Practical Nursing FAQ's

What accessibility services are offered by Mohawk?

Mohawk College is committed to providing persons with disabilities fair and equal access to educational programs, services, and facilities.

Discover our Accessible Services

Visit Mohawk College Accessible Learning Services to learn more.

Additional Information: We are dedicated to the principles of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), and aim to ensure that dignity, integration and equality of opportunity are embedded in all aspects of the College culture.

Read more about our efforts to make Mohawk College accessible for all.

How can I arrange a tour of the Institute for Applied Health Sciences at McMaster?

To arrange a tour, please contact the Student Engagement Office at 905-575-1212 ext. 6710, or book a tour.

How do I apply to the Post Diploma RPN to BScN Program (E) Stream?

This program is offered by Mohawk College, in collaboration with McMaster University. For this collaborative program, students apply to the Ontario College Application Services at the Ontario Colleges Website.

Are there preparatory courses available for mature students?

Preparatory courses (i.e. Biology and Chemistry) are offered by Six Nations Polytechnic and Mohawk College. Contact the institutions for further information on availability.

Where do I go to take a CPR (Level C) course, once I am accepted into the program?

Mohawk College Continuing Education, St. John's Ambulance, YMCA and most municipal recreation departments offer these courses. All expenses related to CPR certification must be covered by the applicant.

Is CPR certification required prior to starting the Practical Nursing program?

Yes. Students must have current C.P.R. Health Care Provider (BLS-C) Heart & Stroke certification upon entry into the program. This will be reviewed when you receive information about pre-placement clearance requirements, that must be completed PRIOR to attending a clinical agency or beginning your clinical experience.

How many hours of homework might I expect to do in the Practical Nursing program?

You can expect to spend the same number of hours doing homework as you spend in class, eg. 18 hours of class time per week would mean a minimum of 18 hours of homework each week. You could lighten your workload by taking some of the non-nursing courses prior to starting the program; however, this estimate is only an approximate time. It is essential that students come to class having reviewed the material identified prior to class, in order to benefit from the applied learning activities in the classroom.

Am I eligible for a student rate when using the Hamilton bus system (HSR)?

Yes. Students attending the Mohawk-McMaster Institute are eligible for a bus pass as part of their tuition fees. This covers unlimited travel on the Hamilton bus system for 8 months. You can purchase a U-PASS at the Student Life Office on campus. However, in spring/summer, you may be required to pay for an HSR bus pass if you wish to travel in Hamilton area.

Does the College provide transportation to the clinical areas?

No. It is the student’s responsibility to provide their own clinical transportation and assume the cost of parking. Students are not guaranteed a clinical spot of choice, or a local agency, so must be prepared to travel to their assigned spot to complete their clinical course.

When do clinical placements begin in the program and where are the clinical placements?

We prepare our students in semester 1 for clinical placement by utilizing a variety of classroom settings and simulated nursing environments here at the College. Students learn nursing skills through practising with high fidelity mannequins in the Professional Practice Collaboratory (PPC) and through interactions with standardized patients. During Semester 2 and 3 clinical placements begin in week 1 of the semester with one 12 hour shift per week until the end of the term. In semester 4 students sign up to work at a community agency to complete 40 hours which is required for their service learning course. This is followed by a 7 week pre-graduate experience of 40 hours per week. Clinical placements will occur in a variety of health care agencies throughout Ontario. Your clinical placement can be scheduled any day of the week. Most institutions have 12 hour shifts starting at 7:00 a.m. but start times depend on the agency. Students do not have a choice of clinical sites, and need to be able to get to their assigned clinical placement independently. Some placements are difficult to reach by bus so private transportation may be required.

Do you offer the program on a part-time basis or by distance education?

No. At this time, the program is offered full-time only. We do NOT offer the NURSING courses by distance education. However, some of the non-nursing courses can be taken by distance education. Please review the Program of Studies for non-nursing courses required. Then consult the Mohawk College Continuing Education catalogue for distance education offerings. 

Do I need to take the Health Occupation Aptitude Examination?

In addition to the successful completion of the admission requirements, applicants are required to complete a mandatory standardized Health Occupation Aptitude Examination (HOAE) as part of the selection process. The cost of this test is $50.00 and details about this test will be provided upon application to the program

What financial assistance is available?

Indigenous students may be eligible for funding from their First Nations Post Secondary Education Office. Contact the office in your home community for information.

Can I receive credit for courses taken in the Practical Nursing program should I wish to apply to the BScN program?

Yes. Upon successful completion of the Practical Nursing Diploma program, you may apply to the Post-Diploma BScN Program (E) Stream at Mohawk College. You will receive 30 Units of credit from your Practical Nursing program if admitted. For more information, please click on Post Diploma RPN to BScN from the Mohawk College nursing home page.

Applying to the Post-Diploma RPN to BScN Program (E) Stream

The Post Diploma RPN to BScN Program (E) Stream program is offered by Mohawk in collaboration with McMaster University. For this collaborative program, students apply to the Ontario College Application Services at the Ontario Colleges Website.

What is the teaching methodology in the Practical Nursing program?

Collaborative learning is the teaching methodology used in the nursing courses.

  • Students are responsible for their own learning and for contributing to the learning of their peers using small and large group formats
  • The faculty member provides structure and acts as a facilitator in classroom activities and provides feedback to students as they learn to apply the content in class.
  • Collaborative learning is used to help students apply their knowledge, so it is imperative that students have their homework or pre-learning completed prior to class so they can participate in small group activities and in-class discussions.

Will I have classes during the summer months?

Practical Nursing is a four-semester program, which is offered over 16 calendar months. Students, who enter the program either in the September or January intakes, will complete Semesters 2 or three of their program over the spring/summer months.Students are expected to go to school over the Spring/Summer term to complete this program within 16 months. This is not an option, but part of the delivery cycle of this program. If you opt out of the program during any semester, you may be advised back into the academic cycle when the next required semester is offered, based on space availability for classroom or clinical courses. You may have to sit out if there is no spot available when you want to return to full time studies.

Are there any additional costs for this program, above books and supplies, for which I need to plan?

Yes. Pre-placement fees include:

  • hepatitis injections
  • CPR training
  • facial mask fitting
  • police clearances

The need for these costs will be reviewed with you when you attend a pre-placement visit, a process which will be outlined with you when you accept an offer of admission.

All pre-placement preparation must be completed prior to your first clinical experience, the week after classes’ start, so it is important that you begin this pre-placement clearance process as soon as you receive your information package.

Mohawk College Continuing Education, St. John’s Ambulance, YMCA and most municipal recreation departments offer CPR courses. All expenses related to CPR certification must be covered by the applicant.