Practical Nursing


Practical Nursing is now open for admission to the fall 2017 intake.
To explore an exciting career as a Licenced Practical Nurse,
email or call 1-866-463-6652 local 7554

Northern Lights College is pleased to announce that our Practical Nursing (PN) Program has been granted full, five-year recognition status by the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of British Columbia (CLPNBC). Graduates of NLC’s PN Program may apply to write the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination (CPNRE).

    Licensed Practical Nurse

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Program Description

The Diploma in Practical Nursing at Northern Lights College follows the new provincial curriculum approved by the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of BC (CLPNBC) in 2011. The program is designed to provide learners with the knowledge, skills, judgments, and attitudes to perform to the full range of competencies as identified by 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 Baseline Competencies for Licensed Practical Nurses’ Professional Practice (2014), the focus for beginner practice is “care of clients with less complex and more predictable outcomes.” Upon successful completion of the program, students will possess the competencies to successfully complete the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam. 

To gain an understanding of the requisite skills and abilities associated with Licensed Practical Nursing in Canada, please see Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in Canada

Career Prospects

Work with other inter-professional health care team members in a variety of settings, and play an increasing role in primary health care focusing on health promotion, illness and injury prevention, and health protection and restoration.


Location: Dawson Creek Campus

Length: 67 weeks (five semesters)

Start: If you are interested in applying for the 2017 Fall Intake of Practical Nursing please inquire here

Need upgrading first? Start with NLC’s Career and College Preparation program.

Admission Prerequisites

Conditional Acceptance

Submit secondary school and/or post-secondary transcripts indicating successful completion of Grade 12 (or equivalent), including:
  • Grade 12 English, or English 12 First Peoples, or Career and College Preparation ENGL050, or ENGL099 Foundational Writing with C+ or higher; or Grade 12 Technical Communications 12 with a B+ or higher. If English is your additional language, please see below for English-as-an-Additional-Language (or ESL) testing requirements.
  • Grade 11 Math (Principles, or Foundations), or Career and College Preparation MATH040 (Advanced/Grade 12) with C or higher. If Math 11 requirements are over 10 years old, Grade 11 proficiency on numeracy sections (Number Operations and Problem Solving) of the Canadian Adult Achievement Test (CAAT) is required (11.9).
  • Grade 12 Biology (Human Biology) or Career and College Preparation BIOL050 (Provincial/Grade 12) with C or higher, within the past 10 years.

English as an Additional Language (or ESL) requirements are set by the minimum standards of the Practical Nursing Program Provincial Curriculum:

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) - Academic Version with minimum scores of:
• Overall Band Score: 7.5
• Speaking: 7.5
• Listening: 8.0
• Reading: 7.0
• Writing: 7.5


Canadian English Language Benchmarks Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN) with minimum scores of:
• Speaking: 8.0
• Listening: 10
• Reading: 8
• Writing: 7


Test d'évaluation de français (TEF) with a minimum overall score of 750, and the following scores:
• Speaking: 5
• Listening: 4
• Reading: 4
• Vocabulary and grammar: 4 

Confirmed Acceptance

  • Successful completion of PNUR099: Anatomy and Physiology for Practical Nurses (or an equivalent course at another institution) with a minimum grade of C+ before the first day of classes in Semester 1. The completion date for the Anatomy and Physiology requirement cannot exceed five years before program initiation. 

Post Acceptance

The following must be completed prior to the first Practice Experience in Semester 1:

  • CPR Level C
  • A Solicitor General Criminal Record Check.
    • Please see the NLC Criminal Records Check page for completion instructions and more information pertaining to Criminal Record Checks.
  • Immunization as required by sites of practice education and recommended by BC Centre for Disease Control (2009): Diphtheria, tetanus, polio, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, seasonal influenza, and pertussis
  • Negative TB skin test or chest x-ray.  

Important Notes

  1. The program is eligible for Canada Student Loans. Visit StudentAid BC to apply for financial assistance online.
  2. Clinical Learning experiences may occur in a variety of settings, including Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Chetwynd, and Fort Nelson. All students should be prepared for in-region travel.
  3. Students must provide the following required supplies/materials: Stethoscope, Uniforms, lab coat(s), WCB approved safety/nursing shoes, and a watch with a second hand.
  4. A personal laptop is recommended for each student.
  5. Students have an average of 29 hours of classes, laboratories, and other learning activities per week, and a comparable number of individual study hours are required. Further, in clinical learning situations, students will be in close contact with individuals who have a variety of health issues. For these reasons, students should be in a satisfactory level of physical and emotional health to ensure success in the program.
  6. The information on this program page is a summary of the official Program Completion Guide approved by NLC’s Education Council. Download a PDF of the Program Completion Guide.
  7. Program graduates are eligible for direct admission into the Justice Institute of British Columbia’s Advanced Specialty Certificate in Community Care Licensing. Advanced standing is granted for HDEC 104.  

If you are interested in applying for the 2017 Fall Intake of Practical Nursing please inquire here

Do you need more information?

Program Admissions Officer: Megan Bedell


Prior to Start of Program: