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The Practical Nurse program prepares students to be registered as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Graduates of this program are eligible to write the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam (CPNRE). Various career opportunities for graduates exist within the Canadian healthcare system. The program is approved by the Education Standards Advisory Committee with the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA).
All the courses in the Practical Nurse program are completed at Northwestern Polytechnic and healthcare agencies within or near Grande Prairie. Clinical placements may involve evening hours, night hours, and weekends. Students may be required to attend at least one clinical placement outside of Grande Prairie. Students are responsible for obtaining transportation to the clinical placements and for the costs of necessary travel and accommodations. Required clinical placements may be a distance of 150 kilometres or more from Grande Prairie.
Special qualities are required for the nursing profession. A potential student must be a caring individual who considers the dignity, individuality and worth of the patient, client, and family. The Canadian Council for Practical Nurse Regulators (CCPNR) provides information on the requisite skills and abilities needed to become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Canada. All interested applicants should review this document https://www.clpna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/doc_CCPNR_CLPNA_Requisite_Skills_Abilities.pdf
Knowledge, skills, attitudes, behaviors, and judgements will be developed through a variety of structured and student-directed instructional delivery methods.
All minimum admission requirements must be completed prior to the admission deadline.
International Applicants - please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for application deadlines and conditions.
All applicants must present with the following academic requirements or equivalents:
- English, one of:
- English 30-1, minimum grade 60%
- English 30-2, minimum grade of 70%
- Biology 30, minimum grade of 60%
- Mathematics, one of:
- Mathematics 30-1, minimum grade 50%
- Mathematics 30-2, minimum grade 60%
- Mathematics 20-1, minimum grade 60%
- Mathematics 20-2, minimum grade of 70%
English proficiency requirements – please see English language proficiency for details.
Applicants must be aware of three important deadlines (in subsequent order):
• February 1st – Applications Open
• September 1st – Application Deadline*
• September 15th – Document Deadline
*Applications received after September 1st may not be considered for admission.
Preference will be given to applicants who are best qualified as determined by an admission scoring system based on high school and post-secondary course grades. Should two or more applicants have the same score, the students will be ranked according to the earliest application date. Conditional letters of admission will be mailed to successful applicants. Qualified applicants not selected for admission will be placed on a waitlist according to score.
As per Northwestern Polytechnic policy, outlined in the admissions section of the calendar, “the institution, at its discretion, may refuse admission to any applicant”.
Practicum agencies require Police Information Checks (PICs) of students working in their organizations. Information regarding PICs will be provided to students after they have been admitted.
Admission of Indigenous Students
Two seats in the first year of the Practical Nurse program will be reserved for qualified applicants of Indigenous ancestry. The top two applications, based on the outcome of the approved scoring system chart, will be selected for offer of admission and will be assigned these reserved seats. If the designated applicants do not fill these reserved seats by November 1 of each year, the seats will be offered to the general applicant pool.
If you are applying as an Indigenous student, you may be required to present proof of Indigenous ancestry.
Other Requirements for Students Admitted to the Practical Nursing Program
Health and Safety Requirements
All students admitted to the Practical Nursing program must be capable of completing responsibilities and activities as required in clinical practice. In order to successfully pass clinical practice courses, students must consistently demonstrate the essential competencies to safely provide nursing care to their assigned patient/client. The CLPNA sets these competencies. If a student believes they may require assistance to be successful in the program, they are encouraged to contact an Academic Advisor in the Registrar's Office as soon as possible after admission for any accommodations that may need to be arranged.
Students must have the following items completed and submitted by December 1 after being admitted to the program:
* Police Information Check with Vulnerable Sector Clearance
* Immunization – some immunizations including Hepatitis B, may need to be initiated prior to the first day of the program.
*Standard First Aid
*CPR-BLS - must be through Heart and Stroke. No other certificate will be accepted. Must be current for the year as of the date set out by the department. No exceptions.
There are also other forms that will be required by December 1 and those provided to students upon successful admission.
Students are required to purchase a stethoscope and a penlight, and scissors in the practice setting. Standardized uniforms are required - information will be provided upon admission.
Length of Time to Complete Program
The curriculum is designed to be taken over two years. Students should complete the Practical Nurse program within three years after initial admission to the program.
First year (35 credits)
- NP1205 Practical Nurse Theory I (3)
- NP1250 Health Assessment (3)
- NP1280 Communications in Nursing (3)
- NP1400 Nursing Across the Lifespan (3)
- NP1410 Practical Nursing Theory II (3)
- NP1450 Clinical Nursing Skills (3)
- NP1480 Medication Administration (2)
- NP1500 Anatomy and Physiology (6)
- NP1600 Pathophysiology and Pharmacology (6)
- Open elective (3)
Second Year (37 credits)
- NP2100 Practical Nursing Practice I (4)
- NP2110 Practical Nursing Theory III (3)
- NP2130 Maternity Nursing Theory (3)
- NP2150 Pediatric Nursing Theory (3)
- NP2200 Practical Nursing Practice II (3)
- NS2220 Indigenous Health in Canada (3)
- NP2230 Mental Health Nursing Theory (3)
- NP2250 Community Nursing Theory (3)
- NP2300 Practical Nursing Practice III (3)
- NP2350 Transition to Professional practice (1)
- NP2400 Practical Nursing Preceptorship (5)
- Open elective (3)
Academic Progression Criteria
A grade of C- is the minimum passing grade for all Practical Nursing courses in the program. For promotion from term to term in the program and for graduation, students must have successfully completed all the required Practical Nursing and non-Practical Nursing courses of the previous term.
A student with a GPA of 1.69 or lower must withdraw from the Practical Nursing program. Readmission to the program is subject to departmental review.
Students who withdraw or fail twice from a required practical nursing course will be withdrawn from the program and ineligible for re-admission.
Clinical Progression Criteria
A student who is absent more than two clinical days in one clinical nursing course may need to make up the lost time before being allowed to continue in the program. Absences from the clinical site may result in the instructor being unable to evaluate the student’s clinical performance. If clinical performance cannot be evaluated, a failing grade may be assigned in the course. Whenever a student’s clinical performance is considered marginal in a nursing course, the student’s total academic and clinical performance in the program is reviewed and considered in determining continuation in the program.
An instructor, in consultation with the Chair, may immediately deny assignment of a student to, may withdraw a student from, or vary the terms or conditions or a site of a practicum/clinical placement, if the instructor has reasonable grounds to believe that this is necessary in order to protect public interest.