Programs & Courses
Financial Aid

Access to Practical Nursing


This full-time program 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 program is divided into three levels. 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. The next two levels are the same as Levels three and four in the Practical Nursing Provincial Curriculum (2011).

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 applicants have achieved a certificate in the following programs: (Health Care Assistant (HCA) or Resident Care Attendant (RCA) or a combined Home Support/Resident Care Attendant (HS/RCA) they may be admitted to the access semester of the Practical Nursing program.  The total duration of the program is 56 weeks.

This program credits applicants for their previous B.C. public post-secondary institution RCA or HSA/RCA certificate. Those entering with an education other than from a B.C. public post-secondary institution (HCA; RCA or HS/RCA Certificate) will need to demonstrate their eligibility prior to entrance.

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; Please see English Language Alternatives for a list of equvalencies
  • Foundations of Math 11, Pre-Calculus 11 or Principles of Mathematics 11 with a grade of C+ (65%) or better or equivalent;
  • NWCC 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).

Requirement for Clinical Placements

  • Criminal Record Check, BC Ministry of Justice Schedule Type B. For more information see:
  • 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 or 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 

Accepting Applications for January 2018- Exact dates to be announced. 

Program Fees 

To be determined