Practical Nursing Diploma

Overview

Applications for the Practical Nursing program are currently closed and will reopen on October 1, 2023. Program is scheduled to start February 2025.
Note: The Practical Nursing program is subject to the competitive admission process. It opens for application on October 1, and closes on February 15, each academic year. On February 15, paper applications are accepted until 4:30 p.m., and online applications are accepted until 11:59 p.m. (Saskatchewan times). All supporting documentation is required by 4:30 p.m. (Saskatchewan time) on March 1.

Overview

Practical Nursing is a two-year diploma program offered by Sask Polytech remotely at the main campus in Yorkton. The program is a sequential 6-semester program allowing the concepts from the first semester to be built on in subsequent semesters to become Licensed Practical Nurses. In just two years, we’ll help you develop into a competent, confident nurse capable of making a positive difference in the health and well-being of individuals, their families, and our communities. You’ll study:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Foundations of health
  • Pharmacology
  • Health Assessment through the lifespan
  • Medical and surgical care
  • Obstetrics and pediatrics
  • Mental health and addictions
  • Community
  • Sociology

Why Parkland College?

“I chose Parkland College because of the convenience and availability for the program I needed. The best things about the College are the scholarship opportunities and ability to work one-on-one.

I would recommend the Parkland College because of the knowledgeable, helpful instructors and staff.”

– Angela Koroluk

Courses are delivered in a blended model which comprises onsite face-to-face and online course delivery. Our instructors engage with students through a variety of instructional methods such as seminars, observational experiences, pre- and post-clinical conferences, small group presentations, lectures, demonstrations, role-playing, storytelling, discussion, reflective thinking, and writing and simulation lab experiences.

The focus of each semester is as follows:

  • Semester 1 – Health Promotion/Illness Prevention
  • Semester 2 – Rehabilitative and Supportive Care
  • Semester 3 – Restorative and Curative Care
  • Semester 4 – Acute Medical and Surgical Care
  • Semester 5 – Acute Medical Surgical Care/Maternal-Child Health/Community
  • Semester 6 – Transition from Student to Graduate

Note: Students who have previously completed the following courses may be eligible to receive transfer credit upon acceptance into the program: BIOL 102, BIOL 103, SOCI 160, SOCI 201

Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Course Info (Full-Time)

Note: Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as approximate costs for books and supplies. Visit the Tuition and Fees web page for a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program.

2023/24 Academic Year

Tuition: Approx. $13,041
Materials/Textbooks: Approx. $3,068
Fees: Approx. $1,642

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

  • Grade 12 with a minimum overall score of 65% in the following five subjects:
    • English Language Arts A30
    • English Language Arts B30
    • Foundations of Math 30 or Pre-Calculus 30 or Workplace and Apprenticeship Math 30*
    • one of Biology 30, Chemistry 30 or Physics 30
    • and one of Social Studies 30, History 30 or Native Studies 30
  • English Language Requirement Specific to Practical Nursing (see Program-Specific ELP Requirements section)
Note: Please indicate on your application form whether you are applying to the on-campus or online program.
  • Applicants should have the Requisite Skills and Abilities (pdf) to become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Canada.
  • Accepted applicants will be required to provide evidence of a Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Search upon admission into the program. At the discretion of the practicum agency, you may be declined access to a clinical or work placement based on the contents of the Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Search. The cost of the Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Search is your responsibility.
  • Proof of current Standard First Aid and Heart and Stroke Foundation CPR is required prior to entry into the clinical practicum. The required course for CPR is Basic Life Support – Health Care Provider (BLS-HCP). The cost of Standard First Aid and CPR is your responsibility.
  • Accepted applicants will be required to provide evidence of Transferring Lifting Repositioning (TLR®) certification upon admission into the program.
  • Accepted applicants are required to provide current immunization records and meet Saskatchewan Polytechnic immunization requirements prior to entry into clinical experiences.
  • Accepted applicants are required to provide evidence of current N95 respirator mask testing prior to entry into the clinical experiences. The cost of N95 respirator mask testing is your responsibility.
  • Accepted applicants are required to provide evidence of 2015 WHMIS Globally Harmonized System (GHS) certification upon admission into the program. Recertification will be required every three years to remain current. The cost of WHMIS certification is your responsibility.
  • *Previous Saskatchewan mathematics requirements also accepted:
    • Math A30
    • Math B30
    • Math C30
    • Calculus 30
    • or General Math 30

Note: There is also an English Language Requirement specific to Practical Nursing.

Courses

Courses

Year 1 – Semester 1 (16 weeks)

BIOL 102 Anatomy and Physiology 1
CLIN 103 Health Assessment and Praxis 1
NURS 163 Professional Practice and Communication 1
NURS 171 Foundations 1 – Foundations of Health
NURS 172 Variations in Health 1
PHAR 101 Pharmacology 1

Year 1 – Semester 2 (16 weeks)

BIOL 103 Anatomy and Physiology 2
CLIN 104 Health Assessment and Praxis 2
NURS 176 Foundations 2 – Mental Health
NURS 240 Professional Practice and Communication 2
NURS 293 Variations in Health 2
PHAR 102 Pharmacology 2

Year 1 – Semester 3 (6 weeks)

CLIN 105 Integrated Clinical Practice 1
SOCI 160 Foundations of Sociology

Year 2 – Semester 4 (16 weeks)

CLIN 240 Health Assessment and Praxis 3
NRSG 257 Professional Practice and Communication 3
NRSG 258 Addictions
NURS 294 Variations in Health 3
SOCI 201 Culture and Diversity in Health Sciences

Year 2 – Semester 5 (16 weeks)

CLIN 241 Health Assessment and Praxis 4
NRSG 298 Foundations 4 – Community Health
NRSG 299 Variations in Health 4
NURS 292 Foundations 3 – Maternal Child Health
PHAR 215 Pharmacology 3

Year 2 – Semester 6 (6 weeks)

CLIN 242 Integrated Clinical Practice 2

The program follows this academic education schedule

Sept-Dec Jan-Apr May-June
Year 1 Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3
Year 2 Semester 4 Semester 5 Semester 6
Please note that courses in this program are delivered in a variety of modalities including face-to-face and online. Furthermore, student learning occurs in the classroom and includes seminars, labs, and clinical.

Courses in the program that will be delivered online for all students, including those who are accepted into the on-campus program, are outlined below:

  • Semester 1: NURS 172 Variations in Health 1
  • Semester 2: NURS 240 Professional Practice & Communication 2
  • Semester 3: None
  • Semester 4: NRSG 258 Addictions and SOCI 201 Culture and Diversity in Health Sciences
  • Semester 5: NURS 292 Foundations 3 – Maternal Child Health
  • Semester 6: None
Important Notes

Admission Method

Competitive

The competitive admissions process is used for programs where the number of qualified applicants regularly exceeds the number of spaces available. In competitive programs, higher admission requirements and/or additional selection criteria may be required. The application period for this program is October 1 to February 15, each academic year. All supporting documentation is required by 4:30 p.m. (Saskatchewan time), March 1. See Admission Processes for more information about this method of admission.

Selection Criteria

  • Phase I for High School Graduates: The competitive score is calculated from the final marks in high school courses required for admission to the program. The high school competitive score will be compared to any grade point score(s) (UGPA) presented for a minimum of 15 passed post-secondary credit units to a maximum of 30 of the most recent credit units from recognized post-secondary institutions – and the highest score will be considered for the applicant’s competitive score. Such applicants must be in good academic standing with the institution. Applicants are then ranked in the order of the highest score.
  • Phase I for Current High School Students: The competitive score is calculated from the final marks provided by March 1. Conditional admission may be granted on this basis. Current high school students must order transcripts to be sent directly to Saskatchewan Polytechnic at the end of Semester 1 and the end of Semester 2 of the grade 12 year. The final grade 12 mark will be used when the course is completed. The final grade 11 mark will be used only in the absence of the grade 12 mark in the same subject.
FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs are listed below. You can also download a copy of the Practical Nursing FAQs.

Why should I consider the Practical Nursing program? What sets this program apart from other programs?
As a student in the Practical Nursing program, you will gain skills in providing nursing care to individuals of all ages under the expert guidance of our faculty.
The curriculum is based on principles of primary health care.

This program also stands out because it is nationally recognized and provides relevant content that prepares graduates to work in a variety of practice environments.

What are the program highlights? What is the focus in each semester?

The focus of each semester is as follows:

Semester 1
An introduction to the concepts of health promotion and illness prevention with a clinical focus on the older adult.

Semester 2
Rehabilitative/supportive care and the concepts of mental health with a clinical focus on individuals with chronic health challenges.

Semester 3
Theoretical and clinical experiences associated with curative/restorative care in the acute care setting and the concepts of perinatal nursing, child and adolescent nursing.

Semester 4
The transition from student to graduate practical nurse with an additional focus on the nursing of Aboriginal people.

Each semester contains a clinical experience that will help you put theory into practice.

How is the program structured?
The program is based on a sequential four semester approach to course offerings. The courses are organized into streams that flow across each semester. They are designed to meet diverse learning styles.

Instructional methods include seminars, observational experiences, pre and post-clinical conferences, small group presentations, lectures, demonstrations, role-playing, storytelling, discussion, reflective thinking and writing, and simulation lab experiences.

Opportunities for critical reflection about a caring based practice, development of employability skills and understanding the role and scope of practice of the licensed practical nurse (LPN) are blended into the program’s learning activities.

The clinical practice courses are integrative in nature and, as such, the evaluation of your performance in the clinical setting involves evaluating the application of the theoretical concepts learned in all the other courses in the care of clients. This is what ultimately determines your progress toward achieving the competencies of the beginning practical nurse.

So I can prepare and plan appropriately (i.e childcare, employment), what would my schedule look like as a student in the on-campus program?
Courses are typically scheduled on-campus Monday through Friday 0830-1530. However, there may be occasional classes/labs that start earlier or end later than these times.

Clinical experiences commence at a variety of times depending on the specific clinical experience, (e.g. some shifts may begin as early as 6:30 a.m.). Clinical and practicum shifts may vary and could include days, evening, nights or weekend experiences. The length of clinical and practicum shifts may vary as well including eight, ten and twelve hour shifts.

Is this program approved?
The Saskatchewan Association of Licensed Practical Nurses (SALPN) is responsible for the approval of the Practical Nursing program. The approval criterion ensures that graduates meet the standards and competencies for practice as set forth by SALPN.

What is the difference between a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and a registered nurse (RN)?
A licensed practical nurse provides professional nursing care for individuals across the lifespan within the context of family and community. A registered nurse, who also provides nursing care for individuals, focuses on broader health promotion and illness prevention aspects of care for individuals, families, groups and communities.

What are the employment opportunities like after graduation?
Employment opportunities are excellent and reflect current and projected critical shortages of licensed practical nurses.

There is national reciprocity of Sask Polytech graduates so you will be able to work in any province in Canada or in the Northwest Territories. Graduates have also accepted positions in the United States and overseas.

Do LPNs work shift work?
While it depends on the place of employment, historically, licensed practical nurses work a combination of days, evenings and/or night shifts that are eight or twelve hours long.

Do I need to get a Criminal Record Check?
Yes, your clinical practice experience will occur in settings in which you will provide direct client care. For the protection of clients, the program requires that each student provide the results of a Criminal Record Check, including vulnerable sector query and fingerprinting if required as part of the program registration process.

Accepted applicants will be required to provide evidence of a Criminal Record Check upon admission into the program. Additional Criminal Record Checks may be required by specific clinical agencies. At the discretion of a health region or clinical agency, you may be declined access to a clinical or work placement based on the contents of the Criminal Record Check. Any cost associated with the Criminal Record Check is your responsibility.

Do I need to have a current CPR & First Aid Certificate?
Prior to commencement of the Practical Nursing program, you are required to have certification for CPR Health Care Provider “C” – AED and Standard First Aid. On the first day, please provide proof of certification to the program. Failure to do so will result in exclusion from clinical experiences and discontinuation from the program. According to program policy the CPR Health Care Provider “C” – AED certificate is valid for two years from date of issue and a Standard First Aid Certificate is valid for three years from date of issue.

Do I need to have a Transferring Lifting Repositioning (TLR) Certificate?
Students in the Practical Nursing program are required to be certified in TLR in order to participate in clinical experiences. Proof of TLR certification must be provided at the beginning of the program. Failure to do so will result in exclusion from clinical experiences and discontinuation from the program.

Students coming into the program who have previously been certified in TLR need to ensure it has been recertified within one year prior to commencing the program.

Are there any immunizations that are required for the program?
Accepted applicants are required to provide current immunization records and meet Saskatchewan Polytechnic immunization requirements prior to entry into clinical/practicum experiences. More detailed information regarding immunization requirements will be provided in your welcome package and during program orientation.

Can I take the program part-time?
You may take APHY 162 & APHY 262 as a part time evening student at Parkland College. Selected courses from this program are available through continuing education with Sask Polytechnic, prior to being enrolled as a student in the full-time program. These courses are: APHY 162, APHY 262, SOCI 160, SOCI 260 and SOCI 261. For more information on these course offerings, please refer to the Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s website for more details.

Are there ways for me to complete the program sooner?
No, we do not have an accelerated option to complete the program.

Can I take any of the courses before I start my program on a full-time basis?
Yes, selected courses from this program are available through continuing education distance learning (home study and online) as an unclassified student prior to enrolling in the full-time program. You will need to meet the program entrance requirements, submit an application, and be selected from the qualified candidates.

I have worked as a Continuing Care Assistant. Would I get any credit for that training?
For more information go to Bridging Option to Practical Nursing Program for Continuing Care Assistants.

If English is not my first learned language, do I need to provide proof of English Language Proficiency (ELP) to be accepted into the program?
Yes. Applicants must provide evidence of completing a minimum of two (2) years of full-time study in English in Canada or submit English Language Proficiency results from IELTS or the CELBAN (CELBAN only an option if an internationally educated nurse).
IELTS: must meet the minimum in each component in addition to meeting an overall of 7.
• Writing – 7
• Speaking – 7
• Listening – 7.5
• Reading – 6.5
CELBAN (only an option if an internationally educated nurse)
• Writing – 7
• Speaking – 8
• Listening – 10
• Reading – 8

When will I know if I am accepted into the program?
Letters of acceptance are sent out after the application period has ended. This typically would occur by the middle of April.

Where can I buy my books and other materials?
Information on purchasing textbooks and course manuals will be provided when you register. Material is available for purchase online, by phone, or in person.

Are there any bursaries that I can apply for?
Six Saskatchewan Association of Licensed Practical Nurses (SALPN) bursaries are presented annually to students eligible for graduation and who have overall achievement in the Practical Nursing program including academic and clinical performance, interaction with clients and family in the clinical setting, leadership skills and community or school involvement.

Parkland College counsellors can provide information regarding additional funding opportunities for Practical Nursing students.

Are the graduates of the Practical Nursing program required to write an exam in order to become a LPN?
Yes, in order to become licensed, following completion of the program, graduates write a Canadian Practical Nursing Registration Exam (CPNRE).

If I want, can I further my education in nursing and get credit for what I have?
The Practical Nursing program is not a step towards becoming a registered nurse; however, if program graduates want to pursue further education in the discipline of nursing, credit options may be available. Sask Polytech and the University of Regina are offering the Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing (SCBScN). Transfer credit is available for Practical Nursing graduates wishing to pursue the SCBScN program.

What completion document do I receive after completing the program?
Upon graduation, you will receive a diploma in Practical Nursing.

Career Opportunities

Employment opportunities for licensed practical nurses are excellent. Most LPNs work in acute care hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, medical centres and long-term care facilities.

Choose an area that interests you – gerontology, maternal-child, medical, mental health, palliative, pediatric, rehabilitation or surgical nursing.

You also can pursue a career in a community setting: a nursing clinic, home care agency, private nursing agency, community health centre or physician’s office. Note: Saskatchewan Polytechnic Practical Nursing graduates enjoy national reciprocity, which means you can work in any province in Canada or the Northwest Territories. Our graduates have also found jobs in the United States and overseas.

Contacts

International students please email [email protected]

Questions?

Contact us

Questions?

Contact us

Last Updated: October 27, 2022