Personal Support Worker to Practical Nurse Bridge

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Please note:

Winter 2022 Registration Information
Admission to this program occurs once a year in the winter term.
Applications will open August 3, 2021 for the winter 2022 intake.
Deadline to apply is November 19, 2021.
Acceptances will be sent November 29 - December 3, 2021.
Students can register for courses upon confirmation of acceptance.


About the program

The PSW-PN Bridge is a unique pathway that supports students to build on previous knowledge, skills, and education for the transition from the role of PSW to Practical Nurse. Students in this program complete four semesters as a part-time PSW-PN Bridge student, and then bridge to the Practical Nursing program for two semesters full time.

This program is career focused, with foundational knowledge based on scientific theory from nursing, physical and psychosocial sciences and humanities. Person-centred, population-focused care is learned in context through real-life experiences and career-related placements. Seniors care is given special attention to meet the demands of an aging population.

Regulatory Obligations:

The Nursing Act

The Nursing Act requires that all graduate practical nurses wishing to work in Ontario must be registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario. The Nursing Act also states graduates must not have been convicted of a criminal offence or an offence under the Narcotic Control Act (Canada) or the Food and Drugs Act (Canada). In addition, the Nursing Act identifies a number of other abilities and requirements that must be met in order to practice nursing in the province of Ontario.

The College of Nurses of Ontario

Graduate practical nurses wishing to register with the College of Nurses of Ontario must sign a declaration of their status regarding: citizenship; permanent residence; immigration; convictions of a criminal offence under the Narcotic Control Act/Food and Drug Act; involvement with respect to professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity in Ontario in another health profession; any mental or physical disorder, which makes it desirable in the public interest that the person not practice nursing. These conditions also apply throughout the program. In preparation to pursuing a nursing career, we encourage all prospective nursing students to carefully consider the requisite skills and abilities for nursing practice in Ontario outlined by the College of Nurses of Ontario.

The Practical Nursing diploma program at Conestoga is currently approved (Category 1) by the College of Nurses of Ontario. Current graduates from this program are eligible to apply for registration as a Registered Practical Nurse in Ontario.

Program information

All courses must be completed within 2 years of acceptance into the program.

Admission requirements

  • A 1-year Personal Support Worker certificate from an Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology
  • Proof of current employment as a Personal Support Worker
  • The following Ontario Secondary School courses (or equivalents), with a minimum cumulative average of 75% are required:
    • Grade 12 compulsory English, C or U, or equivalent, OR Conestoga College Preparatory Communications (COMM1270)
    • Grade 12 Mathematics, C or U, or equivalent, OR Conestoga College Preparatory Mathematics (MATH1395)
    • Grade 11 or 12 Biology, C or U, or equivalent, OR Conestoga College Preparatory Biology (SCIE1010) with a minimum mark of 75%
    • Grade 11 or 12 Physics or Chemistry, C or U, or equivalent, or Grade 11 or 12 Science (SNC3M or SNC4M), OR Conestoga College Preparatory Chemistry (SCIE1030)
  • Applicants with Personal Support Worker certificates from a private career colleges will be required to complete one of Conestoga's Enhanced Personal Support Worker programs in order to be eligible for consideration for this Bridge. For more information on the Enhanced Personal support Worker Program, please contact Kim Myre at kmyre@conestogac.on.ca
  • For more information on preparatory programs, visit Academic Upgrading

Note re: admission requirements

  • Higher averages and work experience are often required for admission due to competition for available spaces in the program.
  • It is recommended that Biology be completed within five years prior to the
    start date of the program. If you do not have the Math, English or Science
    requirements, please contact Admissions at Admissions@conestogac.on.ca for
    additional information.
  • Graduate Certificate (Excluding TESL) and Exception Diploma Programs Standard Language Requirements:
    • IELTS overall band of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0
    • TOEFL iBT 88
    • CAEL 70, no sub-test band score less than 60
    • PTE Academic 58
    • Conestoga English Language Test (CELT) Band 6

Admission procedures

Submit a completed Conestoga College Program Application Form.
  • Applicants must submit official transcripts directly to the Conestoga Admissions Office for both their Ontario Secondary School courses (and equivalents) and their PSW certificate program.
    • Transcripts: All applicants must submit an official transcript in the original sealed envelope or must request an official transcript to be either mailed or faxed to the Registrar's Office at Conestoga College from the institution attended. If an applicant has completed the PSW Certificate at Conestoga College, a transcript will not be required as the Registrar's Office will have access to that transcript. Please note that individuals with a PSW certificate obtained at a private career college are not eligible for direct entry to the PSW to PN Bridge. These applicants should review the information outlined above about options available to them.
    • An academic strength is calculated by averaging the submitted marks of required subjects. If more than one mark is received for a required subject, the highest mark will be used in the calculation.
    • Ten (10) additional marks are added to each Advanced level, OAC, U, U/C, and post-secondary course used in the calculation of academic strength.
    • Applicants meeting minimum academic requirements (75%) are invited to begin the selection process
    • Final selection is made using a formula which considers academic strength
    • A sound mathematical and English background is important for success in this program and is considered during the admission selection process. Minimum cutoffs may apply.
    • Applicants must provide current proof of employment via a letter from their employer
    • Former PSW to PN bridge and Practical Nursing students must contact Samantha Brandt - sbrandt@conestogac.on.ca for consideration regarding readmission to the program

Program requirements

Mandatory Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) health and safety requirements must be completed by students prior to student WIL placements (these are required on day one to attend Living Classroom programs at University Gates or Riverside Glen). Successful WIL completion is required for students to progress to program completion. To qualify for WIL learning experiences, students must present the following at the start of the program in accordance with pre-admission information provided by the College:
  • A complete immunization record including MMR, Tdap, Varicella, Polio, and Hepatitis B. Seasonal flu vaccination is required during flu season (October - March).
  • TB Testing: Evidence of current 2-step or previous 2-step + current 1-step if more than one year has passed since 2-step testing.
  • Standard First Aid and CPR - BLS level
  • An annual Police Check for Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS). Police Checks must be clear of any unpardoned criminal offences. An unclear criminal record may result in the inability to participate in WIL which will jeopardize progress in the program. Acceptance for WIL is at the discretion of the agency; some agencies may request students to provide a VSS completed within six months of WIL start date. Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the program chair for academic counselling to determine program suitability.
  • In addition, students are responsible for costs associated with respirator fit testing required for clinical practice.
    Applicants are advised that a latex-free environment in the College or clinical setting is NOT guaranteed.
  • Travel within the program: Students are responsible for arranging their own travel to and from assigned learning settings external to the College and for covering any costs incurred. The location of these learning sites could be anywhere within a one hour's drive of the Doon campus.
  • Applicants should display integrity, reliability, maturity, self-direction, self-discipline, determination, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, poise and leadership attributes.
  • Applicants are advised that the program uses self-directed/independent and online study in the delivery of some courses and portions of other courses throughout the program.
  • More information on WIL health and safety requirements will be sent out to students who are accepted into the program.

Graduate opportunities

Graduates are prepared to function as members of an interprofessional team in accordance with the Standards of Nursing Practice published by the College of Nurses of Ontario. Students who successfully complete the program are eligible to write the National Registration examination for registration by the College of Nurses of Ontario as a Registered Practical Nurse. Graduates find employment in nursing homes, acute and chronic care hospitals, residential homes for the older adult, and other community health-care settings.

For more details on related occupations, job market information and career opportunities, see the Government of Canada website: https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/home

Program outcomes

  • Achieve the Entry to Practice Competencies of the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and the Program Standards of the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities (MTCU).
  • Communicate with clients, families and communities to enhance person-centred care.
  • Manage information within a professional, legal, and ethical framework using technology appropriately.
  • Demonstrate collaborative practice and leadership supportive of care delivery and team effectiveness.
  • Conduct equitable and just relationships with clients and members of the health care team.
  • Assess clients across the life span, in a systematic and holistic manner.
  • Plan safe and competent nursing care, based upon a thorough analysis of available data and evidence-informed practice guidelines.
  • Select and perform nursing interventions using clinical judgment, in collaboration with the client and, where appropriate, the health care team that promote health and well-being, prevent disease and injury, maintain and/or restore health, promote rehabilitation, and/or provide palliation.
  • Evaluate the outcomes resulting from all interventions in the nurse-client interaction and modify the plan of care as required.
  • Promote healthy and safe work environments in a variety of health care settings.
  • Practice in a self-regulated, professional and ethical manner, complying with relevant legislation and with the standards of both the regulatory body and the practice setting to provide safe and competent client care.

Program related resources

Continuing Education
Upcoming Registrations

Mark your calendar for our upcoming registration dates, so you can plan your future.

Winter Registration: Opens November 1, 2021
Spring Registration: Opens February 7, 2022