Practical Nursing

Do you feel a strong sense of purpose to provide safe and appropriate nursing care to those in need? If so, becoming a Practical Nurse may be the career choice for you. Practical Nursing is the second largest nursing group in Canada.


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    Delivery Method

    Delivery Method: In-Class

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    Duration

    Duration: 74 weeks

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    Starts

    Starts: Three times per year (January, June, and October)

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    Credential

    Credential: Diploma

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    Designation

    Designation: Licensed Practical Nurse

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    Wages

    Wages: Up to $25.50/hour


Do you feel a strong sense of purpose to provide safe and appropriate nursing care to those in need? If so, becoming a Practical Nurse may be the career choice for you. Practical Nursing is the second largest nursing group in Canada. As a Practical Nurse, you will be delivering care as part of a primary health care team, working in public and private care facilities.

As a Practical Nurse, you’ll provide direct care under the supervision of a registered nurse, physician or other healthcare specialist. You’ll be a valued member of a primary healthcare team, qualified to: administer medication, assess and monitor patients, assist in rehabilitation activities, educate clients regarding health-related issues and more.

To learn more about entering the healthcare profession as a Practical Nurse, please read the Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in Canada: Requisite Skills and Abilities document and the Entry-to-Practice Competencies for Licensed Practical Nurses document.


Stenberg College is accredited by the BC government’s Ministry of Advanced Education through the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB).

PTIB is responsible for setting standards of quality and ensuring consumer protection. Stenberg College has also received the BC government’s Education Quality Assurance (EQA) designation which is BC’s brand or “seal” of quality post-secondary education for both public and private institutions.

The Stenberg College Practical Nursing Program follows the Provincial Practical Nursing Curriculum (2011). Graduates are qualified to write the Canadian Practical Nursing Registration Examination (CPNRE) and upon passing, can register and become licensed through the College of Practical Nurses of BC (CLPNBC).

Our simulation technology education allows students to practice and hone their hands-on skills, preparing them for their practice education placements. Instructors in the Practical Nursing program are experienced nursing professionals with credentials in adult education.

Over 92% of our graduates are employed in their field of study within 6 months of graduation.

Many colleges and universities offering Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs offer bridging programs for Licensed Practical Nurses. Graduates of Stenberg’s Practical Nursing program may receive advanced entry into these programs, provided they also meet experiential and entrance requirements.
As a Registered Psychiatric Nurse, you’ll find opportunities for employment in public hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health facilities, centres for the developmentally disabled, mental health facilities, home care and home support agencies, assisted living facilities, and hospice care facilities.

Based on employment statistics gathered by Stenberg College, the wage range for Licensed Practical Nurses within the Fraser Health Region is between $21.24 – $25.50 per hour.

The related national occupation classification number for Practical Nurses is 3233.

  • Completion of Grade 12 or equivalent
  • Grade 12 English with a grade of C+ OR Technical Communication 12 with a grade of B+
  • Math 11 Principles with a grade of C (current BC curriculum) OR Math 11 Foundations with a grade of C (commencing 2012) *
  • Biology 12 (Human Body) with a grade of C *
  • Completion of Criminal Record Consent Form under the Criminal Record Review Act

*Stenberg College applicants may write challenge exams or take free upgrading courses to meet admission requirements for Math 11 and Bio 12.

Prior to Program Admission, Program Advisors will outline practice education requirements for the program. Upon enrollment, students will be informed of next steps and timelines. Non-compliance could result in program dismissal. Requirements for practice education placements include:

  • Acceptable Criminal Record Search under the Criminal Record Review Act
  • Proof of Immunity Status as required by industry
  • Acceptable Medical Examination Form completed by a physician

In addition to the admissions requirements above, applicants with English as an additional language must also meet one of the following language requirements:

Stenberg College English Language Equivalency Test (ELET) (scores valid for one year)
Testing proficiency in each of the following areas: Reading Comprehension, Written Expression, Listening and Speaking. Overall score of 56/80 or higher OR

TOEFL Internet-based (scores valid for one year)
Reading, Writing and Listening component scores must total a minimum of 60; minimum Speaking component score of 26 OR

IELTS Academic Module (scores valid for one year)
Overall score of 6.5 or higher with no band score less than 6.0 and a minimum score of 7.0 on the Speaking band OR

Canadian Language Benchmark Scores
Listening 8, Speaking 8, Reading 8, and Writing 7

NB: Additional criteria may be required to fulfill industry guidelines; students will be informed in advance of any requirements that need to be fulfilled for placements.

Please click the course title below to scroll to the course description:

Term One

Term Two

Term Three

Term Four

Term One

Orientation and Student Success Skills

This course will provide a comprehensive orientation to Stenberg College and the program you have enrolled in. As with all new things, there will be some challenges and excitement; this course covers student success skills where you’ll learn effective study habits (specifically to improving both reading skills) based on your own personal learning style. Life skills exercises are also integral to the course, teaching accountability, teamwork, self-awareness and building an understanding of the impact you have on others. In addition, you will be taught how to effectively navigate and learn within the program’s online learning platform (Moodle).

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Anatomy & Physiology I

It’s essential that a beginning Practical Nursing student develop a thorough understanding of the concepts of anatomy and physiology. This course gives an overview of the structure and function of each of the body systems. It also explores various health promotion strategies that work toward optimal function of these systems.

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Professional Practice I

This theory course provides an introduction to the profession of Practical Nursing. Legislation that informs PN practice within British Columbia will be introduced. The history of nursing and specifically, the evolution of Practical Nursing within the Canadian health care system will be discussed. The philosophy and foundational concepts of the Provincial Practical Nursing Program are explored.

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Professional Communication I

This course provides students with the foundational knowledge for caring and professional communication in nursing. It uses an experiential and self-reflective approach to develop self-awareness and interpersonal communication skills in the context of safe, competent, and collaborative nursing practice. Communication theory, the nurse-client relationship, therapeutic communication, cross-cultural communication, and effective teamwork will be covered.

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Health Promotion I

Health promotion by definition includes: health enhancement, health protection, disease prevention, health restoration/recovery, care, and support. Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. It moves beyond a focus on individual behaviour towards a wide range of social and environmental interventions. (WHO, 2010 ). This course introduces the student to the concepts of health promotion, discusses the determinants of health, health inequities and develops a beginning knowledge of normal growth and development.

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Pharmacology I

This introductory course examines the principles of pharmacology required to administer medications in a safe and professional manner. Medication administration requires the application of the nursing process for clinical decision-making. Various routes of medication administration are introduced and complementary, Indigenous, alternative remedies, and polypharmacy across the lifespan are also explored.

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Variations in Health I

This introductory course provides the student with the foundations of disease and illness across the lifespan. students will gain an understanding of pathophysiological alterations of body systems. Nursing management of disease and illness across the lifespan with an emphasis on interventions and treatment is also discussed. Cultural diversity in healing practices will be explored as well as the incorporation of evidenced informed practice.

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Integrated Nursing Practice I

This course emphasizes the art and science of nursing, focusing on the development of basic nursing care and assessment. students will apply nursing knowledge through the practice of clinical decision making, nursing assessment skills, and nursing interventions aimed at the promotion of health, independence, and comfort. Classroom, laboratory,simulation, and other practice experiences will assist students to integrate theory from other Level One courses.

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Consolidated Practice Experience I

This first clinical experience provides the student with an opportunity to integrate theory from Level One coursework into practice. students will gain experience in various settings with a focus on the healthy client. Learning the role of the Practical Nurse, personal care skills, organization of care, focused assessment, beginning medication administration and professional communication are emphasized in this course. Prior to going out on their first consolidated practice experience, students will participate in a simulated lab where they will sharpen their critical thinking and decision making skills in a controlled environment.

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Term Two

Professional Practice II

This course examines the legislation influencing PN practice with clients experiencing chronic illness and those in residential care settings. Specific professional issues such as responsibility, accountability, ethical practice, and leadership relevant to the PN role in residential care will be explored. Critical thinking and decision making specific to the care of the chronically ill and inter-professional practice will also be addressed.

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Professional Communication II

This course provides the student with an opportunity to develop professional communication skills with the older adult, and clients requiring end of life care. Interprofessional communication is further developed.

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Health Promotion II

This course focuses on health promotion as it relates to the aging process. Health promotion activities are aimed at supporting clients in maintaining their health. The concepts of health promotion, physical and mental wellness, normal ageing changes and continued independence are examined.

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Pharmacology II

This course builds on Pharmacology 1 to increase the student’s understanding of pharmacotherapeutics prescribed for illness across the lifespan.

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Variations in Health II

This course will increase the student’s understanding of pathophysiology as it relates to the ageing process and selected chronic illness. The main focus of this course is on the care of the older adult experiencing a health challenge. Cultural diversity in healing practices will be explored as well as evidence informed research and practice.

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Integrated Nursing Practice II

This practical course builds on the foundation of Level One and emphasizes the development of clinical decision making, nursing assessments, and interventions to promote the health of older adults. Classroom, laboratory, simulation, and other practice experiences will help students to integrate theory from Level One and Level Two courses to provide safe, competent, and ethical nursing care with older adults.

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Consolidated Practice Experience II

This clinical experience provides students with the opportunity to integrate theory from Level One and Two courses into practice. Students will practice with ageing clients and/or those with chronic illness in residential care settings. Medication administration, nursing care, organization, comprehensive health assessment, wound care and introduction to leadership are emphasized in this course.

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Term Three

Professional Practice III

This course integrates the concepts from previous professional practice courses and introduces the student to practice in the community. The role of the Practical Nurse as leader is emphasized in interactions with clients, families and other health care providers.

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Professional Communication III

This course focuses on specific professional communication skills used with clients and care providers across the lifespan requiring care in the community.

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Health Promotion III

This course is focused on health promotion as it relates to the continuum of care across the lifespan. Health promotion in the context of mental illness, physical and developmental disabilities and Maternal /Child health is highlighted. Normal growth and development from conception to middle adulthood is addressed.

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Variations in Health III

This course focuses on the continuum of care and the development of knowledge related to health challenges managed in the community setting. Pathophysiology and nursing management of clients requiring home health care, rehabilitation, and supportive services such as community living and disabilities will be explored. Cultural diversity in healing approaches will be explored as well as the incorporation of evidence informed research and practice.

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Integrated Nursing Practice III

This practical course builds on the theory and practice from Level One and Level Two. Through classroom, laboratory, simulation, and other practice experiences, students will continue to develop and practice comprehensive nursing assessment, planning and develop knowledge and interventions for clients experiencing multiple health challenges.

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Consolidated Practice Experience III

This clinical experience will introduce students to community practice and an opportunity to apply and adapt knowledge gained in Level One, Two, and Three within a continuum of care for clients across the lifespan. Students may gain experience through simulation and in a variety of community and residential care agencies and settings.

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Term Four

Professional Practice IV

This course is intended to prepare the student for the role of the Practical Nurse in managing clients with acute presentation of illness. Legislation influencing PN practice, specific professional practice issues and ethical practice pertinent to PN practice in acute care environments will be explored. Practice issues that occur across the lifespan will be considered. Collaborative practice with other health care team members and specifically the working partnership with RN’s in the acute care setting will be explored.

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Professional Communication IV

The focus of this course will be on the advancement of professional communication within the acute care setting across the lifespan. The practice of collaboration with health care team members and clients will be further developed.

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Health Promotion IV

This course focuses on health promotion for the client experiencing an acute exacerbation of chronic illness or an acute episode of illness. Relevant health promoting strategies during hospitalization may improve or help maintain their health status after discharge. students will focus on preparing clients for discharge, through teaching and learning of health promoting strategies.

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Variations in Health IV

This course will increase the student’s understanding of pathophysiology as it relates to acute disease and illness for clients across the lifespan. The focus is on the care of the client experiencing acute illness including, nursing interventions and treatment options. Acute disease and illness often occurs in individuals with existing chronic illnesses – the implications of these complexities will be addressed. Cultural diversity in healing practices will be explored as well as evidenced informed research and practice.

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Integrated Nursing Practice IV

This practical course emphasizes the development of nursing skills aimed at promoting health and healing with individuals experiencing acute health challenges across the lifespan. Classroom, laboratory, simulation, and integrated practice experiences will help students build on theory and practice from Levels One, Two, and Three to integrate new knowledge and skills relevant to the acute care setting.

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Consolidated Practice Experience IV

This clinical experience provides students with the opportunity to integrate theory from all levels into the role of the Practical Nurse in the acute care setting and other clinical areas as appropriate. students will focus on clients with exacerbations of chronic illness and/or acute illness across the lifespan and will consolidate knowledge and skills such as: post operative care, surgical wound management, IV therapy, focused assessment, and clinical decision-making in acute care settings.

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Transition to Preceptorship/Career Search/Exam Prep Intro

This course is delivered in a combined delivery format with in-class workshops and self-directed learning. It will prepare students for their final practice experience; taking the licensing exam and future career search.

Students learn to network effectively (online and in person), to search and apply for jobs and to prepare targeted resumes and cover letters. Students are also provided with coaching and individualized instructor feedback of their resume, cover letter, and interview skills.

For the exam preparation there will be a review of key program content with a focus on the CLPNBC baseline competencies and the Canadian Practical Nursing Registration Examination (CPNRE) exam blueprint.

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Final Practice Experience

This final practice experience provides an opportunity for the student to demonstrate integration and consolidation of knowledge, skills and abilities within the realities of the workplace, and become practice ready. This faculty monitored experience may occur through a variety of practice experience models, including the preceptorship model, under the immediate supervision of a single, fully qualified and experienced LPN or RN or RPN and/or within the context of a collaborative learning environment as a participating team member.

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Please click the course title below to scroll to the course description.

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System

WHMIS provides information about materials in the workplace that can be hazardous, such as cleaning agents, compressed gases and flammable materials. Becoming WHMIS certified will demonstrate the ability to identify hazardous materials and handle them properly.

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Body Mechanics & Back Safety

You will be educated in proper body movement to prevent and correct poor posture, reduce stress on ligaments, joints and tendons and enhance physical capabilities. Proper body mechanics and back safety will enhance the longevity and success in the workplace and will help ensure that transfers and positioning are done in a manner that is safe and appropriate for everyone. Please note: While this training follows best practices, graduates may also be required to learn and follow workplace specific protocols.

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Standard First Aid CPR Level HCP

You’ll receive Red Cross Standard First Aid Certification including Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Health Care Provider (HCP), and Automated External Defibrillation (AED). This industry standard certification is valid for three years.

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FOODSAFE Level 1

You’ll learn how to prepare food in a way that protects people from injury or illness. Some of the topics covered are food-borne diseases, personal hygiene, and safe procedures for storing.

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Provincial Violence Prevention Certification

The Provincial Violence Prevention Training Curriculum will teach you to recognize and respond to violent situations and learn about different types of violence and strategies for dealing with the risks in a variety of health care contexts. The Provincial Violence Prevention Curriculum has been developed by a team of experts from Worksafe BC, the Occupational Health & Safety Agency for healthcare in BC, as well as BC health authorities and healthcare unions. This training and certification is offered in collaboration with Fraser Health Authority.

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Personal & Professional Development Skills Certificate

Responding carefully to the needs of today’s employers, a series of Personal and Professional Development Workshops have been integrated throughout the program to develop critical thinking and soft skills. Workshops include Giving and Receiving Feedback, Conflict Resolutions, Active Listening, Providing Quality Service and Building Rapport, Leadership, and Employability Skills.

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Fit Testing

This theory course will cover the correct use and care of respirators, respirator limitations, donning and doffing procedures, and proper disposal of respirators in accordance with WorkSafeBC OHS Regulation Section 8.7.3.

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You could be eligible for Employment Insurance funding for education, government student loans, as well as other financing options; Stenberg’s Financial Aid Officer would be happy to provide further assistance.

Related Programs


Registered Psychiatric Nurses are highly in demand and practice as part of a multidisciplinary team in a variety of settings, including psychiatric units, mental health clinics, and mental health and addictions outreach teams.

If you’re interested in a career that combines cardiology and technology, keep reading to learn more about becoming a Cardiology Technologist.