What you will learn
Graduates of this diploma will have acquired the knowledge and abilities to:
- Apply the Entry to Practice Competencies for Licensed Practical Nurses (2013) to provide safe, competent, culturally safe and ethical care.
Practice within relevant legislation, BCCNP Standards of Practice Framework for LPNs: Scope of Practice Standards; Professional Standards; and Practice Standards (2014) as set out by the Health Professions Act of British Columbia and the BCCNP.
Value and engage in continuous learning to maintain and enhance competence.
Practice in collaboration with other members of the health care team to meet the collective needs of their clients.
Participate in interprofessional problem solving and decision making processes.
Advocate for and facilitate change reflecting evidence-informed practice.
Make systematic practice decisions that are client specific and consider client acuity, complexity, variability, and available resources.
Use critical thinking, clinical judgment and knowledge of assessment to plan, implement, and evaluate the agreed upon plan of care.
Develop a collaborative relationship with clients by connecting, sharing and exploring with them in a caring environment.
Provide culturally safe, person-centered care across the lifespan that recognizes and respects the uniqueness of each individual and is sensitive to cultural safety, cultural humility and diversity.
Provide leadership, direction, assignment, and supervision of unregulated care providers as appropriate.
Identify one’s own values, biases, and assumptions on interactions with clients and other members of the health care team.
What to expect
This diploma program is offered on a full time basis and is divided into three levels. Each level must be successfully completed before the next one can be started. A major emphasis of this program is active student participation. Throughout the program the instructors will encourage the students to become increasingly more self-directed and responsible for their own learning. Students are expected to come to class well prepared for active participation in classroom, nursing lab and clinical activities.
Course guides provide direction of learning in preparation, in course activities and reflection of the content. The instructor acts as facilitator and expert to promote an environment conducive for learning through activities such as guided discussion, debate, audio-visual presentation, group activities, skill building exercises and simulation. Some courses may be offered in a blended delivery mode.
Level Access provides the foundation for the development of nursing practice and introduces the learner to the healthy adult, the older adult and concepts related to aging and chronic illness in various settings.
Level three examines a continuum of care in the community health setting and applies concepts from level one, two and three in the management of stable clients across the lifespan.
Level four integrates knowledge from previous levels and examines concepts related to the care of the medical/surgical client.
Each level is supported by a Consolidated Practice Experience (CPE) which reinforces the learning that has taken place within each level.
Eligibility to enter the Consolidated Practice Experience at the end of each level is dependent upon the successful completion of all of the other courses within that level. Each level must be successfully completed before the next one can be attempted.
A final practice experience or preceptorship prepares the learner for the role and expectations of the graduate.
NB: Core minimum standards for admission requirements, including English as an Additional Language standard have been established by the Provincial Practical Nursing Program Curriculum. VCC admission requirements for this program are in addition to those Provincial expectations.
All of these requirements must be met.
Grade 12 graduation or equivalent
English 12 with a B or equivalent
Successful completion of HCA, RCA, or HS/RCA certificate
Pre-Calculus 11 with a C or equivalent or Foundations of Math 11 with a C or equivalent
VCC Health Sciences Math Assessment with 80% or completion of Math for Health Sciences (Math 1054) with 80%
Biology 12 with a C or equivalent
NURS 1602 Human Anatomy and Physiology with a grade of 68% or equivalent within the last 3 years
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.
Knowledge Assessment Examination with 68%
- Practicing HCAs, RCAs, HS/RCAs with a certificate from the BC Public Post-Secondary System are exempt from this examination.
- Practicing HCAs, RCAs, HS/RCAs not from the BC Public Post-Secondary System will be required to take the Knowledge Assessment Exam to validate equivalency to Vancouver Community College's HCA program outcomes. If applicants are unsuccessful on the exam the first time, they may rewrite the exam once.
Proof of English Language Proficiency Requirements:
As English is the language of study in BC, students must meet English language proficiency (ELP) at an appropriate level to be accepted into the provincial Practical Nursing program.
These requirements can be satisfied through one of the following:
- Three years of full-time, face-to-face secondary or post-secondary education at an accredited institution where English is the medium of instruction and is also one of the country’s official languages. English as a Second Language/Additional Language (ESL/AL) courses are not included in this three-year calculation.
- Academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with minimum scores of:
- Speaking 7.0
- Listening 7.5
- Reading 6.5
- Writing 7.0
- Overall Band Score 7.0
- Canadian English Language Benchmarks Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN) with minimum scores of (CELBAN is only suitable for those who have studied Nursing in a country other than Canada):
- Speaking 8.0
- Listening 10.0
- Reading 8.0
- Writing 7.0
Internationally Trained Nurses:
- Applicants with educational documents not from a Canadian or American institution must complete a comprehensive evaluation of education from International Credential Education Service (ICES) https://www.bcit.ca/ices/ in addition to the above admissions requirements. Applicants will be referred to the Department to assess eligibility.
- Internationally trained nurses interested in applying to the program are recommended to meet with the Department Head before applying. Please contact the Practical Nursing Department Head at 604.871.7000 ext 5130.
Upon Acceptance into the program:
- Criminal Record Check:
Criminal Record Check: In accordance to the Criminal Records Review Act, all individuals who work with vulnerable adults and/or children must complete a Criminal Records Check through the Ministry of Justice. Applicants to the program will be responsible for any costs incurred in the Criminal Record check.
- Current CPR Level C:
CPR Level C includes the following:
- Adult/Child/Baby CPR – one rescuer
- Adult/Child CPR –two rescuer
- Adult/Child/Baby – choking
CPR certificates other than CPR Level C must be accompanied by documentation indicating the certificate includes the above. Please note that in Health Care your CPR expires one year from the date of issue. Current status is required for all clinical and practicum experiences.
- TB skin test:
Submission of a recent negative TB skin test. If the skin test is positive, proof of a negative TB chest x-ray is required.
- Immunization Record:
VCC School of Health Sciences Immunization Record must be completed.
Immunizations in the following are strongly recommended:
- Measles, Mumps & Rubella
- Varicella (Chicken pox)
- Hepatitis B
- Clinical Facilities:
- Clinical facilities may decline individual students for their placement if a student is unable to provide proof of immunizations or satisfactory serum titers and TB screening.
- Regulations stipulate that a properly fitted respiratory mask must be used when providing care to patients with suspected, known, or probable cases of acute respiratory infections. The respiratory mask must be a N95 respirator that is individually fitted by a trained and certified person. This individual mask fitting should be done just prior to beginning your program and is good for one year and must be performed annually. The original certificate must be presented to your program during the first week of classes.
- This program is available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. See program options for international students at VCC International.
- Applicants who self-identify as Indigenous are strongly encouraged to connect with VCC’s Indigenous Education and Community Engagement team to learn more about VCC’s Indigenous Enrolment policy, application preparation/completion, program advising, and a range of other individualized services.
- Applicants must be 16 years of age or older or a graduate of a secondary school. (Some exceptions may apply.)
- Applicants must submit official transcripts and other documents as required by their course or program. Seats are offered to eligible applicants with completed applications, in order of application completion date (except for programs with competitive admissions). A complete application includes an application form, evidence of educational pre-requisites (e.g. transcripts), any required supporting documents (e.g. language proficiency, audition video), and the required deposit or fee payment. If you do not meet the requirements for the term applied, your application may be cancelled.
- A caring attitude.
- A sincere interest in people of all ages who require all levels of care. This includes individuals who are: mentally or physically disabled, experiencing life threatening situations, confused or requiring rehabilitation.
- Proficiency in the English language (reading/writing/listening/speaking) is essential.
- Basic computer skills: email, word processing and internet searching.
- Good manual dexterity.
- Any supportive courses in human biology, psychology, sociology, first aid or previous related work experience or education would be an asset.
- A basic foundation in mathematical calculations of decimals, fractions, and metric conversions.
- Flexibility to adjust to early morning and evening practicum shifts, to a variety of clinical settings and locations within the Metro Vancouver area.
For information about being a practical nurse, please review Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in Canada: Requisite Skills and Abilities at https://www.bccnp.ca/becoming_a_nurse/Documents/LPN_requisite_skills_abilities.pdf
Note: The British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals asks each licensure applicant about criminal offences. If you have ever been convicted of a criminal offence (other than a minor traffic violation) you should consider whether your application for licensure would be accepted. Licensing is mandatory in B.C. for Licensed Practical Nurses.
Program general hours
This program runs Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm with the exception of clinical and practicum placements. Students will be advised of clinical and practicum placements in the program. Clinical/Practium shifts may include morning and/or evening shifts and may include Saturdays.
|“Term Two” refers to the “Access Level” which combines levels 1 and 2 of the B.C. Practical Nursing Provincial Curriculum.|
|NURS 2101||Professional Communication A||1.5|
|NURS 2102||Professional Practice A||1.5|
|NURS 2103||Health Promotion A||1|
|NURS 2104||Variations in Health A||2|
|NURS 2105||Pharmacology A||2|
|NURS 2106||Integrated Nursing Practice A||6|
|NURS 2107||Consolidated Practice Experience A||4|
|NURS 3001||Professional Communication 3||1|
|NURS 3002||Professional Practice 3||1|
|NURS 3003||Health Promotion 3||1|
|NURS 3004||Variations in Health 3||1.5|
|NURS 3005||Integrated Nursing Practice 3||4|
|NURS 3006||Consolidated Practice Experience 3||2|
|NURS 4001||Professional Communication 4||1|
|NURS 4002||Professional Practice 4||1|
|NURS 4003||Health Promotion 4||1|
|NURS 4004||Variations in Health 4||2|
|NURS 4005||Integrated Nursing Practice 4||6|
|NURS 4006||Consolidated Practice 4||6.5|
|NURS 4007||Transition to Preceptorship||1|
This document is intended as a guideline only. The College reserves the right to make changes as appropriate.
* This information is intended as a guideline only. Program and course details are subject to change with the approval of VCC's Board of Governors.
Fees and other costs*
|Fee description||Fee Amount||Notes|
4389 - Term 1
2560 - Term 2
5973 - Term 3
0 - Term 4
|Materials||0||not including textbooks|
|Medical & Dental||413|
|Program-specific extra fees||0|
* Fees are approximate and subject to change with the approval of VCC's Board of Governors. Students are required to pay any applicable fee increases. Application and assessment fees are non-refundable. Tuition fees include a $300 non-refundable deposit.
Fees listed are for domestic students. For international programs, visit VCC International.
Any refunds are issued according to VCC's refund policy.
The next available offering of Access to Practical Nursing will be September 2022. Applications are now open.
If English is your second language and you are required to complete the IELTS or CELBAN test for proof of English proficiency you may wish to take one of our test prep courses. Apply for CELBAN/IELTS Test prep via Education planner.