The Ontario Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner Program is a demanding, Master’s level program designed to prepare graduates to meet the entry-level competencies for NP practice in Ontario. Candidates and learners entering the program should be aware of the following:
- The PHCNP program is built on a philosophy of practice-based and self-directed learning, rather than on a traditional, didactic approach. Learners can expect to engage in a significant degree of self-guided and peer-supported learning, including: working through online learning modules and case studies; navigating, reading, and interpreting a large amount of online resources and textbooks; developing and monitoring their own clinical learning plans; and preparing for and engaging in seminars and labs with peers and instructors.
- Students will engage in over 700 hours of clinical placements as they progress through their five clinical courses. Each PHCNP university site has its own catchment area, and placement coordinators for each university will organize student placements within the university-specific area. As such, students should not apply to a university unless they are prepared to be in the region for their placements and for any other in person requirements such as seminars and labs (please consult university requirements for these latter as they vary from site to site).
- Students should not expect to work full-time and be able to manage the demands of the program. Students should look as much as possible to other ways of funding their expenses and time spent in the program–such as scholarships, bursaries, loans, savings, and lines of credit–in order to enable their success.