Oct 16, 2021  
2021-2022 Academic Calendar 
2021-2022 Academic Calendar [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Learn More About Practical Nursing Diploma

The curriculum is divided into four levels:

  1. Foundations and development of nursing practice.
    Level 1 provides the foundation for the development of nursing practice and introduces the learner to the healthy adult.

  2. Adults with chronic illness in various settings.
    Level 2 explores the older adult and concepts related to ageing and chronic illness in various settings.

  3. Community health; mental health, maternal and child health.
    Level 3 examines a continuum of care in community care and applies concepts from Level 1, 2 and 3 in the management of stable clients across the lifespan.

  4. Medical/surgical nursing practice in acute care.
    Level 4 integrates knowledge from previous levels and examines concepts related to the care of the client with acute presentation or exacerbation of chronic illness.

The Practical Nursing diploma is held over 24 months (four semesters), and classes are currently held during the day with clinical rotations occurring during the day, evening and weekends. BIO - 159 Human Anatomy & Physiology Fr Prac Nurs, a prerequisite for the Practical Nursing Diploma, is offered online starting in the Spring. Students begin the Practical Nursing Program in the fall, with 10 students at the Campbell River campus and 10 students at the Port Alberni campus. These 20 students make up one cohort.

The program is delivered via a blend of Interactive Television (ITV) and face-to-face classes. You will attend the majority of your classes at your home campus, however, classes or special events may occasionally be scheduled at other NIC campuses throughout the program. In these situations, you will be given advance notice and must arrange your own transportation and assume related costs.

During the program, you will participate in a range of activities, working with each other and with the instructor to master essential skills. Through concept-based, case-based, skill-based, and integrated learning experiences, you will achieve a strong sense of professionalism. The classroom emulates the workplace, where you learn skills, behaviours and attitudes that will carry you effectively into the workforce. You are guided by NIC policies, as well as the LPN standards and competencies of the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals.

Each of the four levels ends in a consolidated practice experience. At the end of the acute care practice experience, you will work through a 30-hour course that prepares you for the transition to your final practice experience or preceptorship. You will then complete a final preceptorship, which is approximately six weeks, or 180 hours, in length. During this experience, you will be partnered with LPNs and consolidate your learning as you gradually assume 100 per cent of the LPN’s workload.

As a successful graduate, you will be an effective, responsible practitioner using critical thinking and a holistic, client-centred approach to plan and implement care for your clients; moreover, you will possess the communication and leadership skills needed to be a collaborative member of a health care team.

Important Practice Placement Information

Student practice experiences in health agencies are essential to the Practical Nursing program. You will be placed in a variety of community agencies that have services and resources to support the health of different age groups. Residential care facilities provide support for a primarily older adult population and acute care hospitals offer care to clients with episodic health events. While the majority of practice placements are located in NIC campus communities, it may be necessary to utilize agencies in other Vancouver Island communities. You may be scheduled to attend practice experiences in other communities and must arrange your own transportation and assume related costs. During the final preceptorship component you may be required to work eight and/or 12 hour shifts, including days, evenings, nights, weekends and holidays.

Transfer Credit & Credit For Prior Learning

Students with previous course work from another accredited institution may apply to transfer course credits to NIC. For more information contact and Educational Advisor.

Your previous life, work, or study experience, unassociated with formal education, may qualify for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR). Your knowledge and skills will be evaluated to determine if you meet the objectives for selected courses up to a maximum of 50 per cent of the program. To qualify for PLAR, you must apply to the program, meet all the program requirements, and complete the PLAR before entering the program or one term before the scheduled course(s). The fee for each PLAR course is 75 per cent of the regular course fee. Refer to NIC policy #4-10: Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition. For information about which courses qualify for PLAR please contact the program department chair.

If you meet some, but not all, learning objectives in a course(s) the assessment process may result in an exemption from some portion of the course(s). You will be required to register in the course and pay full tuition but your workload would be reduced. Note that eligibility for this process will be granted on an individual basis by the department. You must apply one semester in advance of the course start date. For more information please contact the program department chair.

To Be Successful

A number of abilities and skills are required to be successful in the Practical Nursing program. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Become familiar with the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals Entry-to-Practice Competencies for Licensed Practical Nurses.

  • Basic computer literacy and internet access are necessary. You must access all course manuals via Blackboard Learn, the college’s on-line learning platform, and use computer skills to access resources during coursework. Electronic documentation is also used in the practice setting. You are expected to have the ability to:

    • navigate the internet and access online resources

    • create word documents

    • attach word documents to emails and submit assignments via email

    • a laptop, or similar electronic device, is recommended, but not required

  • Accurate math calculations are critical for safe nursing practice. You will be required to complete a math evaluation once you are qualified for admission. The evaluation’s intent is to assist you in identifying your learning needs early, allowing you to seek remedial assistance in order to position yourself for success in the math components of the nursing program. The goal for the math evaluation is to achieve 90 per cent and opportunities to rewrite will be provided with the intention of helping students improve your marks. You will not be denied admission to the program if you do not achieve the 90 per cent but it is strongly recommended you obtain immediate remedial help. For those students who would like additional help with medication calculations, they can take a course called Calculations for Caregivers (course code LPN-016). This is an self-paced online course offered through Continuing Education at NIC.

  • A valid driver’s license and access to personal transport is strongly recommended for practice experience components. If you are not able to provide your own transport you may have difficulty meeting the requirements of clinical practice courses.

Career Opportunities

LPNs are integral members of the health care team, providing nursing care for families and individuals of all ages. LPN practice is governed by the Health Professions Act. Practitioners are regulated by the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals and are also responsible and accountable for their own nursing practice.

LPNs practice in a variety of settings including acute care hospitals, complex care facilities, community settings, rehabilitation centers, doctors’ offices, clinics and correctional facilities. LPNs have a broad scope of practice with many responsibilities and assume a leadership role in residential care facilities. The complexity of client care is increasing for all nurses and there are many post-basic educational opportunities for LPNs. There continues to be a strong demand for LPNs in the province.