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Access to Practical Nursing


Access to Practical Nursing prepares graduates to provide nursing care in partnership with other health care professionals. Graduates will be able to care for selected clients chosen on the basis of acuity and complexity in a variety of settings. 

This 13-month, full-time program is divided into three levels:

Level 1:

The first level is a combination of Levels 1 and 2 of the Practical Nursing Provincial Curriculum (2011), giving prior learning credits for knowledge and skills acquired in the HCA, RCA, HS/RCA certificate programs.

Levels 2-3:

The next two levels are the same as Levels three and four in the Practical Nursing Provincial Curriculum (2011).

Program Details

This diploma was initiated in response to the need for recognizing past education, training and work experience of applicants to the Practical Nursing program. If you have achieved a certificate in one of the following programs you are eligible to apply to the access semester of the Practical Nursing program:

  • Health Care Assistant (HCA) or
  • Resident Care Attendant (RCA) or
  • A combined Home Support/Resident Care Attendant (HS/RCA)

This program credits applicants for their previous BC public post-secondary institution RCA or HSA/RCA certificate. Those entering with an education other than from a BC public post-secondary institution (HCA; RCA or HS/RCA Certificate) will need to demonstrate eligibility prior to entrance.  The total duration of the program is 56 weeks.

Career Opportunities 

Upon successful completion of the program, Licensed Practical Nurses can work in a variety of settings included, but not limited to the following:

  • Hospitals
  • Community Group Homes
  • Residential and Long Term Care Facilities
  • Schools
  • Public and Private Medical Clinics
  • Home Care Agencies
  • Rehabilitations Centers
Admission Requirements 

Admission Requirements

  • Grade 12 Graduation or equivalent
  • Biology 12 or equivalent with a grade of C+ (65%) or better
  • English 12 or equivalent* with a grade of C+ (65%) or better
  • Foundations of Math 11, Pre-Calculus 11 or Principles of Mathematics 11 with a grade of C+ (65%) or better or equivalent
  • PNUR 103 or equivalent or (BIOL 131 and BIOL 132 OR Equivalent) with a grade of C+ (65%) or better; taken within the last 5 years
  • Successful completion of a recognized HCA certificate program; with 600 hours of relevant field experience authorized by a written reference provided by an employer(s)

*Please see English Language Alternatives page for a list of English equivalencies

Requirement for Clinical Placements

  • Criminal Record Check - BC Ministry of Justice Schedule Type B
  • CPR Level C certification, Negative Mantoux test (PPD) for tuberculosis or negative chest x-ray.
  • Evidence of current immunization status for diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, and rubella, Hepatitis B and Varicella

Notes for Admission: 

Human Anatomy and Physiology for Practical Nurses with a minimum grade of C+ or equivalent must be completed by the start of specified courses. 

The following are to be completed during the admission process: 

  • CPR level “C” 
  • Criminal Record Check
  • Immunization as required by sites of practice education and recommended by BC Centre for Disease Control (2009): diphtheria and tetanus, polio, hepatitis B, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), varicella, and influenza (should be started during the admission process).
  • Negative TB skin test or chest x-ray  
  • Students who do not meet the immunization requirements may be prohibited from attending practice education experiences given particular Health Authority, or practice education site organization/agency policy. 

Additional Admission Requirements For the Access to PN Program  

  • Minimum 600 hours of work experience, within the last two years, in a care facility where care is provided to a group of Gerontology clients. Work experience must be verified by an official employer letter. Individualized home care experience is not acceptable.
  • 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)
Dates and Locations 

Pre-requisite dates:

Practical Nursing Anatomy and Physiology (PNUR 103) is 2-week intensive course that is a pre-requisite for the program.

PNUR 103 (Date of next offering TBA)

Please inquire at a campus near you for offerings of Biology 12, English 12, and Math 11 which are offered by our Career and College Prep Program. **These courses are tuition free.

Program dates:

*November 2019 - Terrace Campus

*Please note that the dates are subject to change.

**Students are required to pay student union fees per term. 

Program Fees 

PNUR 103 $333.78 (plus SUF's below)
Student Union Fees $46.83

FEES Full-time Domestic (52 credits) Full-time International (52 credits)
Tuition: $8,308.04 $35,309.17
*Student Union Fees: $140.49 $140.49
Mandatory Fees: $370.24 $436.24
Lab Fees: $675.84 $675.84
Health Insurance: N/A $230.00
 Total Tuition: $9,494.61 $36,791.74
Additional Costs*    
Books  $2000.00 $2000.00
Uniforms and Supplies  $300.00 $300.00 

Total Program Cost:



Fees effective August 7, 2018 and are estimated based on a full course load.

*Additional costs are approximate and may vary.