Access to Practical Nursing

Program Description

The Access to Practical Nursing (APN) program is designed to build on the Health Care Assistant (HCA) Certificate. Students who complete or hold an HCA Certificate* may complete the Access to Practical Nursing (APN) Diploma in 16 months rather than the direct entry Practical Nursing (PN) program which is 22 months.

The (APN) Diploma prepares graduates to provide professional nursing care to individuals and families in a range of settings. Graduates of the program can apply to write the Regulatory Exam - Practical Nurse (REx-PN) for licensure as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). LPNs are hired in the community, continuing care and acute care hospital settings. The NLC APN program meets or exceeds all of the Provincial education competencies required for Licensed Practical Nurse graduates.

Please note this program is pending official BCCNM recognition expected in November 2022.

This 16-month Diploma program is full-time study divided into three levels:
• The Access level provides the balance of training from a combination of Levels 1 and 2 of the revised 2011 Practical Nursing Provincial Curriculum (2017), giving prior learning credits for knowledge and skills acquired in the HCA, RCA, HS/RCA certificate programs.
• The next two levels are the same as Levels three and four of the revised 2011 Practical Nursing Provincial Curriculum (2017).
* Resident Care Attendants (RCA) or those with a combination of Home Support/Resident Care Attendant (HS/RCA) may also be recognized. Those entering with an education other than from a BC public post-secondary institution (HCA; RCA or HS/RCA Certificate) will need to provide active registration with the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry and will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Bridging model (HCA to PN):
The APN program allows students to begin their health career education at NLC, completing an HCA Certificate in 31-34 weeks. HCA graduates are required to obtain 600 hours of work experience as HCAs before bridging into the APN program, where after an additional 15 months of study they will graduate with their Diploma in PN. 

Career Prospects

Licensed Practical Nurses work with other interprofessional, health care team members in a variety of settings and play an increasingly wide role in primary health care focusing on health promotion, illness and injury prevention, and health protection and restoration.

Details

Locations: Classroom hours will be videconferenced between the Dawson Creek and Fort St John campuses as available. Laboratory contact hours are scheduled in the Health Sciences Building in Dawson Creek.  Clinical learning experiences may occur in a variety of settings, including Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Chetwynd, and perhaps Fort Nelson.  Efforts will be made to place students in convenient clinical locations, but all students should be prepared for in-region travel. Transportation, meals, and accommodation are the responsibility of the student. After a clinical or preceptorship site is assigned by the Program Chair and instructor, no changes are permitted.

Length: Approximately 68 weeks, 1550 total hours

Start: February

Fees: Current Fee Schedule 

Students enrolled in the APN program can apply for the APN Program Education Incentive Bursary. This is a $10,000 bursary offered by the BC Government. 

 

Admission Prerequisites

The following admission requirements reflect provincial standards mandated by the Practical Nurse Program Provincial Curriculum Guide Supplement:
1. Grade 12 graduation, or equivalent.
2. English: any one of the following with a minimum grade of C+, English 12, or English First Peoples 12, or equivalent. See below for applicants with English as an additional language.
3. Math: any one of the following with a minimum grade of C: Foundations of Mathematics 11, Pre-Calculus 11, or equivalent. If the course requirement is over ten years old or uncompleted, students can demonstrate the Math 11 equivalency by achieving an 11.9 score on the numeracy section of the CAAT Exam (Number Operations and Problem Solving).
4. Biology: any one of the following with a minimum grade of C: Anatomy and Physiology 12, Biology 12, or equivalent.
5. PNUR 099: Anatomy and Physiology for Practical Nurses (or an equivalent course at another institution) with a minimum grade of 65%. The completion date for PNUR 099 or equivalent must be within five years of program initiation. Applicants may be granted conditional acceptance into the Access to Practical Nursing program prior to completing PNUR 099 or its equivalent. However, the PNUR 099 requirement must be successfully completed prior to the first day of classes in Semester 1.
6. A certificate in one of the following programs: Health Care Assistant (HCA) or Resident Care Attendant (RCA) or a combined Home Support/Resident Care Attendant (HS/RCA).Those entering with an education other than from a BC public post-secondary institution (HCA; RCA or HS/RCA Certificate) will need to provide active registration with the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry and will be assessed on a case by case basis.
7. Minimum 600 Hours of work experience, within the last two years, in a care facility where care is provided to a multiple patients/residents. Work experience must be verified by an official employer letter. Working in a home care home care environment where one person is cared for at a time does note meet the requirement. (Click here for a sample letter)

APPLICANTS WITH ENGLISH AS AN ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE:
Applicants with English as an additional language are defined as those who do not have three years of full-time, face-to-face, secondary or post-secondary education at an accredited institution where English is the medium of instruction in a country where English is also an official national language. English as a Second Language/Additional Language courses are not included in this three-year calculation. Such applicants must achieve scores identified in one of the two tests below:
1. International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic) with minimum scores of:
- Speaking: 7.0
- Listening: 7.5
- Reading: 6.5
- Writing: 7.0
- Overall Band Score: 7.0
2. Canadian English Language Benchmarks Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN) with minimum scores of:
- Speaking: 8.0
- Listening: 10.0
- Reading: 8.0
- Writing: 7.0
NOTE ON ENGLISH AS AN ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE:
In addition to meeting English language admission requirements for the Provincial Practical Nursing Program, graduates who speak English as an additional language must be able to demonstrate performance-ready English proficiency as a condition for registration and practice in British Columbia. See BCCNM's website for further details.

POST-ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS
The following six items must be completed and documented by the first day of classes in the first semester.
1. Current CPR (Basic Life Support) certification as outlined in the Health Sciences Placement Network Practice Education Guidelines - Orientation - Students (https://hspcanada.net/docs/pegs/1-6%20Orientation%20-%20Students.pdf).
2. Immunizations as outlined in the Health Sciences Placement Network Practice Education Guidelines - Communicable Disease Prevention (https://hspcanada.net/docs/pegs/1-3%20Communicable%20Disease%20Prevention.pdf). Please make an appointment with a public health nurse immediately because the immunization process can take anywhere from one to three months, sometimes longer.
3. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination as referenced in the Practice Education Guidelines - Communicable Disease Prevention (https://hspcanada.net/docs/pegs/1-3%20Communicable%20Disease%20Prevention.pdf)
4. Negative TB test indicating the absence of active tuberculosis.
5. N95 fit testing for proper respiratory mask fitting certificate.
6. Schedule B Criminal Record Check (CRC) for working with "children and vulnerable adults." No student will be permitted to begin a workplace practicum with children or vulnerable adults until the CRC has been received and reviewed by NLC. Students are obligated to report any Schedule B criminal convictions that occur after they authorize a Criminal Record Check but are still enrolled in the program. Failure to do so may result in immediate dismissal from the program. Please apply for the CRC immediately because the application process can take anywhere from three to six weeks. 


Important Notes

  1. The program is eligible for Canada Student Loans. Visit StudentAid BC to apply for financial assistance online.
  2. Students must provide the following required supplies/materials: Stethoscope, Uniforms, lab coats (provided by NLC at cost), WCB approved safety/nursing shoes, and a watch with a second hand. Appropriate attire and shoes are necessary for lab courses and for clinical and preceptorship experiences. Students must purchase standardized program uniforms from the NLC Bookstore.
  3. A substantial amount of course and program resource materials is provided solely in electronic form. Minimum computer requirements are published on NLC's website. See https://www.nlc.bc.ca/Services/Information-Technology/minPC.
  4. The information provided here is a summary of the official Program Completion Guide approved by NLC’s Education Council. Download a PDF of the Program Completion Guide.

APPLY NOW for the Access to Practical Nursing program 

Do you need more information?
Contact admissions@nlc.bc.ca


Required Courses
ACCESS LEVEL
APNP 130: Professional Communication A (45 hrs)
APNP 131: Professional Practice A (45 hrs)
APNP 132: Health Promotion A (30 hrs)
APNP 133: Variations in Health A (60 hrs)
APNP 134: Pharmacology A (60 hrs)
APNP 135: Integrated Nursing Practice A (180 hrs)
APNP 136: Consolidated Practice Experience A (120 hrs)

LEVEL THREE:
PNUR 230: Professional Communication 3 (20 hrs)
PNUR 231: Professional Practice 3 (20 hrs)
PNUR 232: Health Promotion 3 (36 hrs)
PNUR 233: Variations in Health 3 (45 hrs)
PNUR 235: Integrated Nursing Practice 3 (120 hrs)
PNUR 236: Consolidated Practice Experience 3 (65 hrs)

LEVEL FOUR:
PNUR 240: Professional Communication 4 (20 hrs)
PNUR 241: Professional Practice 4 (20 hrs)
PNUR 242: Health Promotion 4 (24 hrs)
PNUR 243: Variations in Health 4 (50 hrs)
PNUR 245: Integrated Nursing Practice 4 (180 hrs)
PNUR 246: Consolidated Practice Experience 4 (200 hrs)
PNUR 247: Transition to Preceptorship (30 hrs)
PNUR 248: Final Practice Experience (180 hrs)