Nursing Intensive Program DEC

Program Overview

This program has been developed in response to the critical shortage of Nurses in Quebec.  The objective of the Nursing Intensive program is to prepare students for the challenging and exciting role of the graduate nurse in a 24-month time frame. In order to participate in the Nursing Intensive program, students are required to have completed the General Education courses normally included in a traditional 3-year nursing program. The remaining nursing courses can then be compressed into a shorter, more intensive program.  This program gives the student a college diploma in Nursing (DEC) and can lead to a 2-year Bachelor of Nursing program (BN) at McGill University should the student choose to apply.

This program follows the same curriculum as the 3-year Program. It is based on a ‘needs’ framework. Students learn how to identify clients’ basic health needs such as comfort, safety, sleep, nutrition, elimination, oxygenation and self-esteem. Students learn the knowledge, skills and tools nurses use to care for clients who cannot meet their own needs. Experience in the classroom, the teaching laboratory and the clinical environment helps students develop skills in communication, decision-making, caring, physical care and teaching. These and other concepts are studied and applied in increasing depth throughout the program of study.

Clinical experiences, chosen in various areas and with different age groups to reflect the concepts in each course, include psychiatry, maternal and child health, surgery, medicine, geriatrics and some community experiences. The hours spent in clinic increase throughout the program so that by the 6th semester, students spend most of their time in a clinical setting.

The hospitals used by John Abbott students include and are not limited to the Jewish General Hospital, Lakeshore General Hospital, Montreal University Health Centre Hospitals and St. Mary’s Hospital Centre.

ESPA- Montreal is a regional hub of expertise and innovation in high realism simulation. We are one of ten CEGEP Nursing programs that participate in this innovative learning environment. Students are exposed to diverse and complex health clinical situations that complement the hospital clinical experience.

Graduates must successfully pass a national registration exam in order to practice nursing in Quebec and other provinces. The license is granted by the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers de Québec (OIIQ)In addition, the Quebec license is based on a working knowledge of the French language. Students who cannot show proof of three years secondary, or post-secondary, instruction in French must pass a language exam set by the Office de la langue française (OQLF)  in the last two years of the Nursing program.


Québec Perspective Scholarship

Students in this program are eligible to receive a Québec Perspective Scholarship if they meet all the criteria. This scholarship, valued at $1500, will be awarded after each successful study term up to a maximum of 6 terms and a total value of $9000. Click here for more details Québec Perspective Scholarship Program | Gouvernement du Québec (

Admission Requirements

CEGEP Requirements

A Secondary School Diploma which includes:

  • Secondary 5 Language of Instruction
  • Secondary 5 Second Language
  • Secondary 4 Mathematics
  • Secondary 4 Science and Technology OR Secondary 4 Applied Science and Technology
  • Secondary 4 History and Citizenship Education

OR a Secondary School Vocational Diploma which includes:

  • Secondary 5 Language of Instruction
  • Secondary 5 Second Language
  • Secondary 4 Mathematics

Program Prerequisites

This program has specific prerequisites.

  • Sec. IV Science and Technology AND Sec. IV Environmental Science and Technology OR Applied Science and Technology AND Science and the Environment
  • Sec.V Chemistry
  • Sec. IV Mathematics Technical & Scientific Option OR Sec. IV Mathematics Science Option (either is strongly recommended)

Additional Nursing Intensive Program Prerequisites:

Completion of a College DEC or the following General education courses or equivalent;

  • 4 English
  • 3 Humanities
  • 3 Physical education
  • 2 Complementaries
  • 2 College French (required for DEC since 1994)

Students with a DEC older than 1994 will have to complete the present DEC requirements; including two (2) French courses and writing the English exit exam.

Program Requirements

This program has specific requirements.

Prior to starting their clinical rotation in the first semester, nursing students MUST have completed:

  • A BLS CPR and First Aid certification for Health Care Providers (HCP). The Nursing Department will offer this course in December and the first 2 weeks of the winter semester before students begin their clinical rotation
  • Registration with the provincial licensing organization, the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec (OIIQ)
  • Immunization Form  – Vaccinations & tests required for Nursing students
    o Up to date Immunization according to Quebec protocol for Health Care Workers
    o Effective November 9, 2022, mandatory COVID vaccination and screening of unprotected workers and students in the health and social services sector is no longer required. The Nursing department and hospitals highly recommend students be adequately vaccinated to provide protection against COVID, and ensure the safety of their colleagues, patients and vulnerable population. PCR screening is still in effect for individuals that present with COVID symptoms
  • A criminal background verification will be done by the individual hospitals to ensure that the student does not have a criminal record.

Applicants should contact the Admissions Office if:

  • Lacking pre-requisites or seeking additional information on entrance requirements
  • Pre-requisites taken more than five (5) years ago including a college DEC
  • Applicant from outside of the province or country

Language Requirements

Nursing Students are required to have adequate language skills to ensure student academic success and ensure patient safety. A working knowledge of English and French is required.

As of Fall 2023, students eligible to receive instruction in English will still be required to pass the English Exit Exam while students who are not eligible to receive instruction in English will be required to pass the French Exit Exam (l’Épreuve Uniforme de Français) at the end of their program. Students required to write the French Exit Exam will need to take one or more additional French Courses to ensure they are adequately prepared to be successful on the exam.

Students eligible to receive instruction in English and who already completed a DEC program are exempted from the above stipulations. Students not eligible to receive instruction in English and who already completed a DEC program and the English Exit exam are not exempted from the above regulations and are required to take additional French courses and write the French Exit exam.

As of Winter 2025, students eligible to receive instruction in English and students not eligible to receive instructions in English will be required to take additional French courses. Please follow this link for additional information Eligibility and Bill 96 – John Abbott College


Phone: (514) 457-6610 ext: 5358

Application Procedure

Application Procedure

Program Start: Winter – first week of January

The Nursing Intensive program begins yearly in January. The deadline to apply is November 1st. It is important to note that entrance into the program is very competitive and seats are limited to less than 40.

Applications must be done online through SRAM (Service Régional d’admission du Montréal Métropolitain), Follow online instructions.

Please read and complete your application package carefully since any incomplete documentation may delay your application.

Applicants will be sent a response in late November.
PLEASE NOTE: No information will be given over the phone regarding the status of your application.

For more information you may contact the Admissions office at;

Phone: 514.457.6610 x 5358 OR Email:

nav to top
Skip to content