical models that support critic… + READ MORE



Introduction to Psychology

With its applications to behaviour and personality, psychology extends its reach into many aspects of our personal lives. The broad applicat… + READ MORE


Level: 02

CodeCourse Name & DescriptionHours


Anatomy and Physiology II

An understanding of human biology is essential to nurses. Lectures build on previous foundational knowledge in human anatomy and physiology…. + READ MORE



Communication Skills for the Practical Nurse

Given the variety and complexity of interactions in which nurses regularly engage, their verbal communication skills must be adaptable to nu… + READ MORE



Nursing II Practicum (M)

Nurses care for persons across the lifespan promoting healthy living that is person-centered. Learners apply health promotion through interv… + READ MORE



Nursing II Practicum (L)

Nurses care for persons across the lifespan promoting healthy living that is person-centered. Learners are introduced to the childbearing fa… + READ MORE



Nursing II Theory

Nursing is a dynamic and challenging profession that involves caring for persons across a continuum of age and diverse environments with var… + READ MORE



Nursing Research

Nursing practice is informed by a variety of evidence. Learners are introduced to the knowledge and skills necessary to support the developm… + READ MORE



Health Assessment

Health assessment is an essential framework to provide holistic assessments of clients across the lifespan. Learners apply a systematic and … + READ MORE


Level: 03

CodeCourse Name & DescriptionHours



Pharmacology is an integral part of nursing care and nurses play a critical role in medication management in various settings within the hea… + READ MORE




This course examines the basic concepts of disease processes which affect physiologic and psychosocial health. Learners study concepts perta… + READ MORE



Nursing III Theory

Health care professionals require an understanding of the needs of persons experiencing acute and chronic illnesses across the lifespan. Bui… + READ MORE



Nursing III Practicum (L)

Caring for persons living with health challenges requires knowledge, skills and critical thinking ability. Through the use of simulation and… + READ MORE



Nursing III Practicum (P)

Persons being cared for in sub-acute and care facilities rely on nurses to help promote quality of life, as defined by the person. This prac… + READ MORE


Choose one from equivalencies:

CodeCourse Name & DescriptionHours


General Education Elective

Students choose one course, from a group of general education electives, which meets one of the following five theme requirements: Arts in S… + READ MORE


Level: 04

CodeCourse Name & DescriptionHours


Nursing IV Theory

Nursing is a dynamic and challenging process that involves caring for clients across a continuum of age and diverse environments with varyin… + READ MORE



Nursing IV Practicum (L)

Caring for persons living with health challenges requires knowledge, skills and critical thinking ability. Through the use of simulation and… + READ MORE



Nursing IV Practicum (P)

Caring for persons living with health challenges requires knowledge, skills and critical thinking ability. This Practicum course provides le… + READ MORE



Current Issues

Concepts of professionalism, legal and ethical standards of practice are foundational to nursing. Practice standards and guidelines.


Consolidation Clinical (A)

Persons living with acute and chronic illness rely on nurses to promote healthy living.


Principles of Sociology

Sociology is the study of human society and social behaviour. Learners explore Canadian perspectives related to sociological concepts.

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