Registered Nurse Perioperative Nursing (RNOR)

Online Campus | Program Code: 1141
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In this specialty area, perioperative nurses care for patients from all age groups and work in various surgical subspecialties. Perioperative nurses are an integral part of the interprofessional team, caring for patients during their most vulnerable time, and advocating for them in the operating room when they cannot do so for themselves. Perioperative practical nurses must work well under pressure, multitask, and have strong teamwork skills.  The operating room is a high-tech environment that is constantly evolving, which is a perfect fit for nurses who are interested in learning and willing to adapt to change. This program offers online theory courses, simulation and real-world clinical experience, to provide the Registered Nurse with the necessary knowledge and skills to competently care for patients undergoing surgery in both the scrub and circulating role while working efficiently and effectively in the perioperative environment.

Program Details

Code 1141
Start Date January, September
Campus Online
Program Length 2 Year
Delivery Online
Labs will be completed at the Brockville Campus
All courses must be completed within a two-year period. Extensions to the program may be granted up to a maximum of five calendar years from the student’s initial enrolment into the program. Fees for each additional year of extension will apply.

Program Outline


This course provides a foundational overview of the perioperative setting, including the design and flow of the perioperative environment, the roles and responsibilities of the perioperative nurse, an introduction to the interprofessional team, and an overview of different surgical modalities. Students are introduced to the perioperative nurses professional association – the Operating Room Nurses’ Association of Canada (ORNAC) and begin to understand how the association guides professional practice through the use of the ORNAC standards. Students develop an understanding of foundational perioperative principles including patient safety, asepsis and infection prevention. Legal and ethical considerations, communication, and documentation standards are presented in this course to be built upon in subsequent perioperative courses.

In this course, students develop an in-depth understanding of the perioperative process including the pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative phases. Students gain understanding of the perioperative nurse's role throughout all phases of care, with a focus on intra-operative care. Students apply the ORNAC standards as they learn the detailed roles of both the scrub and circulating nurse throughout the phases of care.

The perioperative environment requires nurses to have detailed knowledge of surgical instruments and specialized equipment. This course introduces students to surgical instrumentation including the specialized care, cleaning, and sterilization practices required to prevent surgical site infections. By understanding the purpose and use of instruments and equipment, students can differentiate instrument classifications and begin to anticipate the scrub role. Students apply the ORNAC standards to prevent the inadvertent retention of items in surgical wounds. Students learn about advancements in technology and are introduced to common equipment specific to the perioperative environment.

In this final theory course, students learn about special considerations within the perioperative environment including specific patient populations and emergency events. Students have the opportunity to reflect on continuing professional development and consider how they will support the future of perioperative nursing as well as lead clinical change.

Students attend five lab days where they will have the opportunity to apply concepts learned in theory courses in a simulated perioperative lab setting. Students obtain hands-on skill development related to the perioperative scrub and circulating nurse role. Students develop the communication skills required when working with interprofessional team members in order to provide safe, patient-centered care while upholding the ORNAC standards.

During this course, students have an opportunity to apply their theoretical learning and lab skills development in the clinical environment over a five-week placement (200 hours). Students work with their preceptors to apply the essential skills required to care for a patient and work with the interprofessional team in the perioperative setting. Clinical competencies are assessed by the preceptor who must be approved by the Perioperative Program Coordinator.

Students can complete this placement full-time (200 hours/five weeks consecutively) or in a hybrid manner (80 hours/two weeks full-time, followed by 120 hours completed in a part-time manner).


Admission Requirements

  • Completion of clinical placement location intention survey
  • Proof of active unrestricted registration as a registered nurse (RN) in good standing with the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) (or equivalent) is required for enrollment.
  • You must provide your CNO registered number at the time of registration.

Health Requirements

*Subject to change based on individual placement agency’s policies

  • CPR Level C-HCP
  • Clear CPIC including vulnerable sector check
  • Up-to-date immunizations.
  • Please contact for detailed requirements or any questions you may have.



Fees are estimates only.  Tuition is based on two semesters.

  • Tuition: $2,206
  • Ancillary Fees: $294
  • Total Cost: $2,500

All courses must be completed within a two-year period. Extensions to the program may be granted up to a maximum of five calendar years from the student’s initial enrolment into the program. Fees for each additional year of extension will apply.

A rescheduling fee will be charged to a student’s account for those who register for their lab experience and reschedules with less than 10 business days’ notice.

A “no-show” fee will be charged to a student’s account for those who fail to notify their program coordinator that they are rescheduling their lab experience.

Career Opportunities

Perioperative nursing is delivered in a range of health care settings including acute care hospitals, day surgical centres and clinics. Registered Nurses work in both the scrub and circulating role in the operating room. There is a current worldwide shortage of perioperative nurses, and many unique opportunities are available for Registered Nurses who have their Perioperative Certification.

Program Contacts

Perioperative Program Coordinator