Perioperative Nursing/RN

Advanced Certificate
Perioperative Nursing/RN

Program Overview

Are you an RN who thrives in a high-energy environment? Do you enjoy life-long learning? Are you interested in becoming a leader of collaborative patient care? Consider becoming a perioperative nurse.

Perioperative nurses care for patients undergoing surgery or invasive procedures. As part of the perioperative team, you practice as a scrub nurse and circulating nurse, collaborating with surgeons and anesthesiologists to facilitate surgical procedures.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s nationally accredited Perioperative Nursing/RN program prepares you to work in the fast-paced world of today’s OR. Best of all, our online program enhances your professional credentials while allowing you to maintain professional and personal responsibilities.

Perioperative Nursing/RN is an advanced certificate program offered full-time or part-time through online distance education. Choose the full-time option to complete the program in eight months or the part-time option to complete the program in three years. Your education is based on the latest evidence-informed best practices for perioperative nursing. You’ll study the nursing process in perioperative nursing, principles and practices of aseptic technique and highly technical skills for working within a surgical environment.

Who Qualifies?

To enroll in the program, you must be currently licensed with the registered nurses’ licensing body in the province where you will be completing your clinical practice education.

Why Saskatchewan Polytechnic?

Sask Polytech is one of the most respected providers of nursing education in Canada. The Perioperative Nursing/RN program is approved by the Operating Room Nurses’ Association of Canada (ORNAC), which opens doors to jobs across the country. As a student, you’ll access innovative virtual reality videos of real surgery. Our emphasis on hands-on learning ensures you have the knowledge, the skills and the confidence you need to deliver patient care in the surgical environment.

One-Week Skills Lab

Patient safety is the focus of a one-week skills lab. It’s an opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in a supported environment, using simulations to practice hands-on skills.

10-Week Clinical Practice

Your learning experience culminates in a 10-week clinical practice. It begins with a four-week instructor-led clinical practicum, followed by another six weeks of preceptored clinical practice in different surgical areas, including gynecology, urology and orthopedics. Clinical placements take place in Lloydminster, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon and Swift Current. You will be able to select your preferred clinical site when you submit your application, using the Site Confirmation form. Simply submit the completed form with your application to the program, or separately by fax or email as indicated on the form. If you wish to apply to more than one clinical site, you must submit a separate application with fee.

Earn Professional Credentials

When you graduate, you’re eligible to:

  • Write the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) certification exam to earn a CPN(c) designation
  • Apply for practice hours to maintain your registration with the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association (SRNA)
  • Earn transfer credits to post-RN degree programs at the University of Saskatchewan

Refer to Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.

Career and Salary Information

Your Career

Perioperative nurses are in demand across Canada, thanks to evolving health care delivery models and advances in medical technology. It’s an exciting career path with a growing number of opportunities in urban and regional hospital operating rooms, ambulatory surgery centres, freestanding clinics and more.

Do you need help deciding if these careers could be a good fit for you? Contact Career Counselling Services or visit

Do you already know this is the program you want to take but need more detailed information or help applying?  Connect with a Recruitment Advisor.

Length and Start Date

Start Date(s):

August, October, January

Length: 33 weeks


  • Online/Distance options available

  • Some programs offered online or otherwise by distance (i.e., correspondence) include on-site labs, clinicals, practicums or work experiences. They may be offered course-by-course or full-time, or both, and deliveries may change over time.

Part-time Delivery

To graduate and receive a credential for this program, part-time students must apply to the program and be admitted before taking any program courses.

View the program page for a complete list of courses and additional information.


Admission Requirements

  • Licensed with the registered nurses' licensing body in the province where you will participate in the clinical experience. Your registration must be active and current in order to participate in the clinical component.
  • English Language Requirement


Accepted applicants are required to provide evidence of the following upon admission into the program:

  • Current immunization records, and meet Saskatchewan Polytechnic requirements
  • Current CPR Health Care Provider/AED Level 'C' Certificate
  • Current N95 respirator mask testing. The cost of N95 respirator mask testing is your responsibility.
  • 2015 WHMIS Globally Harmonized System (GHS) certification. The cost of WHMIS certification is your responsibility.

Admission Method

First Qualified/First Admitted

The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of Saskatchewan Polytechnic programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake. 

Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year. 

Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.

See Admission Processes for more information about this method of admission.

Tuition and Fees

Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as approximate cost for books and supplies. Visit the Tuition and Fees web page for a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program.


2022/23 Academic Year



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ANAT 266
Anatomy Review
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You will briefly review human anatomy and anatomical terminology in the context of perioperative nursing.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 15.0
Prerequisites(s): NURS 246(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Prior Learning
CLIN 221
Perioperative Nursing Practice/RN
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You will participate in a 10-week clinical experience that is limited to specific pre-selected agencies. Within the role of the RN, you will integrate all aspects of the program into the delivery of patient care.
Credit Units: 27
Course Hours: 400.0
Prerequisites(s): NURS 202
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum, Online, Prior Learning
NURS 202
Psychomotor Skills Lab
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You will implement the theory and principles of perioperative nursing in the performance of basic skills. Selected psychomotor skills will be demonstrated and you will practice them in a laboratory setting.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Prerequisites(s): NURS 248
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum, Online, Prior Learning
NURS 244
Surgical Environment
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You will be introduced to the principles of asepsis, sterilization, disinfection and infection prevention through the implementation of perioperative nursing care standards. You will learn basic technical skills necessary to prepare yourself and the patient for a surgical procedure.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Equivalent Course(s): NURS 209
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Prior Learning
NURS 245
Perioperative Nursing Process/RN
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You will apply the nursing process to perioperative nursing care. You will discuss leadership, examining communication skills related to the perioperative setting. You will examine professional responsibilities related to both the registered nurse (RN) scrub and circulating roles in perioperative nursing. You will relate these perioperative principles to the RN role in surgery centres.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): NURS 244(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Prior Learning
NURS 246
Surgical Equipment
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You will learn how to identify, arrange, use and care for surgical instruments and accessory surgical equipment. You will learn to safely prepare and handle supplies for surgical wound closure, perform a surgical count, and manage surgical specimens.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Prerequisites(s): NURS 244, (NURS 245 or NURS 250)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Prior Learning
NURS 247
Perioperative Nurse Anesthesia/RN
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You will use the principles of nursing care of patients during induction and emergence from anesthesia, including emergency procedure protocols.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Prerequisites(s): NURS 245
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Prior Learning
NURS 248
Surgical Procedures
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You will focus on the nursing actions to be performed by the scrub and circulating nurse during surgical procedures and the specialized care requirements of pediatric, geriatric and morbidly obese patients.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Prerequisites(s): ANAT 266, (NURS 247(concurrent) or NURS 214(concurrent))
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Prior Learning
Total semester credits: 45

Get Credit for What You Know

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Saskatchewan Polytechnic recognizes that adults learn in many different ways. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training.

See link(s) below to get more information about PLAR.


Operating Room Nurses' Association of Canada (ORNAC)

Additional Information

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