Nursing Re-entry Program
Frequently Asked Questions
Last updated October 2015
Questions and answers for Nursing Re-entry program.
Why should I consider the Nursing Re-entry program? What sets this program apart from other programs?
This program stands out because with each of the learning steps in the curricula there are opportunities to relate the theory directly to clinical practice.
What are the program highlights?
You will have one dedicated re-entry faculty for all of your classes.
You will have access to the curriculum from the comfort of your own home using a self-paced study format.
This program recognizes your past experience as an RN and focuses on the changing aspects of the nursing profession (increased scope of practice, technology, and leadership).
Is this program approved?
The Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association (SRNA) is responsible for the approval of the Nursing Re-entry program. The approval criterion ensures that graduates meet the standards and have achieved the minimum competencies for practice as set forth by the SRNA.
When can I start courses in the program?
You can start any time of the year from September 1 to May 31 as the program has ongoing enrolment.
How is the program offered?
The program is offered by distance learning. The learning method is home study with a combination of print-based learning and online modules. You will require a computer and high-speed internet access.
How many courses are there in the program?
There are 13 theory courses, two labs and two clinical practice education components. You have three years to complete the program, which essentially requires the completion of four courses each year.
You will have 12 weeks to complete each theory course. Some courses have prerequisites.
I have not been in school for awhile. Do you have any suggestions for enhancing my study skills?
There are wonderful study skills tools on the internet. One that former students recommend is Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review (SQ3R). Type this into a search engine to find resources using this strategy. Saskatchewan Polytechnic Library also has a wealth of resources that they direct you to help you study, write exams and write papers.
How will I communicate with faculty?
Program faculty are available to support you via telephone, email, and Skype.
There is no faculty support in July and August; these months are not counted when determining your course end dates.
I have never taken online courses before. How do I know if I have the attributes to be a successful online learner?
Distance education requires commitment and dedication, therefore it is suggested that you evaluate your readiness for learning via distance. Self assessment tools to determine if online learning is right for you are available on the internet.
Personal attributes of the successful online learner are:
- ability to assume responsibility for own learning,
- self-directed and motivated,
- persistent and confident,
- ability to problem-solve,
- active in their learning,
- effective time management skills, and
- disciplined to study without external reminders.
Basic technical skills that you need include:
- basic computer literacy,
- word processing,
- searching on the internet, and
- taking time to complete available online tutorials and use help screens.
What kind of supports can I put in place to ensure I am successful as an online learner?
Saskatchewan Polytechnic has a wealth of tutorials and support tools to ensure your success. A successful online student searches out these tools and uses them. When a student is registered into a Saskatchewan Polytechnic course for the first time, the student is also enrolled in a free orientation course called “Online learning made easy.” Students are strongly encouraged to complete this short course to learn about supports Saskatchewan Polytechnic has in place to enhance your success. Students who complete the orientation tools before the course begins have reduced frustration when the course starts.
Student success is also enhanced through family and employer support. Families can provide childcare or assist with household chores. When employers allow flexible hours for school obligations or use of a computer at work, success is also enhanced. Some students have found that having a personal laptop that can be taken with them wherever they go enhances their success.
How will I progress through the program?
Each of the theory courses is divided into learning outcomes that cover specific material. Each learning outcome is divided into learning steps that will guide you in your learning. There are review exercises included at the end of each learning outcome that allow you to assess your learning. Most theory courses have a midterm and final exam. Some courses have assignments to evaluate your knowledge. Guidelines for completing assignments and the grading criteria are included in the course manuals.
There are two 8-hour on-site simulation labs in Regina. One lab covers medical asepsis, mobility and health assessment. The second lab covers nursing skills (such as surgical asepsis, oxygenation, catheterization, administration of medications, suctioning and tracheostomy care). Your nursing skills will be evaluated in the lab. You must demonstrate mastery of the required psychomotor skills and health assessment techniques prior to entering the clinical area.
There are two clinical practice experiences. The first one is an orientation to the clinical area and you will complete it approximately half way through the program. You will take the second one after successfully completing all the theory and lab courses. You must successfully complete theory courses prior to entering the clinical area. The preceptor and faculty will evaluate your performance in the clinical practicums. All are graded as pass / fail.
Where are the labs held?
The labs are held in Regina. They are held at various times throughout the year according to student need. There is a minimum number of students required in order to offer the labs.
Where will my clinical practice education take place?
You will do your clinical practicum at a facility which offers acute medical/surgical experiences. You will be placed with a preceptor who will help you with your learning.
Where do I write my exams?
An approved test site will be assigned to you when you are registered in program courses.
Generally, students write their exams online in the test centres located at a Sask Polytech campus in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina or Saskatoon.
When you write your exams online, test centre staff will orientate you to the test-writing software. You must schedule an extra 15 minutes before your first exam for your orientation. The exams are multiple choice and require the writer to know how to use a mouse and read onscreen instructions.
Can I get credit for prior learning?
Please go to Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR).
If you have been away from nursing for 10 years or less, and were previously registered in Canada, you have the opportunity to receive credit for prior learning through challenge exams. Eligibility for this will be determined through discussion with the SRNA and by examining your previous experiences and hours worked as a registered nurse.
Where can I buy my books and other materials?
Information on purchasing textbooks and course manuals will be provided when you register. Material is available for purchase saskpolytech.ca/bookstore, by phone, or in person.
What completion document do I receive after completing the program?
Upon graduation, you will receive an applied certificate in Nursing Re-entry and a recommendation will be made to the SRNA for your re-licensure.
After I receive my certificate, am I required to write the NCLEX?
No, you are not required to write the NCLEX. You must provide your certificate, along with a letter of recommendation from Saskatchewan Polytechnic, to the SRNA in order to be re-registered as a RN.