Practical Nursing

As a Practical Nurse, you are the heart of health care. You will play an integral part in health care by interacting and helping individuals across the life-span.

Program Highlights

Practical Nurses have a role in society that offers a range of choices and opportunities. You will make a difference.

During the four semesters of the Practical Nursing program, you will learn the concepts and skills related to health and nursing. You will also learn nursing practices and interventions in specific health situations. In addition, you will have the opportunity to study courses such as anatomy and physiology, communication, introductory psychology and human growth and development. After successfully completing Fleming's four-semester diploma program, graduates are eligible to write the national examinations with the College of Nurses of Ontario and become registered to practice in Ontario as a Registered Practical Nurse. Graduates wishing to be registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario will be asked to sign a declaration of their status regarding:

  • citizenship
  • any conviction of a criminal offense under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
  • professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity in Ontario
  • any mental or physical disorder which makes it desirable in the public interest that the person not practice nursing

Please be sure to read the Requisite Skills and Abilities document from the College of Nurses of Ontario.

Semester Sequencing

Students beginning in May 2018 complete semesters one and two, have a semester-long break, then return to complete semesters three, four and a final 10-week nursing consolidation experience.

Students beginning in September or January would typically complete semesters one and two, have a semester-long break, then return to complete semesters three, four and the final semester five nursing consolidation experience.

Success Stories

"After several career changes, I found the confidence to pursue my lifelong dream of a career in nursing. The program was challenging and gave me the building blocks of critical thinking and communication skills. Clinical placement was an experience unlike any other, and really opened up my eyes to the demands of this profession. I was fortunate to get my job through my placement, in the field of health care that I really enjoy."

Tonia Barber, RPN
Maternal/Child Care Unit, Peterborough Regional Health Centre

Why Choose Fleming

The Practical Nursing program has strong links with Peterborough and the surrounding community's health care facilities and organizations, ensuring students have excellent clinical opportunities to explore various aspects of nursing. Employers in the health care field have recognized Fleming's Practical Nursing program as an excellent program, producing knowledgeable and clinically well-prepared graduates.

The Practical Nursing program at Fleming College is currently approved (Category 1) by the College of Nurses of Ontario. Current graduates from this program are eligible to apply for registration as a Registered Practical Nurse in Ontario.

Ninety-six percent of Fleming's Practical Nursing graduates in 2011 were successful in passing the national exam to become registered to practice in Ontario as a Registered Practical Nurse. This high standard of pass rate for the exam has been consistent since the inception of Fleming's Practical Nursing program in 2002.

Work Experience

You will have clinical experiences, chosen by faculty, in hospitals and/or community settings throughout the program. The final field practice assignment will enable you to consolidate your knowledge and skills for your role as a graduate of the Practical Nursing program.

Is this You?

A love of working with people, as well as a desire to help them to attain their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual potential is critical to your success. As a vital member of the health care team, it is essential that you have the following personal and academic attributes:

  • integrity
  • empathy
  • compassion
  • emotional maturity
  • good listening skills
  • commitment
  • accountability
  • flexibility
  • respect for diversity
  • competence in reading, writing and mathematics
  • ability to be self-directed

Students would benefit by having basic computer and internet skills including e-mail, word processing, and file management.

Career Opportunities

As a graduate of the Fleming Practical Nursing diploma program, you will have the necessary knowledge and skills to care for individuals, families and groups across the life-span. You will be able to work in acute hospital care settings, community health agencies, industry, clinics, doctor's offices and long-term care facilities.

As a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) you are able to practice independently in a variety of health care settings. You will seek the collaboration of other health care team members, including the RN, with complex health care issues. You will also have an opportunity to promote health and wellness and prevention of illness through educational programs.

If you don't possess the required science courses for admission to this program, or if you want to enhance your likelihood for entry, consider the one-year Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Certificates and Diplomas program. Fleming College has reserved space in the Practical Nursing program for students who successfully complete one year of study in this program.

Still reviewing your options for a health care career? Depending on your previous education and experience you might also want to consider the Personal Support Worker, Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist Assistant, or the Trent/Fleming - Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

Trent University - New pathway for Practical Nursing students to earn Bachelor degree

Fleming College and Trent University have introduced a new pathway that will allow Fleming Practical Nursing graduates to seamlessly continue their education with the Trent/Fleming School of Nursing.

Qualified Fleming graduates will be given advanced standing equal to five credits in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program. The graduates must have earned a 75% average or better in the Practical Nursing program to qualify.

The agreement is in place for Fleming graduates who want to continue at Trent to earn their degree. Past graduates of the Practical Nursing program are eligible to apply. For more information, see the Fleming College and Trent University articulation agreement and visit Trent’s website.

Additional Costs

Plan on $1,800 for Semester 1 for books and supplies.

Health and Non Academic Requirements

Students need to be in good health. Independent physical mobility and manual dexterity are essential in nursing. Please consult the program Coordinator if there is concern regarding the physical expectations of the program. A cognitive analysis may also be required.

Immunization Requirements

Your program has mandatory immunization requirements that include a "pre-entry" deadline date for submission. For more information, and to print a copy of the immunization form, please see the Immunization Information page.

Non Academic Requirements

Your program has mandatory requirements which may include a criminal reference check, first aid, CPR-C, etc. For more information, please see the Non Academic Requirements page.

Failure to provide any of the required Non Academic Field Requirements by the specified due date will result in an inability to participate in the mandatory placement components of the program.

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