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Perioperative Nursing Program for Registered Nurses


The RNPDC performance-based Perioperative Nursing Program for Registered Nurses (PONP-RN) prepares registered nurses for professional practice in the operating room. This exceptional program is offered in two formats – you choose which will best suit your individual needs. Each study option is designed to meet the learning needs of a variety of nurses based on their personal and work commitments. The program includes self-directed study of web-based lessons supported by our e-learning platform Brightspace by Desire2Learn. A study schedule and regular communication with faculty will keep you on track with your studies.  

Online discussions, exams, assignments, learning labs, perioperative simulations and interprofessional learning experiences are provided throughout the program and are used to develop competencies specific to the role of the perioperative nurse. Depending on the study option and the experience level of the nurse, clinical in an operating room setting maybe integrated throughout the program or done in blocks at designated times. Clinical learning experiences are partnered in operating rooms at hospitals across Nova Scotia. You will be matched with a designated preceptor who will supervise the clinical experience under the guidance of the PONP faculty.

All of these learning strategies provide for more adaptability for learning pathways that are specific to your learning needs. 

The Full-time PONP (16 weeks);   September 4, 2018 to December 21, 2018  Program in Session                                                 

  • This study option is designed for nurses who are studying full-time and not working.
  • This study option will only be offered when requested by the employer.

The Part-time PONP (34 weeks) August 27, 2018 to April 26, 2019;  Program in Session
Part-time PONP (34 weeks) January 14, 2019 to August 30, 2019 (Registration Deadline November 30, 2018)

This program is designed for RNs who will be:

  • working on their home nursing unit while studying in the program
  • working or hired into in the perioperative setting prior to or during the program

Pilot - Hybrid Full Time/Part Time PONPJanuary 21, 2019 to May 31, 2019 (Registration Deadline November 30, 2018)

Dates are subject to change, if you miss the deadline date please contact the program faculty.


Note: Prior to registering for a perioperative nursing program, you must receive approval from an OR manager to confirm a clinical seat for the program. If you require more information about this process, please contact us at rnpdc@nshealth.ca


General Program Information and Clinical Placement Requirements

  • Independent study time varies by study option - range is 7.5-15 hours per week
  • Week-long skills lab intensive session held in Halifax for parttime program
  • Every effort is made to provide required clinical learning experiences at the site closest to the learner’s home; however, traveling might be required
  • Preceptors supervise the clinical learning experiences under the guidance of PONP faculty.
  • Registered nurses with prior knowledge, skills, or experience fundamental to the practice of perioperative nursing may qualify to receive credit towards program requirements

Clinical Placements Requirements:

  • An active-practicing RN license with the CRNNS
  • Criminal Record Check with Vulnerable Sector Search may be required before clinical placement
  • Proof of up-to-date immunizations and  current BLS(c) may be required before clinical placement



Contact Information:

Dee Mason  902-473-7322


Program Costs

Academic Fees (for payment options, click here):

Course materials: $200.00 
Tuition: $400.00

Additional Expenses:
Textbooks (approx): $305.00
(available at the Dalhousie University Bookstore or online from bookstores such as Amazon.com)