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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. 

Part-time PONP-RN - August 26, 2019 to April 14, 2020 Program in session.

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

Hybrid PONP-RN: September 3 to December 20, 2019 Program in session.

  • This program includes both full-time and part-time study aimed at ensuring the nurse achieves the knowledge, skills and abilities required to meet the program competencies.  The program will be aligned with a transition to practice approach that will support the nurse in transferring program competencies into his/her perioperative practice.
  • Interested candidates should apply to the expression of interest job posting with the employer, only those with confirmed clinical seats should register for the program.
  • This study option will only be offered when requested by the employer.

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 and/or sponsorship 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.ca)