The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) reports that there were more than 360,000 regulated nurses employed across the country by the end of 2011, a jump of eight per cent since 2007. If you are one of these nurses but wish to advance your career by obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, you will want to attend a program that understands your needs as a professional and gets you the credential you want in the shortest time possible.

Centennial College has designed a program just like that in its registered practical nursing offering, called RPN Bridging to University Nursing. This objective of this program is to give an academic pathway to assist registered practical nurses (RPNs) with bridging to BScN in approximately three years.

Students, however, only spend two semesters at Centennial College. Upon successful completion of all program requirements, as long as they are eligible, students may apply to the post-diploma nursing degree program at Ryerson University, offered by the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing and the Chang School of Continuing Education.

During their time at Centennial College, students enjoy many unique aspects. One of which is that there is an emphasis on caring for individuals, groups and communities in acute care, mental health and community settings. The training through which this emphasis is achieved is based on the College of Nurses’ Standards of Practice for Nursing and Entry to Practice Competencies for Ontario Registered Nurses. As such, students cover key medical topics such as acute and chronic illness theory and practice, community nursing theory and practice, pathotherapeutics, mental health and crisis management theory, and more. Additionally, courses include essential professional development topics such as: ethics and professional practice, advanced communication and leadership, nursing research, and nursing knowledge (historical and futuristic perspectives). Learners gain an understanding of nursing knowledge acquisition, and how research is utilized and applied to complex client care situations.

Because practical nursing program at college level provide a significant amount of practical application, students in this offering apply theoretical knowledge in clinical settings under the direction, facilitation and guidance of faculty. This is made simple by the fact that Centennial College, at its Morningside Campus, has a well-equipped nursing lab that is available for independent and self-directed practice. In this lab, students interact with dummies who serve as “patients”, role play a range of scenarios and work with their peers from whom they can also learn. Not only do the labs serve to strengthen students’ nursing abilities but they also are opportunities to develop communication and leadership skills at an advanced level. Individual clinical feedback and evaluation gives employers valuable evidence of current and safe clinical practice.

Rounding out the offering is a clinical placement in the field that allows students to develop their professional networks.