Academic Calendar

2023-12-18 - Perioperative Nursing for Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses


Faculty of Nursing

Nurses in the perioperative field provide care and support to patients before, during and after surgery. Ultimately, nurses are responsible for maintaining a sterile environment in the operating room, monitoring the patient during surgery and coordinating care throughout the process.

The courses, offered via online distance delivery and classroom lab, provide registered nurses with the fundamental skills required to work alongside surgeons and other health care professionals in a challenging, fast-paced and team-oriented environment – the operating room.

Students in the Perioperative Nursing for Registered Nurses program come with a diverse base of expertise, from new graduates to seasoned generalists, seeking a new challenge and direction in nursing. Upon successful completion of the program and fulfillment of the clinical hours, nurses are eligible to write the Canadian Nurses Association certification for nursing specialties exam in perioperative nursing.

Career Potential

Due to an aging workforce and the growing demand for health care, the need for nurses in the specialty of perioperative nursing has never been stronger.

Contact Information

T: 780-497-5188
Toll-free: 1-888-497-9390

Program Requirements

PBNS 401Foundations of Perioperative Nursing Practice 12
PBNS 402Concepts of anesthesia within perioperative nursing 12
PBNS 403Perioperative nursing in the preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative environment 14
PBNS 404Fundamentals of Perioperative Techniques 12
PBNS 405Perioperative Clinical Preceptorship 28
Total Credits18

The minimum passing grade for this course is a C+.


The minimum passing grade for this course is CR.

The minimum passing grade for a course at MacEwan University is a D unless otherwise noted next to the appropriate course in the program of study.

Program Regulations

Academic Residency - Exemption

A student in the Perioperative Nursing for Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses program must complete at least 44 per cent of courses through MacEwan University. Challenge examinations, transfer credit and other special assessments (for example, prior learning and recognition) are not included in the 44 per cent.

Program Graduation Regulations

Students are strongly encouraged to seek advice from the University Advisor about program planning.

Progression of Studies

Students are responsible for ensuring they meet the prerequisite requirements as noted on program courses.

Professional Conduct

Students must adhere to current code of ethics and professional competencies related to their profession as well as the confidentiality agreements signed with MacEwan by the clinical placement/other agencies.

Regulations Governing Clinical Courses

Students must achieve satisfactory performance in all clinical courses in accordance with the course/clinical criteria and outcome. Clinical course hours may include days, evening, nights and weekends.

Students must start their clinical placement within a four month period of completing the clinical skills lab. If more than four months have lapsed since their successful completion of the clinical skills lab, students will be required to repeat the clinical skills lab to ensure currency of skills prior to stating the clinical placement.

In order to secure a clinical placement, the program requires all students to do the following:

  • Complete a Personal Information Disclosure Authorization Form so that the Program may forward the student’s name to the clinical placement site.

Students shall acknowledge that clinical placements may not be available at the time(s) or in the location(s) preferred by the student. While every effort shall be made by the Program to secure a suitable placement according to the student needs and or preference, all students shall accept that labour market conditions are variable and beyond the Program’s control.

Notwithstanding of the above, students shall accept the first clinical placement available. In the event that a student does not accept the first available clinical placement, the Program shall not be responsible for arranging an alternative. Students are fully responsible for obtaining required licences and/or permits prior to commencing a clinical placement.

Once a placement is accepted by the student, the student shall remain at the clinical placement site for the entirety of the placement. Days missed due to illness and extenuating circumstances will need to be made up.

Students must have completed all prerequisite courses as well as all program and agency pre-clinical requirements prior to the start of any clinical course. In accordance with policy C2060 Work Integrated Learning, the university reserves the right, at any point during the clinical placement, to remove a student from the clinical placement for serious performance issues (i.e., engaging in behaviour that places the client and/or other at risk or that is contrary to the professional or safety requirements of the placement). In such cases and with the concurrence of the Dean, the student will be assigned a grade of F in the course. Although the decision may be appealed according to policy E3103 Appeals, the student will not be permitted to remain in the clinical placement during the appeal.

Police Information Check

A current clear police information check is required prior to starting the clinical course.

Health Status

Students must be able, both physically and mentally, to fully undertake all program activities without the need for modifying program standards, academic or otherwise. Student with Disabilities policy states that students are “presumed to be capable of fulfilling the essential requirements of the program, with the provision of reasonable accommodation when required”.

Immunization Status

Program students may be required to care for patients/clients who have infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B or other blood-borne pathogens. Current immunization against specified communicable diseases is required prior to registration in the clinical course.

N 95 Mask

Students must be fitted for an N95 mask as a prerequisite for clinical experiences and refitted in accordance with health zone requirements. It is the responsibility of the student to meet the required timelines for mask fitting.

Basic Life Support Certification

A current Heart and Stroke Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider or equivalent certificate is required prior to start of the clinical placement. BLS certification is updated every 12 months to meet this requirement.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Perioperative Nursing for Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses program, graduates will:

1. Demonstrate a specific knowledge base of perioperative nursing informed by current evidence-informed research and practice.

2. Practice within the legal requirements and ethical principles of the regulatory body and professional association’s Code of Ethics.

3. Act as an educational resource and advocate for persons, families, and health providers related to the specific needs and care of the operating room patient.

4. Practice in the scrub and circulating role according to the Operating Room Nurses Association of Canada (ORNAC) standards of practice and Canadian Council for Practical Nurse Regulators (CCPNR) standards of practice and competencies.

5. Effectively respond to the complex and changing clinical needs of patients during the surgical experience as well as assist other healthcare members to effectively respond to urgent and emergency situations.

6. Plan, organize, and prioritize the plan of care and maximize resources to meet patient needs.

7. Provide leadership in identifying and managing situations, specific materials, and equipment, including those that may be hazardous to the patient or other healthcare members.

8. Communicate effectively and collaborate with all members of the healthcare team.

Admission Requirements

Applicants may be admitted to the following:

Regular Admission 

To be evaluated through the Office of the University Registrar

Applicants must be either actively registered in Canada as a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse, or a graduate nurse/graduate practical nurse with a practice permit and eligibility to write National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX) or the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam (CPNRE).

Additional Admission Criteria

All applicants must meet the following:

1. English Language Proficiency

To be evaluated through the Office of the University Registrar

Applicable to All Admission Categories

All applicants must meet an acceptable level of English language proficiency. We will require official documents such as high school or post-secondary transcripts or proof of successful completion of standardized language evaluation. Full details are available in MacEwan University’s academic calendar or online at