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Program Description

The Practical Nurse Refresher program is designed to enable practical nurses to meet the safe practice requirements indicated by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO).

The Practical Nurse Refresher program is a minimum of 18 months in length, depending on the courses/components required as per the applicants letter of direction/assessment from the CNO.  Upon successful completion of the program, practical nurses may be eligible to become registered to practice Nursing in Ontario and obtain employment commensurate with their nursing skills and experience.

The program curriculum is developed based on the CNO's professional standards and competencies for Practical Nursing practice.  The curriculum uses human science perspective with a focus on the metaconcepts of caring and health promotion.


Program Requirements

Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
Expected Availability
CreditsFall Winter Summer
Nursing in Ontario PNNRSG-50173NoNo
This course introduces Practical Nurse students to professional nursing practice in Ontario and Canada by providing opportunities for students to explore the legal and ethical foundations of the nursing profession [with a focus on Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) roles/responsibilities], current issues/trends in health care, and health care delivery reform in Ontario and Canada. The roles and influences of the RPN with regard to health care policy, political process, leadership, and creating change in order to foster client and societal health are addressed.
Lab Practice Nursing Skills PNNRSG-50213NoYes
This lab course provides Practical Nurse stream students with opportunities to review and apply the fundamentals of client centered nursing from a Canadian healthcare perspective. Students are expected to articulate and demonstrate the principles and knowledge underlying their nursing techniques/practice in order to develop safe and practice that adheres to their duty to provide care. Collaboration, clinical judgment, critical inquiry, problem solving, relevant health teaching and fitness to practice will be emphasized. Principles of continuous quality improvement and risk management are incorporated in relation to the performance of nursing skills and techniques.
Lab Practice Health Assessment PNNRSG-50223YesNo
This course provides practical nursing stream students with opportunities to integrate and apply their health assessment clinical skills in a lab setting in preparation for professional nursing practice in Ontario. While planning and performing nursing skills and techniques, students engage in active listening and articulate the principles and knowledge underlying nursing skills/practice in order to provide care that is client centred, evidence-informed and respects the client's spiritual and cultural beliefs. Collaboration, critical inquiry, problem solving, risk management, best practice guidelines, and relevant health teaching will be emphasized from a quality improvement focus.
The study of drugs and their action in the human body and related nursing practice is emphasized. Key drugs or prototypes within each drug classification are identified and studied. As well, the course will focus on essential assessments, nursing interventions, specific age-related considerations and patient education for each of these drug classifications. Exercises in critical thinking in relation to use in specific health conditions will be emphasized.
Health & Transitions PNNRSG-50195NoYes
This course enables Practical Nursing stream students to explore the concepts of health, health promotion, transitions, and the social determinants of health for individuals, families, groups, and communities in Canadian healthcare contexts. The impact of health transitions, chronic health challenges, and end-of-life care throughout the life span are explored through health promotion, health equity, and strengths-based lenses. The ways in which nurses can support individuals and families during health-illness transitions are discussed. Basic concepts of nursing research are introduced.
Nursing Informatics PNNRSG-50183NoNo
In this course, Practical Nursing stream students are introduced to the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for information and health literacies to strengthen their competence in nursing informatics. Students explore the professional applications of information communication technologies (ICTs) in professional nursing practice at points of care, nursing administration, nursing education, and research. Students develop an understanding of the professional judgment and accountability required by nurses to maintain public trusts when using social media and ICTs. Through active learning, students determine the appropriate knowledge sources for evidence-informed nursing practice and the establishment of professional boundaries.
Healing & Episodic Health PNNRSG-50205YesNo
This course provides opportunities for Practical Nursing stream students to explore episodic and complex health concepts across the lifespan. Utilizing evidence-informed practices, students continue to develop their understanding of individual's and families' experience during illness experiences to promote client's health and healing and to advocate for those experiencing health challenges. Collaborative practice, critical thinking, clinical judgment, health literacy, and safety principles will be emphasized as students learn about caring modalities during health challenges across the lifespan.
Relational Practice PNNRSG-50363NoYes
The course helps Practical Nursing students strengthen their relational practice in the context of Canadian nursing and health care. Through nursing knowledge, this course will focus on understanding the relationships of practicing nurses with clients, other healthcare providers, and the self. Students will explore how personal beliefs and experiences impact their practice and interactions with clients. In contrast, students will also explore how nursing impacts the self through the concepts of self-care, reflection, and conflict management. To gain an appreciation for Canadian culture, students will also be introduced to nursing ethics, seminal Canadian health policy, safety standards for the clinical setting, and the values embedded in Canadian society.
Preceptorship PNNRSG-50249.75NoNo
Preceptorship assists students to transition to registered practical nursing practice in Ontario. Students have opportunities in a praxis setting to consolidate theory and practice with the guidance of a clinical mentor/preceptor. Students build upon previous learning to enhance their competence and independence in professional practice in accordance with professional standards, policies, and guidelines. During this capstone experience, students focus on strengthening their assessment skills, clinical judgment, intraprofessional and interprofessional collaboration, and developing leadership skills. At the completion of the course, the student will meet the College of Nurses of Ontario Entry-to-Practice Competencies for Registered Practical Nurses.
Clinical Experience PNNRSG-50239.75NoNo
This professional practice course enables practical nursing stream students to apply concepts from previous courses in clinical practice settings across the health-illness continuum to provide care that is client-centred, safe, ethical, and compassionate. When planning, implementing, evaluating, and documenting client care, students use evidence informed and strengths-based approaches to develop therapeutic relationships with clients and families to optimize client health outcomes. Students have opportunities to integrate their nursing knowledge and further develop their clinical skill performance, time management, and leadership abilities. Students incorporate the principles and processes of critical thinking, critical inquiry, relational practice, risk management, priority setting, and quality improvement in the clinical practice setting. The Registered Practical Nurse's (RPN) roles and responsibilities as a member of the client's interprofessional circle of care team are emphasized.
Pre-Clinical Readiness PNNRSG-50403NoNo
This simulated clinical practice course facilitates practical nursing stream students to continue developing their holistic health assessment and nursing skills/techniques. Through simulated practice, students demonstrate application and integration of previous learning and knowledge development regarding nursing standards, and guidelines within the Registered Practice Nurse (RPN) scope of practice. In addition, students have opportunities to use the principles of the therapeutic nurse-client relationship and interprofessional collaborative client-centred practice, clinical judgment, time management, and organizational skills in simulated client scenarios. Successful completion of this course can assist students to meet the entry to practice competencies for RPN practice in Ontario and facilitate their successful transition to practicing as a RPN in Ontario healthcare settings.

Program Residency
Students Must Complete a Minimum of 13 credits in the
Program at Fanshawe to meet the Program Residency
requirement and Graduate from this Program.

More Information

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Learning outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of how culture affects relationships with colleagues, clients and their families. 
  2. Demonstrate effective and appropriate therapeutic relationship with clients and their families for entry into professional practice.
  3. Develop, and apply the principles of effective and appropriate communication and collaboration within nursing and the interprofessional team/community.
  4. Practice 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. 
  5. Practice nursing within the scope in various levels of health care (promotive, preventive, curative, restorative, and supportive care) from a health promotion and caring perspective in a variety of settings and contexts with diverse client populations across the life span.
  6. Use the principles/skills of critical thinking, clinical judgment, nursing process, decision-making, professional accountability, adult education and lifelong teaching/learning into own learning and nursing practice.
  7. Demonstrate effective leadership within own and in working with other regulated and unregulated healthcare providers in a variety of settings to maximize client experience and outcomes.
  8. Demonstrate the awareness of the role of Practical Nurses in promoting optimal health and wellbeing for all within the global society.

Program Details

Program Code
Topic Area
Health and Nursing