BC's Indigenous Public Post-Secondary Institute

Access to Practical Nursing Diploma


Department: CAREER TRAINING (HEALTH) Department
Program Delivery Location: Merritt
Credential: Certificate
Format: Full-Time
Start Dates: September

Access to Practical Nursing Diploma

This full-time program prepares graduates with the knowledge, skills, judgments, and attitudes to perform to the full range of competencies as identified by the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of British Columbia (CLPNBC). The curriculum provides a learning experience that is integrated, professional, collaborative, and culturally sensitive with an aim to prepare graduates to care for individuals (and by extension, families of individuals) at multiple life stages and in a variety of practice settings. Consistent with the CLPNBC Entry to Practice Competencies for Licensed Practical Nurses, the focus for beginner's practice is care of clients with less complex and more predictable outcomes (p. 5). Additionally, upon successful completion of the program, graduates will possess the competencies to successfully complete the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam (CPNRE).


Admission Requirements



  • Successful completion of HCA, RCA, or HS/RCA Certificate

  • Minimum 600 hours of HCA work experience, within the last two years, in a care facility where care is provided to a group of Gerentology clients. Work experience must be verified by an official employer letter.

  • Grade 12 graduation or equivalent (ABE, GED)

  • English 12 with a grade C+ or higher, OR Technical Communications 12 with a grade B+ or higher (alternatively, an English Assessment can be arranged through the Student Services department)

  • Math 11 with a grade C or higher (previous B.C. curriculum), OR Math 11 Foundations with a grade of C or higher (current B.C. curriculum). If students do not have Math 11, NVIT's Adult Basic Education Math courses: Math 057 (Developmental) or Math 059 (Algebraic) with a grade of C or higher will be accepted. Math prerequisite should be completed within the last four years. A math Assessment is available if the above requirements are not met, and can be arranged through the Student Services department.

  • Human Anatomy & Physiology for Practical Nurses with a grade of C+ or higher, or equivalent

  • CPR Level "C"

  • Solicitor General Criminal Record Check that is free of any charges or convictions

  • Immunizations (as required by Practicum sites and recommended by BC Centre for Disease Control, 2009): diphtheria and tetanus, polio, hepatitis B, measles, mumps & rubella (MMR), varicella, and influenza.*

  • Negative TB skin test. In case of a positive TB skin test, a negative TB chest x-ray report is required.


* Students who do not meet the immunization requirements may be prohibited from attending Practicum experiences depending upon particular Health Authority policy, or Practicum site agency policy.



  • Applicants with English as an additional language must meet the language requirements set by CLPNBC (2013), and be successful as follows:



  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with minimum scores of:

    • Overall speaking band score: 7.0

    • Speaking: 7.0

    • Listening: 7.5

    • Reading: 6.5

    • Writing: 7.0




Note: Please view CLPNBC current English requirements at the following site: http://www.clpnbc.org/elp.aspx

Level A
  • PRNS-222 - Professional Practice A
  • PRNS-223 - Professional Communication A
  • PRNS-225 - Pharmacology A
  • PRNS-226 - Variations in Health A
  • PRNS-227 - Health Promotion A
  • PRNS-228 - Integrated Nursing Practice A
  • PRNS-229 - Consolidated Practice Experience A
  • STSC-101 - Strategies for Success 101
  • Level 3
  • PRNS-232 - Professional Practice III
  • PRNS-233 - Professional Communication III
  • PRNS-236 - Variations in Health III
  • PRNS-237 - Health Promotion III
  • PRNS-238 - Integrated Nursing Practice III
  • PRNS-239 - Consolidated Practice Experience III
  • Level 4
  • PRNS-242 - Professional Practice IV
  • PRNS-243 - Professional Communication IV
  • PRNS-245 - Transition to Preceptorship
  • PRNS-246 - Variations in Health IV
  • PRNS-247 - Health Promotion IV
  • PRNS-248 - Integrated Nursing Practice IV
  • PRNS-249 - Consolidated Practice Experience IV
  • PRNS-250 - Preceptorship
  • Course Listing for this program

    PRNS-222 - Credits: 3.000
    Professional Practice A
    This theory course provides an introduction to the profession of practical nursing (PN). Legislation that informs PN practice within British Columbia will be introduced. The history of nursing and specifically, the evolution of Practical Nursing within the Canadian health care system will be discussed. The philosophy and foundational concepts of the Provincial Practical Nursing Program are explored. The legislation influencing PN practice with clients experiencing chronic illness and those in residential care settings is examined. Specific professional issues such as responsibility, accountability, ethical practice, and leadership relevant to the PN role in residential care will be explored. Critical thinking and decision making specific to the care of the chronically ill and inter-professional practice will also be addressed. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Program Admission, or Permission of Dept. Head.
    Corequisites: PRNS 228 / PRNS 227 / PRNS 226 / PRNS 225 / PRNS 223
    PRNS-223 - Credits: 3.000
    Professional Communication A
    This course provides learners with the foundational knowledge for caring and professional communication in nursing. It uses an experiential and self-reflective approach to develop self-awareness and interpersonal communication skills in the context of safe, competent and collaborative nursing practice. Communication theory, the nurse-client relationship, therapeutic communication, cross-cultural communication, effective teamwork and learning and teaching concepts will be covered. The learner is provided with an opportunity to develop professional communication skills with clients requiring end-of-life care. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Program Admission, or Permission of Dept. Head.
    Corequisites: PRNS 222 / PRNS 228 / PRNS 227 / PRNS 226 / PRNS 225
    PRNS-225 - Credits: 4.000
    Pharmacology A
    This introductory course examines the principles of pharmacology required to administer medications in a safe and professional manner. Medication administration requires the application of the nursing process for clinical decision-making. The routes of medication administration introduced include medications used to treat constipation, eye and ear disorders and the Integumentary system. Complementary, Indigenous and alternative remedies, and polypharmacy across the lifespan are explored. The learners will gain an understanding of pharmacology and medication administration across the lifespan. Also included are the topics of substance abuse and addiction. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Program Admission, or Permission of Dept. Head.
    Corequisites: PRNS 222 / PRNS 228 / PRNS 227 / PRNS 226 / PRNS 223
    PRNS-226 - Credits: 4.000
    Variations in Health A
    This course provides the learner with the foundations of disease and illness across the lifespan. Learners will gain an understanding of pathophysiological alterations of body systems. Nursing management of disease and illness across the lifespan with an emphasis on interventions and treatment is also discussed. The learner's understanding of pathophysiology as it relates to the aging process and selected chronic illness will increase. A major focus of this course is on the care of the older adult experiencing a health challenge. Cultural diversity in healing practices will be explored as well as evidence-informed research and practice. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Program Admission, or Permission of Dept. Head.
    Corequisites: PRNS 228 / PRNS 227 / PRNS 225 / PRNS 223 / PRNS 222
    PRNS-227 - Credits: 2.000
    Health Promotion A
    This introductory course will increase the learners understanding of health promotion within the Canadian context. This includes health enhancement, health protection, disease prevention, health restoration/recovery, care and support. Knowledge of growth and development, health inequities and determinants of health will support the Practical Nursing student to provide culturally appropriate and holistic care. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Program Admission, or Permission of Dept. Head
    Corequisites: PRNS 228 / PRNS 226 / PRNS 225 / PRNS 223 / PRNS 222
    PRNS-228 - Credits: 12.000
    Integrated Nursing Practice A
    This course emphasizes the art and science of nursing, focusing on the development of nursing care and assessment. Learners will apply nursing knowledge through the practice of clinical decision making, nursing assessments, and nursing interventions aimed at the promotion of health, independence, and comfort. Classroom, laboratory, simulation, and other practice experiences will assist learners to integrate theory from other Access semester courses to provide safe, competent, and ethical nursing care for clients. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Program Admission, or Permission of Dept. Head
    Corequisites: PRNS 222 / PRNS 227 / PRNS 226 / PRNS 225 / PRNS 223
    PRNS-229 - Credits: 8.000
    Consolidated Practice Experience A
    This practicum experience provides learners with the opportunity to integrate theory from the Access Level into practice. Learners will practice with aging clients and/or those with chronic illness in residential care settings. Medication administration, nursing care, organization, comprehensive health assessment, wound care and introduction to leadership are emphasized in this course. This is a hands-on direct patient care experience supervised by faculty. The Level A competencies are practiced and mastered. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: PRNS 222 / PRNS 228 / PRNS 227 / PRNS 226 / PRNS 225 / PRNS 223
    PRNS-232 - Credits: 1.500
    Professional Practice III
    This course integrates the concepts from the previous Professional Practice course and introduces learners to practice in the community setting. The role of the Practical Nurse as leader is emphasized in interactions with clients and their families, and other health care providers. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: PRNS 229
    Corequisites: PRNS 233 / PRNS 238 / PRNS 237 / PRNS 236
    PRNS-233 - Credits: 1.500
    Professional Communication III
    This course focuses on specific professional communication skills used with clients and care providers, across the lifespan, requiring care in the community. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: PRNS 229
    Corequisites: PRNS 232 / PRNS 238 / PRNS 237 / PRNS 236
    PRNS-236 - Credits: 3.000
    Variations in Health III
    This course focuses on the continuum of care and the development of knowledge related to health challenges managed in the community setting. Pathophysiology and nursing care of clients requiring home health care, rehabilitation, and supportive services in the community will be explored. Cultural diversity in healing approaches will be explored as well as the incorporation of evidence- informed research and practice. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: PRNS 229
    Corequisites: PRNS 232 / PRNS 238 / PRNS 237 / PRNS 233
    PRNS-237 - Credits: 2.500
    Health Promotion III
    This course is focused on health promotion as it relates to the continuum of care across the lifespan. Health promotion in the context of mental illness, physical and developmental disabilities and maternal/child health is highlighted. Normal growth and development from conception to middle adulthood is addressed. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: PRNS 229
    Corequisites: PRNS 232, 233, 236 and 238
    PRNS-238 - Credits: 8.000
    Integrated Nursing Practice III
    This course builds on the theory and practice from Level A. Through a variety of approaches (ie. simulation), learners will continue to develop knowledge and practice comprehensive nursing assessment, planning for, and interventions for clients experiencing multiple health challenges. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: PRNS 229
    Corequisites: PRNS 233 / PRNS 237 / PRNS 236 / PRNS 232
    PRNS-239 - Credits: 4.000
    Consolidated Practice Experience III
    This practice experience will introduce learners to community care settings and an opportunity to apply and adapt knowledge gained in Levels A and III within a continuum of care for clients across the lifespan. Learners may gain experience through simulation and in a variety of community and residential care agencies and settings. Note: These course hours may be offered within this course, or incorporated into the Integrated Nursing Practice III course as practice hours. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: PRNS 232 / PRNS 238 / PRNS 237 / PRNS 236 / PRNS 233
    PRNS-242 - Credits: 1.500
    Professional Practice IV
    This course prepares learners for the role of the Practical Nurse (PN) in caring for clients with acute presentation of illness. Legislation influencing PN practice, specific professional practice issues and ethical practice pertinent to PN practice in acute care environments will be explored. Practice issues that occur across the lifespan will be considered. Collaborative practice with other health care team members and specifically the working partnership with Registered Nurses in the acute care setting will be examined. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: PRNS 239
    Corequisites: PRNS 248 / PRNS 247 / PRNS 246 / PRNS 243
    PRNS-243 - Credits: 1.500
    Professional Communication IV
    The focus of this course is on the advancement of professional communication within the acute care setting caring for clients across the lifespan. The practice of collaboration with health care team members and clients will be further developed. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: PRNS 239
    Corequisites: PRNS 248 / PRNS 247 / PRNS 246 / PRNS 242
    PRNS-245 - Credits: 2.000
    Transition to Preceptorship
    Transition to Preceptorship will prepare the learner for the final Preceptorship experience. Simulation experiences and self-directed learning will provide the learner with increased competence and confidence in the Preceptorship. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: PRNS 249
    PRNS-246 - Credits: 3.500
    Variations in Health IV
    This course focuses on pathophysiology as it relates to acute disease and illness of clients across the lifespan, specifically the care of the client experiencing acute illness including nursing interventions and treatment options. Implications of the acute exacerbation of chronic illness will be addressed. Cultural diversity in healing practices will be explored as well as evidenced informed research and practice. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: PRNS 239
    Corequisites: PRNS 242 / PRNS 243 / PRNS 248 / PRNS 247
    PRNS-247 - Credits: 1.500
    Health Promotion IV
    This course focuses on health promotion in the context of caring for clients experiencing an acute exacerbation of chronic illness or an acute episode of illness. Examination of health promoting strategies during hospitalization to improve or help maintain clients' health status after discharge occurs. Topics also include how to prepare clients for discharge from care through teaching and learning of health promoting strategies. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: PRNS 239
    Corequisites: PRNS 242 / PRNS 248 / PRNS 246 / PRNS 243
    PRNS-248 - Credits: 12.000
    Integrated Nursing Practice IV
    This course emphasizes the development of nursing skills aimed at promoting health and healing with individuals experiencing acute health challenges across the lifespan. A variety of approaches (e.g., simulation) will help learners build on theory and practice from Levels A and III to integrate new knowledge and skills relevant to the acute care setting. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: PRNS 239
    Corequisites: PRNS 242 / PRNS 247 / PRNS 246 / PRNS 243
    PRNS-249 - Credits: 13.500
    Consolidated Practice Experience IV
    This practice experience provides learners with the opportunity to integrate theory from all courses into the role of the Practical Nurse in the acute care setting and other practice areas as appropriate. Learners will focus on clients with exacerbations of chronic illness and/or acute illness across the lifespan and will consolidate knowledge and skills such as: post-operative care, surgical wound management, intravenous therapy, focused assessment, and clinical decision-making in acute care settings. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: PRNS 242 / PRNS 248 / PRNS 247 / PRNS 246 / PRNS 243
    PRNS-250 - Credits: 12.000
    Preceptorship
    This final practice experience provides an opportunity for learners to demonstrate integration and consolidation of knowledge, skills, and abilities within the realities of the workplace, and become practice ready. Note: This experience may occur through a variety of practice experience models, including the preceptorship model under the immediate supervision of a single, fully qualified and experienced Licensed Practical Nurse, a Registered Nurse, or a Registered Psychiatric Nurse, and/or within the context of a collaborative learning environment as a participating team member. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: PRNS 245
    STSC-101 - Credits: 3.000
    Strategies for Success 101
    This course is a hybrid incorporating both online and classroom teaching. It introduces the students to college academic culture and connects them to the resources that will aid in their success. The course covers a variety of topics including: test-taking strategies, note-taking, time management, online research, student responsibilities and ethics, learning styles, and setting educational goals. More Details on this course

    Current Course Offerings

    01 = Merritt Campus
    V1 = Burnaby Campus

    Spring 2018 (January - April)


  • PRNS-250-01
  • STSC-101-01
  • Fall 2018 (September - December)


  • PRNS-222-01
  • PRNS-223-01
  • PRNS-225-01
  • PRNS-226-01
  • PRNS-227-01
  • PRNS-228-01
  • STSC-101-01
  • STSC-101-V1
  • Spring 2019 (January - April)


  • PRNS-229-01
  • PRNS-232-01
  • PRNS-233-01
  • PRNS-236-01
  • PRNS-237-01
  • PRNS-238-01
  • Summer 2019 (May - August)


  • PRNS-239-01
  • PRNS-242-01
  • PRNS-243-01
  • PRNS-246-01
  • PRNS-247-01
  • PRNS-248-01
  • Fall 2019 (September - December)


  • PRNS-245-01
  • PRNS-249-01
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