Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nurturing a Nursing Education Through Centennial College

With the need for nurses on the rise and predictions estimating that by the year 2011, 59,000 to 113,000 nurses will be needed in Canada, nursing programs are being designed to meet the demand. Ranging in length and credentials, the nursing programs are helping to train professionals who will make a difference in the medical field.

Before you apply for a nursing program, you should know that you're entering a challenging, but rewarding field. In some cases, nurses are even critical in saving lives. Therefore, there are some common skills among all levels of nursing that are essential. First, you must be compassionate, yet professional. Some patients will be distraught, but you must conduct yourself professionally to ensure that they are properly cared for. Nurses must also be alert, patient, possess the latest medical knowledge and time management skills as well as be highly organized, because they deal with a variety of patients all requiring different medications and treatments. All of these essential skills are gained through nursing programs that range from 400 hours to 8 semesters. Let's take a look at the nursing programs offered at Centennial College and the differences between them.

The Practical Nursing and Practical Nursing (Flexible) programs are very similar. The Practical Nursing program focuses on the newest skills in the field. Students have access to well-equipped labs and professionals who teach the theory component. At the end of their training, students are deemed Registered Practical Nurses and take care of more stable patients. They often work in settings that include operating rooms and clinics. The curriculum for the Practical Nursing (Flexible) program is the same, except that it is offered in a six semester, three-day-per-week flex format. This allows you to meet personal and other commitments and is ideal for those already working part-time in the work force.

The next three nursing program options at Centennial are the "bridging" offerings. The first is Bridging to University Nursing and takes two semesters to complete. This area of study is geared towards Registered Practical Nurses who want to obtain a BScN in about three years. As with all programs in the field, curriculum is based on the College of Nurses' Standards of Practice for Nursing and Entry to Practice Competencies for Ontario Registered Nurses. This ensures that theoretical knowledge is combined with clinical setting and that courses emphasize ethics, professional practice, health assessment and more. A unique aspect of the Bridging to University Nursing program is the focus on caring for individuals, groups and communities in both the acute mental health and community settings. The second option is the Bridging to University Nursing (Flexible) program, which adds an extra semester to allow for a slower learning pace. The last bridging option The Bridging to University Nursing — IEN program for internationally educated nurses.

Another option is designed as an academic pathway to meet the needs of internationally-educated nurses who are interested in working as Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) in Canada as well as RPNs who hold a certificate but wish to upgrade to an Ontario College Diploma or RPNs who have been out of practice for 10 years or less and need a refresher. This option is called the Practical Nursing Fast-track Bridging Program for Internationally-Educated Nurses. It is three semesters in length, including 15 weeks of consolidation experience.

There are two final nursing program options at Centennial College. They are the respected Nursing (BScN) program, which is 8 semesters and earns the student a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the PR – Perioperative Nursing program, which is 400 hours and results in an Ontario College Graduate Certificate. The BscN option is offered in collaboration with George Brown College and Ryerson University. You will complete studies at both the college and university levels. Meanwhile, the Perioperative program prepares students to be practitioners.

With the wide range of nursing program options, it is essential to check out the prerequisites required for admission. That information can be found on the Centennial College website.

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