Practical Nursing

Practical nurses in Ontario play an integral role in the health care sector administering some medications, performing medical procedures and promoting healthy lifestyle choices to patients, families and caregivers. If you’re excited about the opportunity to begin an in-demand career built on respect and a highly specialized set of skills, Fanshawe’s Practical Nursing program will move you closer to your dream.


With clinical practice and simulations integrated throughout the curriculum, Fanshawe’s Practical Nursing diploma program gives students the skills and knowledge to succeed. 

You’ll begin by studying anatomy, nutrition, pharmacology and the nuances of strong interpersonal skills with patients, families, colleagues and community members. You’ll learn to work as autonomous and collaborative partners with clients and other health care providers and to do so effectively within the practical nurses’ professional role and scope of practice. The curriculum continues to evolve in response to current nursing and health care evidence and trends. You'll also study theory in the classroom, practice your nursing skills in our simulation labs and get plenty of hands-on clinical practice in acute, community and long-term care settings, under the guidance of a qualified supervisor. 

When you graduate, you’ll be qualified to write the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination. If successful, you’ll become eligible for registration with the College of Nurses of Ontario as a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN).

This program is offered part-time and full-time at more than one campus for your convenience. Learn more about the programs and services of Fanshawe’s campuses in London (London Campus) and Woodstock.

Program Overview

Fanshawe’s RPN program is an accredited five-level, 63-week diploma program focused on educating graduates to work with individuals, families, groups and entire communities in a variety of settings. 

Due to the academic and clinical rigor required in the Practical Nursing program, applicants applying directly to this program from secondary school are encouraged to consider applying to the Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees program. The Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees program is an excellent preparatory program for those considering a career as a health care professional.

Eligibility for registration in Ontario, in any regulated health discipline, requires the candidate to provide information regarding any criminal offense or physical/mental condition which may affect practice.


Career Information

Graduates of Fanshawe’s Practical Nursing program have the communication and problem-solving skills needed to feel confident in pursuing careers in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care agencies, schools, clinics, private homes, community service agencies and rehabilitation centres.


Did you know Fanshawe consistently ranks high in graduation employment rates among large colleges in Ontario? 

Here are some examples of career opportunities for graduates of Fanshawe’s Practical Nursing program:

School Nurse
A motivated and caring individual providing direct care to students.

Registered Practical Nurse
Contribute to patient care in a wide variety of hospital departments, including surgical care, mental health, emergency room, etc.

Community Care

Assess, plan, implement and provide personal and nursing care – including delivering oral, subcutaneous and intramuscular medications – for clients in the comfort of their own home. 



"Fanshawe is well-respected in the nursing field. This made it easy to find a job upon graduation. I found a good job in the field before I had even graduated!"

Navreet Kaur
Graduate 2015
Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Communicate therapeutically with clients and members of the health care team.
  2. Assess clients across the life span, in a systematic and holistic manner.
  3. Plan safe and competent nursing care, based upon a thorough analysis of available data and evidence-informed practice guidelines.
  4. Select and perform nursing interventions using clinical judgment, in collaboration with the client and, where appropriate, the health care team, that promote health and well-being, prevent disease and injury, maintain and/or restore health, promote rehabilitation, and/or provide palliation.
  5. Evaluate the outcomes resulting from all interventions in the nurseclient interaction and modify the plan of care as required.
  6. Act equitably and justly with clients and members of the health care team.
  7. Adapt to a variety of health care settings, using different leadership skills and styles as appropriate to each setting.
  8. Contribute to creating a healthy and safe work environment in a variety of health care settings.
  9. Practise in a self-regulated, professional and ethical manner, complying with relevant legislation and with the standards of both the regulatory body and the practice setting to provide safe and competent client care.


Program Availability

Canadian Students

Start Dates

Part Time Offerings

2023 January
Woodstock Campus - Metcalfe

Program Details

Program Code
Academic School

Program Coordinators:

London Campus:

Shelley Masse

Woodstock/Oxford Regional Campus:

Jennifer Black

Day Time
Ontario College Diploma
63 weeks

Admission Requirements

OSSD with courses from the College (C), University (U),
University/College (M), or Open (O) stream WITH:
- Any Grade 12 English (C) or (U)
- Mathematics ONE OF:
      - Grade 11 Functions and Applications (M) 
      - Grade 11 Functions (U) 
      - Grade 12 Mathematics (C) or (U) 
- Grade 11 or Grade 12 Biology (C) or (U) 
- Grade 11 or Grade 12 Chemistry (C) or (U)
(Note: minimum final grade required for each course is 65)
Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE) WITH:
- Communications
- Core Mathematics
- Biology
- Chemistry
(Note: minimum final grade required for each course is 65)
Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees Ontario College Certificate*
(Note: minimum final average required is 3.0 GPA) AND:
- minimum final grade of 'C+' or 65 in the required courses stated above
Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate (GED) WITH:
- The combined Language Arts - Reading AND Language Arts - Writing test results having a minimum average Standard Score of 520 AND:
- Mathematics ONE OF:
      - Grade 11 Functions and Applications (M)
      - Grade 11 Functions (U)
      - Grade 12 Mathematics (C) or (U) 
 - Grade 11 or Grade 12 Biology (C) or (U) 
 - Grade 11 or Grade 12 Chemistry (C) or (U)
(Note: minimum final grade required for each course is 65)
Mature Applicant with standing in the required courses and grades stated above  
Competitive Programs
This is a highly competitive program; the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of seats available. Post-Secondary education may be required for successful admission to this program. Please see for details. International students, please note: you must successfully graduate from Pre-Health Sciences before being considered for this program.
English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:

  • A Grade 12 University Stream English credit (or equivalent) with at least four recent years of full-time study in an educational institution where the language of instruction and of examinations was English and which was located in a country where the first language is English 
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 92 for the Internet-based test (iBT) (22 writing, 26 speaking, 20 reading and 20 listening), with test results within the last two years
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with an overall score of 7.0 with no score less than 6.5 in reading and listening and a score of 7.0 in writing and speaking, with test results within the last two years. SDS Program Requirements. 
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with a score of 70 in writing, reading and speaking and a score of 80 in listening, with test results within the last two years
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 65, with test results within the last two years
  • A Cambridge English Test (FCE/CAE/CPE) with an overall score on the Cambridge English Scale of 185 with no score less than 176 in reading and listening and 185 in writing and speaking, with test results within the last two years
  • Fanshawe College ESL4/GAP5 students: Minimum grade of 80% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 10
  • Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) test with a minimum score of 90 with at least a 4 on the oral interview
Recommended Academic Preparation

Recommended Academic Preparation

  • Grade 12 Mathematics (C) or (U) in addition to Grade 11 Functions and Applications (M) or Grade 11 Functions (U)
  • Grade 12 Business and Technological Communication (O)
Recommended Personal Preparation

Recommended Personal Preparation

  • Students should be personally responsible and emotionally mature with an interest in, and motivation toward nursing, and should possess those personal characteristics which would enable them to co-operate with others in the delivery of health care. Please review the CNO Requisite Skills and Abilities document for more information
Applicant Selection Criteria

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements
  • Admission to the Fanshawe College Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees program does not guarantee admission in a subsequent year to the Practical Nursing program. Successful completion of the Fanshawe College Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees program, however, does enable the student to be given additional consideration when applying to the Practical Nursing program. The Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees program is the preferred designated preparatory program for admission to the Practical Nursing program.
  • *Students who are currently registered in the Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees program at Fanshawe College or at any Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology must successfully complete their Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees Ontario College Certificate with a minimum 3.0 GPA by April 30, 2022 and meet the academic pre-requisite courses and grades for the Practical Nursing program in order to be eligible for admission consideration in the immediately following academic year to the Practical Nursing program.
Post-Admission Requirements

Post-Admission Requirements

The following items are applicable to the program and are time sensitive. Please refer to for important information about placement requirements that need to be met prior to starting the program. These include:

  • Possession of a Standard First Aid course certificate (either St. John Ambulance or Canadian Red Cross or equivalent) and a Basic Rescuer course certificate - Basic Life Support (BLS) for Health Care Providers (HCP) in accordance with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Canadian Guidelines for CPR
  • Evidence of Good Health (including immunizations)
  • Police Vulnerable Sector Check (PVSC), including a check of the Pardoned Sexual Offenders Database
  • Placement Agreement
More Information

More info about post-admission requirements:

London Campus

Woodstock/Oxford Regional Campus

Tuition Summary


Canadian Costs
Total Cost of Program
International Costs
Total Cost of Program


Canadian Costs
Total Cost of Program
International Costs
Total Cost of Program

*Total program costs are approximate, subject to change and do not include the health and dental plan fee, bus pass fee or program general expenses.



Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:

Group 1
ANAT-1005Anatomy & Physiology 14
This course is the first of a two part course incorporating introductory aspects of anatomy and physiology, emphasizing normal structure and function and the recognition of various homeostatic imbalances. The hierarchical organization of the human body, the intimate relationship between structure and function, and the impact of development, maturation and aging on the body are emphasized.
MATH-2001Math for Medications1
This course reviews basic mathematical skills foundational for the safe administration of medications. Students will learn how to calculate dosages accurately and how to verify their work in order to foster the development of safe practice. Through this course, critical thinking skills are applied to real-life patient care situations to emphasize the importance of accurate reading of doctor's orders and medication administration records, dosage calculation and the avoidance of medication errors.
NRSG-1011Health & Transitions 15
This course provides an introduction to the caring curriculum and the profession of nursing including nursing organizations, self regulations and nurses' work. Meanings of health and family are examined from a personal as well as family perspective. The normal changes experienced by the older adult are explored. The healthy childbearing family is examined. Concepts and processes of research are introduced with application to clinical practice.
NRSG-1013Laboratory Practice 12
This lab course provides the opportunity to learn assessment techniques and practice clinical skills in a simulated setting in preparation for clinical practice. Skills taught are correlated to nursing theory. Students will learn the principles and knowledge underlying nursing techniques in order to develop safe and effective practice styles when planning and carrying out care. Collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving and relevant health teaching will be emphasized.
NRSG-1014Professional Nursing Practice 16.75
This course provides students opportunities to begin the practice of nursing. Students will use various learning approaches to plan care and develop therapeutic relationships with simulated patients. Students will be introduced to professional practice using critical thinking as it relates to data gathering and assessment for various patients. Seminar classes will prepare the student for future clinical practice and provide opportunities to work from a praxis perspective. There will be one rotation (12 weeks) of professional practice experience.
PSYC-1044Personal & Working Relationship3
This course is designed for students to understand the principles and dynamics of personal and working relationships. Emphasis will be on perception of self, attitude and interpersonal problems. The principles introduced from this course will be used in various teaching methods to give students the opportunity to reflect on the processes relevant to their normal personal and professional relationships.
WRIT-1048Reason & Writing 1 for Health Sciences3
This course will introduce health sciences students to essential principles of reading, writing, and reasoning at the postsecondary level. Students will identify, summarize, analyze, and evaluate multiple short readings and write persuasive response essays to develop their vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and critical thinking.
View all courses