Top 8 Best 2-year nursing programs in Ontario

Ever wondered if there are 2-year nursing programs in Ontario? Well in this article, we have compiled a list of the top 8 2-year nursing programs in Ontario for domestic students and international students interested in studying abroad.

Ontario is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada, It is located in Central Canada and is among the most populous province in Canada with about 38.3 percent of the country’s population.

Ontario is home to Canada’s capital city known as Ottawa and also Canada’s most populous city called Toronto. Toronto is the capital of Ontario province.

This province is a great choice for students aspiring to become future nurses as well as a great choice for registered nurses who want to advance their skills in the field of healthcare.

Many colleges in Ontario offer nursing programs in the following areas; Pre-Health Sciences, Practical Nursing, Nursing Specialties, and Bachelor or Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The 2-year nursing programs in Ontario fall under the practical nursing program.

These set of nurses called Practical nurses play an integral role in the healthcare sector administering some medications, performing medical procedures, and promoting healthy lifestyle choices to patients, families, and caregivers.

In Ontario, before one becomes a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN), it is expected one must have completed a registration exam that measures the competencies required of RPNs at the beginning of their nursing career in Ontario.

And the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) is the organization responsible for licensing Registered Nurses in Ontario. The entry-to-practice competencies and fundamental abilities that graduates need to acquire to obtain a license to practice as a Registered Nurse in Ontario are determined by the CNO.

The existence of 2-year nursing programs in Ontario offers aspiring nurses a promising path to enter the healthcare industry quickly and have a significant impact. These programs prioritize hands-on clinical experience in addition to a thorough curriculum, allowing students to gain the expertise they will need to succeed in their nursing careers.

Kindly go through this post to find out these top 8 institutions that offer 2-year nursing programs in Ontario, you might as well find answers to some of your unanswered questions.

Where do practical nurses work in Canada?

Some of the places where practical nurses find employment include :

  • Community clinics
  • Health Centers
  • Hospitals
  • Long-term care homes
  • Medical, surgical, and obstetrical units

What are 2-year nursing programs in Ontario?

In contrast to conventional four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) programs, Ontario’s 2-year nursing programs are accelerated educational initiatives created to give students the knowledge and abilities they need to become registered nurses in a shorter amount of time.

How do 2-year nursing programs differ from traditional four-year nursing programs?

The length and composition of the programs are where the greatest differences reside. 2-year nursing programs concentrate on fundamental nursing ideas and clinical skills to prepare students for entry-level nursing roles, while standard 4-year nursing programs condense the curriculum and offer a more thorough education over a longer period.

Are 2-year nursing programs in Ontario recognized and accredited?

Yes, the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO), the province’s nursing regulatory authority, recognizes and accredits 2-year nursing schools in Ontario. By being accredited, these programs are guaranteed to create qualified nursing practitioners and to adhere to the requirements.

What are the admission requirements for 2-year nursing programs in Ontario?

A high school diploma or its equivalent, together with specified prerequisite courses like biology and chemistry, is often required of applicants for colleges that offer 2-year nursing programs. Admission criteria may differ from institution to university. Some programs could additionally demand that candidates have accrued a specific number of volunteer or paid hours in healthcare facilities.

Can I pursue further education after completing a 2-year nursing program?

Yes, completing a two-year nursing school can help you advance in your education and profession. To increase their employment options, many people decide to continue their education and enroll in specialized nursing programs or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) degree.

Will I be eligible to write the NCLEX-RN exam after completing 2-year nursing programs in Ontario?

In Ontario, graduates of two-year nursing programs are qualified to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. To become a registered nurse and get a license to practice in Ontario, you must pass the NCLEX-RN.

Top 10 2-year Nursing Programs in Ontario

Nursing students from all backgrounds can follow their passions without sacrificing their situations thanks to 2-year programs.

The following are the top schools that offer 2-year nursing programs in Ontario:

1  University of Ottawa

2. Centennial College

3. Lakehead University

4. Fanshawe College

5. Mohawk College

6. Seneca College

7. George Brown College

8. Algonquin College

#1. University of Ottawa

The first on our list of 2-year nursing programs in Ontario is the University of Ottawa popularly referred to as uOttawa or U of O. This university is the largest bilingual university in the world, it is located in the heart of Canada’s capital known as Ottawa.

The main campus f U of O is located on 42.5 hectares directly to the northeast of Downtown Ottawa. The University of Ottawa offers a wide range of academic programs which is carried out across ten faculties.

Faculties of U of O include; the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Social Science, and the School of Management.

This university offers a 2 year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) in collaboration with Algonquin College.

The nursing program at the University of Ottawa aims to equip the upcoming nursing workforce with the skills necessary to provide high-quality nursing care and take on leadership roles within the healthcare industry.

Their nursing program is offered in English and other official languages which makes it possible for students to study in their preferred language, a degree in this program can earn job opportunities in public health, community agencies, acute care hospitals, rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, private industry among many others.

The University of Ottawa also offers MScN programs and Ph.D. programs to both domestic and international students and students are allowed to study in their preferred official language. 

Estimated Tuition: $31,400

Apply here

#2. Centennial College

The second on our list of 2-year nursing programs in Ontario is Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology. This college is a diploma and degree-granting college in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is the oldest publicly funded college in Ontario.

Centennial College is a culturally diverse post-secondary institution with over 90 ethnocultural groups being represented and about 80 languages spoken across the college campuses.

This great college was founded in 1966, it offers over 260 programs, which includes bachelor’s degrees, diplomas certificates, post-graduate certificates, and apprenticeship program. They offer programs in business, health sciences, applied technology, communication arts, community and consumer services, animation, music, theatre, film, and design.

The practical nursing program offered at Centennial College is a 2-year nursing program in Ontario that equip students with the in-depth knowledge, skills, and judgment required in today’s complex healthcare environment.

The curriculum of this nursing program at Centennial College is based on:

  • College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) Practice Standards and Guidelines
  • National Entry-to-Practice Competencies for Registered Practical Nurses 
  • Practical Nursing Program Standard for Ontario Practical Nursing Programs (Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development)

The is approved by the College of Nurses of Ontario and graduates of this program are eligible to apply for registration as registered practical nurses in Ontario.

The nursing program meets the competencies as provided by the Nursing Act and the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) which include learning to provide safe, competent, and ethical care using resources and technologies for an increasingly complex client population.

Why Centennial College?

Some of the benefits of being part of this school’s nursing program include;

  • Independent study, multimedia support, and continuous clinical experience will be added to the classroom curriculum.
  • Faculty in the practical nursing program possess substantial clinical and classroom teaching experience.
  • Some of the program’s courses will be taught in a hybrid of the classroom and the online environment (blended courses).
  • The most recent technology, including computerized simulation, will be used for small-group education in clinical and laboratory settings.
  • The nursing lab in the School of Community and Health Studies mimics a hospital floor, replete with nursing stations and operating room equipment.
  • Working in cutting-edge clinical simulation facilities with incredibly lifelike computer “patients” will give you an advantage over the competition.
  • Through a mix of acute, rehabilitative, and long-term care agencies with top-tier healthcare providers, the curriculum will enable you to fully immerse yourself in the nursing area.

Estimated Tuition: $17,413

Apply here

#3. Lakehead University

This university is the third on our list of the best 2-year nursing programs in Ontario for both domestic and international students. Lakehead University is a public research university with two campuses in Thunder Bay and Orillia, Ontario, Canada.

The university is home to the Western campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, its business school is the only internationally accredited business school in northern Ontario.

The university was established on June 4, 1946, and since its inception, it has never seized providing a culturally supportive environment to better serve Indigenous students and communities.

The School of Nursing at Lakehead University first accepted students in the year 1965, it offers a four-year BScN program, a three-year compressed BScN program, and a four-year BScN program in collaboration with the Seven Generations Education Institute.

The school also offers a Nurse Practitioner Program, a Master in Public Health with a Specialization in Nursing, a Master of Nursing – Advanced Practice Specialization, an Indigenous Nursing Entry Program (INEP), and many distance nursing programs which might probably take two years to complete.

Some of the skills you will gain from Lakehead University include;

  • Valuable first-hand experiences with cutting-edge medical technology
  • Clinical, laboratory, and classroom experiences with nursing ideas and procedures
  • Starting in the first year of the program, graduates will be prepared for careers in a variety of clinical settings by having strong communication and interpersonal skills and a variety of clinical experiences.
  • A 3-year BScN compressed program and 4-year BScN programs
  • Possibility to learn from professors who are pioneers in the field of healthcare research and develop connections with healthcare organizations outside of Thunder Bay

Estimated Tuition: $6,649

Apply here

2-year nursing programs in Ontario


#4. Fanshawe College

Fanshawe College, also known as Fanshawe College of Applied Arts and Technology, is the fourth on our list of the best 2-year nursing schools in Ontario.

Fanshawe is a public college located in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, it is one of the largest colleges in Canada with campuses in London, Simcoe, St Thomas, and Woodstock.

It was established in 1967 and it admits over 40,000 students annually and offers over 200 degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeship programs to both indigenous students and international students.

This college School of Nursing develops well-rounded, skilled healers who work the front lines of healthcare, Students not only benefit from learning from experienced nursing practice leaders but have the opportunity to be educated in one of the top healthcare hubs in North America.

The nursing program at Fanshawe College offers students a vibrant and engaging learning environment. Students have access to simulation labs that contain environments that closely replicate a true clinical or community context, replete with furnishings, tools, and supplies that would be present in the actual setting.

The school of Nursing offers a Practical Nursing diploma program which gives students the skills and knowledge needed to succeed. Graduates of this school of nursing are qualified to write the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination while successful students are furthermore eligible for registration with the College of Nurses of Ontario as Registered nurses.

The nursing program is an accredited five-level, 63-week diploma program focused on educating graduates to work with individuals, families, groups, and entire communities in a variety of settings. 

Estimated tuition: $ 19,500

Apply here

#5. Mohawk College

Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology is a public college of applied arts and technology in Hamilton, Ontario. It was established in 1966 and currently has five campuses.

Mohawk College has several campuses, including the Marshall School of Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Campus in Stoney Creek, the Fennell Campus on Hamilton Mountain, the Centre for Aviation Technology Campus, and a Mississauga campus at Square One.

Mohawk College was founded in 1966, while Ontario’s college system was taking shape. The school was established as part of a provincial push to establish numerous such establishments to offer career-oriented advanced diploma, diploma, and certificate courses, as well as continuing education programs, to Ontario communities.

This college like every other university/college in this list offers a 2-year nursing program known as the Practical Nurse Program, Mohawk nursing programs are accredited by the College of Nurses of Ontario and graduates are eligible to apply for registration as a Registered Practical Nurse in Ontario.

The few things you will learn as a part of this college include;

  • how to interact with faculty members who provide structure and act as facilitators through consultation, assisting with group collaborative activities, and providing feedback.
  • You will get to acquire professional knowledge, skills, accountability, and responsibility for nursing practice through a curriculum that is grounded in the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) RPN Entry-to-Practice Competencies.

Estimated Tuition: $8,770

Apply here

#6. Seneca College

The sixth on our list of 2-year nursing programs in Ontario is the Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology, this college operates as Seneca Polytechnic. It is a multiple-campus public college in the Greater Toronto Area and Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

Seneca College offers full-time programs and part-time programs at the baccalaureate, diploma, certificate, and graduate levels and this program is available to both indigenous and international students.

Their Practical Nursing program is a 2-year program that is delivered in a hybrid and flexible format, some of the coursework is offered online while some are offered on campus which means students are required to come on campus to complete in-person learning.

With the flexibility of this program, students have the choice of coming on campus or learning online. You will be working with knowledgeable instructors to acquire the knowledge, abilities, and judgment necessary for skilled clinical nursing practice during this two-year diploma program.

The nursing program is approved by the College of Nurses of Ontario, and graduates of this program are eligible to apply for registration as Registered Practical Nurses in Ontario.

Estimated tuition: $3,490

Apply here

#7. George Brown College

The seventh school on our list of 2-year nursing programs in Ontario is the George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology. This is a public and fully accredited college of applied arts and technology with three campuses in downtown Toronto (Ontario, Canada).

This college offers over 170 full-time programs in arts and design, business, community services, early childhood education, construction and engineering technologies, health sciences, hospitality, culinary arts, and preparatory studies, as well as specialized programs and services for recent immigrants and international students.

The two-year Practical Nursing program at George Brown College provides instruction in the fundamental abilities needed to become a registered practical nurse. The program is furthermore designed to meet the new entry-to-practice requirements adopted by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) with program standards set by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

The program is approved by the College of Nurses of Ontario with graduates being eligible to apply for registration as a Registered Practical Nurse in Ontario, some of the things you will study as a practical nurse student at George Brown’s practical nursing program include:

  • Nursing
  • Human Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pathology
  • Humanities

Estimated tuition: $5,096

Apply here

#8. Algonquin College

Algonquin is a public-funded English language college located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. This college serves the National Capital Region and the outlying areas of Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, and Upstate New York.

Algonquin was established in 1967 during the formation of Ontario’s college system to offer bachelor’s degrees, diplomas, and certificates program in a variety of disciplines and specialties. It is one of Canada’s top innovation leaders.

Its 2-year nursing program is offered at the Perth campus, it is one of the best colleges in Canada. Algonquin College Practical Nursing Program will prepare you for work in the healthcare system, through this college you will learn the skills and techniques for the workforce.

The techniques include the assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation tools required to provide nursing care to patients of all ages. You will be opportune to get hands-on skills in a variety of healthcare facilities.

With the simulation labs available on this campus, you will experience realistic patient care scenarios which will help you to build confidence in your skills and techniques before working with patients in clinical placements.

Estimated tuition: $18,603 

Apply here


These 2-year nursing programs in Ontario discussed in this article play a vital role in addressing the nursing shortage and ensuring that Ontario’s healthcare system is equipped with competent and compassionate nurses ready to deliver quality care to patients in need.


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