Gerontology and Palliative Care - Interprofessional Practice

Program: GPCN
Credential: Ontario College Graduate Certificate
Delivery: Full-time
Work Integrated Learning: 1 Clinical Placement
Length: 2 Semesters
Duration: 1 Year
Effective: Winter 2025, Summer 2025
Location: Barrie (Winter), Orangeville (Summer)


This program is designed to assist Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) to work as part of an inter-professional healthcare team in geriatric and palliative care settings. Students acquire the knowledge and expertise to enhance an individual’s quality of living and dying as part of an end of life process. To meet the individual needs of the client during this transitional phase of their life, students examine current theories and explore best practices to build skills in assessment, planning, intervention, and evaluation. Through a combination of classroom instruction and lab, students focus on the importance of communication, spirituality, ethics, law and culturally responsive nursing care for an aging or end-of-life population. Students will have an opportunity to consolidate their classroom learning with one practicum placement in a variety of settings that may include hospital, community, home care or long term care. 

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this program are able to work within their scope of practice in the area of geriatric and palliative care and may find employment opportunities in acute care settings within general hospitals, specialized hospitals, long-term care, retirement homes, hospice, palliative care units, and clinics and/or community health services.

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

1. identify and apply strategies that promote self-esteem, dignity, and independence of geriatric and palliative clients and family to support health, aging, and/or dying and death;

2. communicate effectively to strengthen interprofessional collaborative practice in the delivery of person and family-centred care;

3. provide holistic and culturally responsive care to geriatric and palliative clients and families to ease the stress of aging and/or dying an death;

4. comply with legislation, regulations and ethical standards in the provision of care for geriatric and palliative clients within the health care context;

5. apply an evidence-based perspective to inform care plans, programs and services for geriatric and palliative clients;

6. develop and use personal/professional strategies and plans for professional growth and to improve job performance in a Canadian health care operations context;

7. evaluate the efficacy of care measures delivered to geriatric and palliative clients to manage their symptoms and ensure comfort.

External Recognition

Registration with the College of Nurses of Ontario is a legal requirement to practice nursing in Ontario and is subject to the regulations and restrictions of this governing body. Completion of this program does not guarantee College of Nurses of Ontario registration. Students who have completed nursing education outside of Canada and wish to practice in Ontario should visit the College of Nurses of Ontario website for information.

Program Progression

The following reflects the planned progression for full-time offerings of the program.

Winter Intake -  Barrie

  • Sem 1: Winter 2025
  • Sem 2: Summer 2025

Summer Intake - Orangeville

  • Sem 1: Summer 2025
  • Sem 2: Fall 2025

Admission Requirements

Ontario College Diploma, Ontario College Advanced Diploma, Degree, or equivalent in nursing 

Selection Process

Preference will be given to applicants with the following:
  • Post-secondary degree in nursing from an accredited nursing education program
  • Current registration with the nursing regulatory body in their home province/state and or country (i.e. letter, membership card, etc.) 

Additionally, priority will be given to students who have graduated from Georgian’s Complex Care Nursing for Internationally Educated Nurses program.

Language Proficiency Requirement

The English proficiency requirement can be met through:

Criminal Reference/Vulnerable Sector Check

Placement agencies require an up-to-date clear criminal reference check and vulnerable sector check prior to going out on placement. Students should obtain their criminal reference three months prior to placement; checks conducted earlier may not be considered current. As some jurisdictions require longer lead-time for processing, please check with the program coordinator to ensure you allow for sufficient turn-around time. It is the student's responsibility to provide the completed document prior to placement start.

NOTE: Individuals who have been charged or convicted criminally and not pardoned will be prohibited from proceeding to a clinical or work placement.

Additional Information

Students must have up-to-date immunization records in compliance with the Public Hospitals Act. Students must also have a valid mask fit test, BLS CPR and Standard First Aid. Students are to use the Clinical Preparedness Permit to document completion of these clinical requirements.

Completion and submission of this permit is required in order to ensure placement in clinical and field placement facilities.

Students will be placed in a variety of agencies in the region serviced by the campus. Students are required to provide their own transportation to the placement site.

Graduation Requirements

11 Program Courses

1 Clinical Placement

Graduation Eligibility

To graduate from this program, a student must attain a minimum of 60% or a letter grade of P (Pass) or S (Satisfactory) in each course in each semester. The passing weighted average for promotion through each semester and to graduate is 60%.

Program Tracking

The following reflects the planned progression for full-time offerings of the program.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Hours
Program Courses  
GPCN 1000 Introduction to Geriatrics and Gerontology 42
GPCN 1002 Pathophysiology of Aging 42
GPCN 1003 Legal and Ethical Issues Related to Aging 42
GPCN 1004 Special Topics in Geriatrics 42
GPCN 1012 Gerontology Integrated Seminar 56
GPCN 1014 Gerontology and Palliative Care Nursing Skills and Assessments 66
Semester 2
Program Courses  
GPCN 1006 Introduction to Palliative Care 42
GPCN 1007 Life-limiting Illness in Palliative Care 42
GPCN 1008 Comfort Measures in Palliative Care 42
GPCN 1009 Communication and Spirituality in Palliative Care 42
GPCN 1010 Ethics, Law, and Culture in Palliative Care 42
Clinical Placement  
GPCN 1013 Gerontology/Palliative Practicum 112
 Total Hours612

Graduation Window

Students unable to adhere to the program duration of one year (as stated above) may take a maximum of two years to complete their credential. After this time, students must be re-admitted into the program, and follow the curriculum in place at the time of re-admission.

Disclaimer: The information in this document is correct at the time of publication. Academic content of programs and courses is revised on an ongoing basis to ensure relevance to changing educational objectives and employment market needs. 

Program outlines may be subject to change in response to emerging situations, in order to facilitate student achievement of the learning outcomes required for graduation. Components such as courses, progression, coop work terms, placements, internships and other requirements may be delivered differently than published.

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