Practical Nurse Diploma

This two-year diploma program is delivered in two formats; onsite and blended delivery, both formats are identical in content. The onsite program is offered each year at the Cold Lake Campus, year one and two run consecutively. The blended delivery program is offered every second year and is available at the Lac La Biche and St. Paul Campus. Year one is scheduled to start August 2019, however, you may like to enroll in some of the university courses that are transferable to the practical nurse program, click here for more details.

Our program emphasizes collaboration, health promotion and family-centered nursing. You will be equipped with the skills and knowledge required to work in a wide variety of health care settings, both rural and urban. Our enthusiastic, experienced instructors incorporate individual learning needs and imaginative, innovative classroom and lab experiences. As a graduate you'll be eligible to write the national licensing examination administered through the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta.

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Graduate and full-time faculty member of Portage College, Donna-Lee Wowk has been featured in a video by the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta.

In the video below, Wowk speaks passionately about her profession and the vital contribution Licensed Practical Nurses make in the delivery of health care to Albertans.  

Career Potential

Graduates will be eligible for jobs in acute care hospitals, continuing care centres, community care settings, client homes, or doctor's offices. Practical Nurses earn approximately $26.45 - $34.63 per hour.

Credential

Year 1: N/A
Year 2: Diploma

Admission Requirements
Year 1:  A High School Diploma is Recommended:

  • Biology 30 with Minimum 60%
  • English 30 or 30-1 with Minimum 60% OR English 33 or 30-2 with Minimum 70%
  • Math 20 Pure or Math 20-1 with Minimum 50% OR Math 20-2 with Minimum 60%
  • Chemistry 30 is strongly recommended

Other admission requirements include:

  • Minimum age of 18 prior to first practicum placement
  • Copy of Heart & Stroke Level C Certificate within six months of program start date
  • Current Signed Immunization Record - To be completed prior to Clinical Placement
  • Signed Health Status Questionnaire
  • Police Information Check & Vulnerable Sector Search - To be completed prior to Clinical Placement
  • Please click the following link for: minimum technical requirements for Moodle site.
  • ESL - ALL students whose first language is not English must meet one of the following:
    IELTS Academic Format with minimum scores as follows: Listening 7.5; Reading 6.5; Writing 7.0; Speaking 7.0.
    TOEFL iBT (internet Based) with minimum test scores as follows: Listening 23; Reading 21; Writing 25; Speaking 22.
    CELBAN, with a minimum test score as follows: Listening 10; Reading 8; Writing 7; Speaking 7
    Note: Testing must have been completed within two years prior to application to the program 

Year 2: Completion of Year 1 nursing courses. Students new to the program must provide a Police Information Check & Vulnerable Sector Search

Practicum Dates
Year 1
April 2 - May 4,  2018
Year 2
November 20 - December 15, 2017
March 5 - March 30, 2018
April 2 - May 18, 2018

Transferability
The Practical Nurse diploma will be considered for admission to Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration program at Grant MacEwan University. Currently Post LPN degree in nursing programs are available through the following institution: Athabasca University Minimum 25% Residency Requirement for Graduation. The following Portage College courses are transferable to and from University Studies; BIOL230 - Anatomy I, BIOL231/2 - Physiology I/II, COMM135 - Communications for Health Professionals, ENGL102 - Intro Composition, HEED105 - Personal Health & Wellness, PSYC104 - Intro Psychology and SOCI125 - Sociology of Aging.

Think you might have courses similar? Check this site Alberta Government Link for agreements. 

Practical Nurse Diploma

  • ANATOMY I

    Course ID: BIOL230

    Name: ANATOMY I

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course provides an in-depth study of the structures of the human body and their interrelationships using a systems approach. The correlations between structure (anatomy) and function (physiology) are noted. Major topics include body organization, the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, lymphatic, digestive, endocrine, urinary and reproductive systems, the general and special senses, and human development. This course is designed to prepare students in medical fields of study for advanced courses in their respective fields, as well as other university transfer students.

  • COMMUNICATIONS FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

    Course ID: COMM135

    Name: COMMUNICATIONS FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course explores basic and therapeutic communication skills for the health professional. Communication skills required for the development of caring relationships and to overcome barriers will be discussed, as well as, the skills needed for interprofessional practice, group and family communication. Conflict resolution, self-reflective practice and health teaching are key components of this course. PREREQUISITE: Admission to a Health & Wellness program

  • HEALTH ASSESSMENT

    Course ID: NURS152

    Name: HEALTH ASSESSMENT

    Hours: 60

    Credits: 4

    This course will teach students how to collect a health history and perform a physical examination with an adult client. The emphasis in this course is on normal structures and functions. The McGill Model of Nursing provides the framework for the health assessment within the nursing process. This course includes both classroom and laboratory practice. This course assists students in developing the knowledge and skills required to construct a complete health assessment.  This is the first step in the nursing process as nurses work together with the individual and family to develop a plan of care.  Prerequisite – Semester one nursing courses  Co-requisite – NURS 150, 151

  • PERSONAL HEALTH & WELLNESS

    Course ID: HEED105

    Name: PERSONAL HEALTH & WELLNESS

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course will introduce you to the physical, social, mental, occupational, emotional, environmental and spiritual dimensions of personal health and wellness. These dimensions are described within the context of the Canadian Health Care System and your own individual community. Topics include primary health care, nutrition, exercise, stress management, weight management, eating disorders, common health issues and their prevention. You will be expected to integrate knowledge of the seven dimensions of health and apply this knowledge to a self-analysis of your own health and physical fitness. Finally, you will incorporate change management theory to develop, implement and evaluate a personal wellness plan. The intent of this course is to promote a healthy lifestyle. By examining determinants of health, the current health care system, the seven dimensions of health and applying these concepts to your own lifestyle, you will be better equipped to function as role models and act as change agents for health promotion in your community. Prerequisites: 60% in ENG 30-1

  • INTRODUCTORY COMPOSITION

    Course ID: ENGL102

    Name: INTRODUCTORY COMPOSITION

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course helps students to develop the academic writing skills they use throughout their university studies. Students learn to identify good writing, and develop needed research, analytical, and organizational skills. Starting with building good sentences and paragraphs, the essay is the most important genre in this course. By analyzing, summarizing, synthesizing, and critiquing a variety of texts, students learn how to develop their own analyses and arguments with appropriate and correctly documented primary and secondary sources. A review of grammar and sentence structure is a key component of this course. PREREQUISITE: 60% in ENG 30-1

  • INTRODUCTORY PSYCHOLOGY

    Course ID: PSYC104

    Name: INTRODUCTORY PSYCHOLOGY

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course is a prerequisite to other psychology courses at Portage College and is normally followed by PSYC 105. (However, PSYC 105 is not a requirement in the CSW program.) This course is intended to inspire an interest in, and an appreciation for, the field of psychology. Topics in this course include the history of psychological science, psychological research methods, the structure and function of the brain and nervous system, learning, sensation, perception, memory, consciousness, thought and language. Prerequisites: 60% in ENG 30-1

  • NURSING FOUNDATIONS 1: INTRODUCTION TO NURSING

    Course ID: NURS148

    Name: NURSING FOUNDATIONS 1: INTRODUCTION TO NURSING

    Hours: 60

    Credits: 5

    This is the first nursing course of the diploma practical nurse program, and in it several concepts and processes are introduced. These concepts are further developed and applied throughout the diploma practical nurse program.

    The course introduces the learner to nursing by exploring health care in Canada, the history of nursing, and the evolving role of the practical nurse. Values, ethics, legalities, and legislation that affect nursing practice in Alberta are also introduced. The learner will relate the roles and responsibilities of the practical nurse to the direction of the professional association and standards of nursing practice. The nursing metaparadigm and nursing theory are explained as major concepts in nursing. Learners learn the holistic approach to client-centred care. Critical thinking skills are developed as the learner applies nursing knowledge to the delivery of quality, safe nursing care.

  • NURSING FOUNDATIONS 2: BASIC NURSING

    Course ID: NURS149

    Name: NURSING FOUNDATIONS 2: BASIC NURSING

    Hours: 105

    Credits: 7

    This second Nursing Foundations course builds on theory and skills learned in Semester I, with a focus on the client and the nurse-client relationship. The primary purpose of this course is to prepare the student practical nurse for the continuing-care practicum. Topics include the metaparadigm of nursing, safety, professionalism, and leadership, but the focus shifts from the application of these concepts to self to applying these concepts to the client.

    Emphasis will be placed on using nursing process, demonstrating critical thinking, applying the concept of self-care, and setting priorities. Students will develop nursing care plans tailored to client needs, and will demonstrate effective documentation, mathematical calculations, communication, and client teaching skills. The lab setting will be used for students to apply theory, to practise skills, and to competently perform the selected nursing skills required for the

  • NURSING PRACTICE I: CONTINUING CARE PRACTICUM

    Course ID: NPRT155

    Name: NURSING PRACTICE I: CONTINUING CARE PRACTICUM

    Hours: 194

    Credits: 5

    This first practice nursing course provides opportunities for the learner to gain experience as a member of the interdisciplinary team by providing safe, holistic, and evidence-informed nursing care in a continuing-care setting, following the standards of practice for a practical nurse.

  • PHARMACOTHERAPEUTICS FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

    Course ID: PHRM250

    Name: PHARMACOTHERAPEUTICS FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course introduces students to the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics behind medication administration. Students will focus on classifications of drugs and integrating basic pharmacology concepts to their practice.

  • PHYSIOLOGY I

    Course ID: BIOL231

    Name: PHYSIOLOGY I

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course provides a study of the overall function of the human body. Major topics include fundamental chemistry, homeostasis, cytology and cell physiology, cell signaling and communication, and muscle, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, lymphatic, digestive, endocrine, urinary and reproductive physiology, as well as fundamental genetics as it applies to human physiology. This course is designed to prepare students in medical fields of study for advanced courses in their respective fields, as well as other university transfer students. PREREQUISITES: 60% in BIO 30 and 60% in ENG 30-1, BIOL 230

  • PHYSIOLOGY II

    Course ID: BIOL232

    Name: PHYSIOLOGY II

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course focuses on the study of homeostasis and how it is altered by physical, biochemical, microbial or genetic factors, providing an in-depth understanding of the mechanism of human body function, pathophysiology (disordered physiology) and disease processes. The course summarizes the normal function of each organ system and then presents a number of major diseases of each system, showing how symptoms and signs of selected diseases are produced by pathophysiology. This course is designed to prepare students in medical fields of study for advanced courses in their respective fields, as well as other university transfer students. PREREQUISITES: BIOL 230 and BIOL 231

  • NURSING PRACTICE 2: ACUTE CARE PRACTICUM

    Course ID: NPRT210

    Name: NURSING PRACTICE 2: ACUTE CARE PRACTICUM

    Hours: 155

    Credits: 4

    This first practice nursing course provides opportunities for the learner to gain experience as a member of the interdisciplinary team by providing safe, holistic, and evidence-informed nursing care in a continuing-care setting, following the standard of practice for a practical nurse.

  • SOCIOLOGY OF AGING

    Course ID: SOCI125

    Name: SOCIOLOGY OF AGING

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course will use innovative and exciting methods to allow students to explore the sociological perspective of the aging process of the individual and of the population. It presents aging as a normal life process with the goal of maximizing the life potential of people at all ages. Students will gain a better understanding and appreciation of the social impact of aging in a variety of contexts, mainly focusing on Canadian society. The biological, psychological, and social aspects of aging are explored in addition to the pros and cons of social programs and policies in Canada. The relationship of aging with our economy, health care system, and social programs will be examined in different contexts. Prerequisites: 60% in ENG 30-1

  • NURSING FOUNDATIONS 3: MEDICAL SURGICAL NURSING

    Course ID: NURS200

    Name: NURSING FOUNDATIONS 3: MEDICAL SURGICAL NURSING

    Hours: 135

    Credits: 9

    The focus of this nursing course is on nursing care and related skills based on evidence-informed medical/surgical nursing practice.  The learner builds upon previous nursing knowledge and related theory in adapting the nursing approach to the care of the medical/surgical client using the nursing metaparadigm and the nursing process.  The learner continues to develop leadership skills through the experience of mentorship.  A laboratory component is included in which learners apply theory and practise nursing skills related to medical/surgical nursing, including intravenous medication administration.

  • NURSING FOUNDATIONS IV: MATERNITY

    Course ID: NURS203

    Name: NURSING FOUNDATIONS IV: MATERNITY

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course introduces the learner to the childbearing family and the practical nurse's role in promoting, restoring, and maintaining the health of the maternity client and her family. The learner will apply knowledge of the nursing process and the four concepts of the nursing metaparadigm to the care of the expectant family before, during, and after the birth of the baby.

    The learner will build upon previous nursing knowledge and related theory in adapting the nursing approach to the care and health promotion of the child-bearing family. The learner will apply the collaborative interdisciplinary team approach to maternity care. Assessment of family strengths, coping abilities, and life experiences are key to the practical nurse's role in health promotion. New developments in maternal and newborn care will be examined through addressing trends and issues in maternity care.

  • NURSING FOUNDATIONS V: PEDIATRICS

    Course ID: NURS205

    Name: NURSING FOUNDATIONS V: PEDIATRICS

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    Nursing Foundations V: Pediatric Nursing is a theory course focusing on pediatric clients and their families. Theoretical concepts of assessment of the pediatric client related to growth and development are introduced. Pathophysiology, nursing care, communication, and health-teaching techniques specific to pediatric clients and their families are discussed. This course builds on previous nursing knowledge and related theory, and assists the student in adapting nursing care for pediatric clients and their families through the use of the nursing metaparadigm, nursing process, and growth and development theories.

  • NURSING FOUNDATIONS VI: COMMUNITY NURSING

    Course ID: NURS206

    Name: NURSING FOUNDATIONS VI: COMMUNITY NURSING

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This nursing course provides the learner with theories of family and community to acquire the knowledge and skill required to promote the health and well-being of populations within the community. The course emphasizes the importance of collaboration among the interdisciplinary health-care team, families, and communities to achieve safe, evidence-informed community nursing practice. The learner will build upon previous nursing knowledge and related theory in adapting the nursing approach to the care and health promotion of the family and community using the nursing metaparadigm and nursing process. Trends and issues in the care of families and communities will also be explored.

  • NURSING FOUNDATIONS VII: MENTAL HEALTH

    Course ID: NURS204

    Name: NURSING FOUNDATIONS VII: MENTAL HEALTH

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This nursing course explores legal and ethical considerations and social stigmas related to mental health disorders.  The learner examines evidence-informed mental health nursing practice for clients and their families as they adjust to changes in functioning associated with mental health issues and related treatments.  The learner builds on previous knowledge and related theory in adapting the nursing approach to the care and health promotion of mental health clients and their families using the metaparadigm of nursing and the nursing process.  Trends and issues in mental health nursing will also be explored

  • TRANSITION TO PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

    Course ID: NURS202

    Name: TRANSITION TO PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course provides the opportunity for learners to build strategies and resources to transition successfully from the student role to professional nursing practice. Legal and ethical responsibilities in achieving and maintaining licensure under the CLPNA, including fitness to practice, continuing competency and life-long learning will be explored. The learner will gain an understanding of personal strengths in order to help build collaborative practice in addition to the formal/informal leadership roles required of the profession. Various management responsibilities will be discussed as they apply to professional practice and the expanding role of the LPN.

  • NURSING PRACTICE 3: ACUTE CARE PRACTICUM

    Course ID: NPRT215

    Name: NURSING PRACTICE 3: ACUTE CARE PRACTICUM

    Hours: 155

    Credits: 4

    This practice course provides the learner with clinical experience as a member of the interdisciplinary team by providing safe, holistic, and evidence-informed nursing care to clients in an acute-care environment following the standards of practice for a practical nurse. This course includes four weeks of instructor-supervised clinical practice on an acute-care medical and/or surgical unit and, in combination with Nursing Practice II, meets the program requirements of eight weeks of placement in an acute-care setting.

  • NURSING PRACTICE FINAL COMPREHENSIVE PRACTICUM

    Course ID: NURS230

    Name: NURSING PRACTICE FINAL COMPREHENSIVE PRACTICUM

    Hours: 271

    Credits: 7.0

    NURS230

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