A student of the LPN program in BC examining a torso model

Practical Nursing


  • Program Length 
    2 Years
  • Credential 
    Diploma
  • Location Offered 
    Cowichan, Nanaimo

Looking for a rewarding career in Canadian health care that gives you the personal satisfaction that comes with helping others?

The Practical Nurse (PN) program provides you with the theory and skills required to practice safe, competent and ethical nursing care that contributes to the comfort and well-being of others. Becoming an LPN is a great way to start your nursing career in a short amount of time, providing you with a stable future with great earning potential as the demand for health care professionals continues to grow in Canada.

The LPN Program provides students with the skills and knowledge to become a valued professional in a demanding and challenging career in a variety of community care facilities.  

The Practical Nursing Diploma Program

This program provides students with the theory and skills required to practice as a Practical Nurse within acute care, extended care, intermediate care, and community care settings. The two-year program includes four consolidated practice experiences and one preceptorship. Students must successfully complete all required courses in each semester before progressing to subsequent semesters and the final preceptorship.

On recommendation of the program faculty, graduates of the Practical Nursing Diploma program may write the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination (CPNRE) to become a Licensed Practical Nurse.

Program Outline

Year 1 - Semester 1

Credits

PRNU 101 - (Pharmacology I)

2

PRNU 102 - (Health Promotion I)

2

PRNU 103 - (Variations in Health I)

2.7

PRNU 104 - (Professional Communication I)

2.3

PRNU 105 - (Professional Practice I)

1.7

PRNU 106 - (Integrated Nursing Practice I)

3

PRNU 107 - (Consolidated Practice Experience I)

3

Total Credits

16.7

Year 1 - Semester 2

Credits

PRNU 111 - (Pharmacology II)

2

PRNU 112 - (Health Promotion II)

2

PRNU 113 - (Variations in Health II)

3

PRNU 114 - (Professional Communication II)

2

PRNU 115 - (Professional Practice II)

1.3

PRNU 116 - (Integrated Nursing Practice II)

4

Total Credits

14.3

Year 1 - Semester 3

Credits

PRNU 117* - (Consolidated Practice Experience II)

5

Total Credits

5

** PRNU 117 will be delivered in the summer at the Nanaimo campus, and in the fall at the Cowichan campus.

Year 2 - Semester 1

Credits

PRNU 202 - (Health Promotion III)

2.4

PRNU 203 - (Variations in Health III)

3

PRNU 204 - (Professional Communication III)

1.3

PRNU 205 - (Professional Practice III)

1.3

PRNU 206 - (Integrated Nursing Practice III)

3

PRNU 207 - (Consolidated Practice Experience III)

3

Total Credits

14

Year 2 - Semester 2

Credits

PRNU 212 - (Health Promotion IV)

1.6

PRNU 213 - (Variations in Health IV)

3.3

PRNU 214 - (Professional Communication IV)

1.3

PRNU 215 - (Professional Practice IV)

1.3

PRNU 216 - (Integrated Nursing Practice IV)

4

PRNU 217 - (Consolidated Practice Experience IV)

7

Total Credits

18.5

Year 2 - Semester 3

Credits

PRNU 218** - (Transition to Preceptorship)

1

PRNU 219** - (Preceptorship)

6

Total Credits

7

Total Program Credits

75.5

** PRNU 218 and PRNU 219 will be delivered in the summer at the Nanaimo campus, and in the fall at the Cowichan campus.

Updated 
Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Admission Requirements

  • General admission requirements apply.
  • English 12 minimum grade of "C+" or equivalent or Technical Professional Communications 12 with a grade of "B+".
  • Pre-calculus 11, or Foundations of Math 11; minimum grade of "C", or equivalent.
  • Biology 12 with a grade of "C".
  • HHPN 001 - (Human Anatomy and Physiology for Practical Nurses) with a minimum grade of "C+".

Recommendations for Admission

  • Recent course in writing skills.
  • Volunteer experience in health care setting.

Notes on Admission

  • Indigenous students can apply for reserve seats by submitting the Access Initiative for Indigenous Students form.
  • Criminal Record Check. Fieldwork and/or practicums will require a satisfactory criminal record check prior to placement. Criminal Record Checks are requested through VIU. The Registration Centre at VIU will contact prospective students by mail regarding the requirements for a Criminal Record Check. Criminal Record Checks are processed through the Ministry according to the Criminal Records Review Act. A check completed through the RCMP is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Act.
  • Immunization: A completed Immunization Requirements Form is required for the first day of classes.
  • C.P.R. level "C" certificate (presumed to include 1 person, 2 persons, infant CPR and choking victim) is required for the first day of classes.
  • Proof of W.H.M.I.S. training is required for the first day of classes.
  • Enrolment in this program is limited. Students who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements may not necessarily be admitted to the program.
    • Admission is determined by:
      • Candidates meeting admission requirements
      • GPA scores rankings.
  • Applicants may be granted conditional acceptance into the Practical Nursing Diploma program prior to successful completion of the required HHPN 001 course. HHPN 001 must be completed before attending any Practical Nursing Diploma courses. Note: To view and register for current course offerings please refer to the Professional Development and Training department.
  • This program is currently not available to international students.
  • Applicants with English as an Additional Language (EAL) must meet the language requirements set by BCCNP (2011), and be successful in one of the following prior to licensing:
    International English Language Testing System (IELTS) - Academic Version with minimum scores of:
    • Overall Band Score: 7.5
    • Speaking: 7.5
    • Listening: 8
    • Reading: 7
    • Writing: 7.5

    Canadian English Language Benchmarks Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN) with minimum scores of:

    • Speaking: 8
    • Listening: 10
    • Reading: 8
    • Writing: 7

Progression within the Program:

A student may be discontinued in their program for a variety of reasons: course failure; withdrawal for personal, medical, fitness to practice concerns, etc. Since each semester is a pre-requisite for the subsequent semester, a student who does not successfully complete a semester will be discontinued in the program. If the student becomes eligible for re-entry, the student may request re-entry for when that course/semester is next offered. Re-entry is subject to seat availability; a seat will not be set aside for a returning student. 

1. Course Failure: 

  • A student who is unsuccessful/fails a program course, cannot proceed into the next semester and will be required to discontinue from the program. The student may request re-entry for the semester when that course is next offered. 
  • A student who is unsuccessful/fails a practice course, will be required to retake that practice course when it is next offered and may also be required to retake the theory and/or lab/learning centre course(s) that inform that practice course, upon the discretion of the program chair. 
  • A student who is unsuccessful/fails a single program course, re-enters and retakes the same course and subsequently fails that course (e.g., fails the same course twice), will be required to leave the program. If the student wants to re-enter the program, they must wait a minimum of two years and must apply to semester 1/year 1 of the program with no credit for previously completed program courses. 
  • A student who is unsuccessful/fails any two program courses (any combination of practice, lab, and/or theory), will be required to leave the program. If the student wants to re-enter the program, they must wait a minimum of two years and must apply as a new student to a semester 1/year 1 of the program with no credit for previously completed program courses. 

*'Program courses' are those courses that are core to the program.

2. Re-Entry After Withdrawal from Program

See also section below regarding re-entry to program. 

A student who withdraws from the program (e.g., due to personal, financial, health, fitness to practice reasons) may request re-entry for when that semester is next offered.

3. Notice of Discontinuation: 

A student who is required to be discontinued from the program will first meet with the Program Chair. The re-entry process will be discussed, including any conditions for re-entry and any support services designed to help the student achieve greater success in their future studies. A 'Student Discontinuation Form' will be completed; the student will receive a copy of this form. 

Re-entry into the Program: 

1. Notice of Re-Entry: 

A student seeking re-entry after withdrawing or being required to discontinue, must make their intent to return known to the Program Chair, in writing (formal letter or email), as soon as possible and no later than four months prior to the desired start date. The approval of a request for re-entry will take into consideration the date which the written notification was received by the Chair of the program. 

2. Seat Availability

Re-entry into the program is subject to seat availability. 

3. Corrective Learning Plan for Re-entry 

In order to facilitate a successful re-entry, prior to offering a re-entry student a program seat, the student will meet with the Program Chair and/or Program Advisor. Each student will be assessed individually and the 'Student Discontinuation Form' notes will be reviewed including recommendations for program re-entry. The student will complete a Corrective Learning Plan of how they have/will ensure competency/currency in their knowledge, skills, and practice; any gaps identified; specific strategies to close those gaps; and a specific timeline of what must be completed prior to re-entry. At the discretion of the Program Chair and/or Program Advisor, the Corrective Learning Plan may include the requirement for the student to complete: 

  1. A Directed Studies Course that focuses on integration of program knowledge, skills, and practice including decision-making and critical thinking. (Level/expectation will be consistent with what would be expected of a student at the level the student is returning to). The course will be structured around that student's specific learning needs. 
  2. OR one or more of the following:
    • Med Math (Drug Calculations for Health Care) Exam
    • Skills assessment on previously learning skills
    • Simulation Scenario and/or comprehensive lab scenario
    • Comprehensive Care Plan
    • Audit of lab/learning centre and/or theory courses. A student cannot audit a practice course. 
    • Repeat of lab/learning centre, practice, and/or theory courses. 

If the student does not successfully complete the requirements of the Corrective Learning Plan, then the Program Chair may: 

  • Permit the student to re-enter but at an earlier semester and repeat certain courses.
  • Not permit the student to re-enter or re-apply to that program for a minimum of two years. 

4. Number of Times for Re-entry

A student who has been discontinued from the program due to course failure, may re-enter the program at the point where they exited the program once only. If the student is requesting a second re-entry into the program, they must first meet with the Dean and Program Chair who will determine the eligibility for re-entry. 

Completion Requirements

The maximum time for a student to complete all program requirements is 3 years, with no period of absence exceeding 12 months.

Under exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the Dean and Program Chair, a student may be granted an extension. 

Transfer from other institutions

The program will consider accepting transfer students from other recognized Practical Nursing Diploma programs on an individual basis, space permitting. The Program Chair, in collaboration with Registration Services, will determine transfer eligibility based on a review of prerequisites, official transcripts, course outlines, and other supporting documentation. Policies and practices developed by the BC Council on Admissions and Transfer for Practical Nursing programs in the BC Transfer system will be used to guide student transfers.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Practical Nursing Diploma program can seek employment in a diverse range of employment settings, including: hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, rehabilitation centres, doctors' offices, clinics, companies, private homes, educational institutions, and community health centres.

Domestic Fees

Tuition Fee Schedule

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Fees - Year 1

Amount

Tuition (36 credits x $205.03 per credit)

7,381.08

Student Activity fee (4% of tuition)

295.24

Student Services fee (36 credits x $6.79 per credit)

244.44

VIU Students' Union fee (10 months x $20.73 per month)

207.30

Health and Dental Plan fee ($275 per year)

275.00

Books and supplies per year (approximate cost)

2,300.00

Total

10,703.06

Fees - Year 2

Amount

Tuition (39.5 credits x $205.03 per credit)

8,098.69

Student Activity fee (4% of tuition)

323.95

Student Services fee (39.5 credits x $6.79 per credit)

268.21

VIU Students' Union fee (10 months x $20.73 per month)

207.30

Health and Dental Plan fee ($275 per year)

275.00

Books and supplies per year (approximate cost)

2,300.00

Total

11,473.15

Notes
  • Students taking the program at Cowichan Campus will pay a reduced VIU Students' Union fee and will not be charged the Health and Dental Plan fee.
  • Students are responsible for practice insurance and association fees, and travel expenses to practicum sites in Nanaimo and Duncan.
  • The Licensed Practical Nursing Council of British Columbia will require a license examination fee at the end of the program.
  • PRNU 106, PRNU 116, PRNU 206, and PRNU 216 have an additional lab fee.
  • The Health and Dental Plan fee is in effect only for full–time students at the Nanaimo Campus.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice.

Updated
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Nanaimo Campus: The program starts every September at the Nanaimo Campus and applications are accepted between the first business day in October and March 31.

Cowichan Campus: The program starts in January every other year on odd-numbered years (i.e. 2019, 2021) and applications are accepted between the first business day in April and September 30.

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus
Anticipated intake for someone applying today
Sep 8, 2020
Accepting International Applications
No
Application Fee
$41.72
Waitlist
No
Testing Required
No
Admissions Assistant

Name: Darlene Norby
Phone: 250-753-3245 ext. 2594
Email: Darlene.Norby@viu.ca

Chair Contact
Documentation Deadline

April 30, 2020

Comments

Human Anatomy and Physiology for Practical Nurses must be completed prior to attending any Practical Nursing diploma program courses, as per admission requirements.

Anticipated intake for someone applying today
Jan 7, 2021
Accepting International Applications
No
Application Fee
$41.72
Waitlist
No
Testing Required
No
Admissions Assistant

Name: Christine Wass
Phone: 250-746-3514
Email: Christine.Wass@viu.ca

Area Secretary Contact

Name: Nadine Beaudoin
Phone: 250-740-6243
Email: Nadine.Beaudoin@viu.ca

Coordinator Contact

Name: Kim Fraser, Leslie Sundby
Phone: 250-753-3245 ext. 6678
Email: PNchair@viu.ca

Comments

This program is offered every second year at the Cowichan campus.

Human Anatomy and Physiology for Practical Nurses must be completed prior to attending any Practical Nursing diploma program courses, as per admission requirements.

For information on any previous versions please check our Program Archive Page.
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