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Program delivery update

To ensure we can safely offer the high-quality learning you expect, we've changed how many of our programs are delivered. Please view this program's delivery option(s) under "locations & availability". Learn more about how programs will be offered

Practical Nursing

Start date change: This program has been deferred to a later date to ensure it can be safely delivered under public health guidelines. Please view new start dates under "locations and availability".

Program Image
Start Date:
January & September
Typical Length:
2 Years
Credential:
Diploma

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Overview

Every day, Licensed Practical Nurses work collaboratively with other health care professionals to provide exceptional care to their clients, as well as promote the benefits of healthy lifestyles to individuals, families, groups and communities.

Today's health care environments are changing at a fast rate and your success as a Licensed Practical Nurse depends upon your willingness to work as a team member, to be flexible and enjoy working in a variety of settings.

Clinical placement

  • This program includes clinical placements that may take place in a variety of settings, including medical-surgical, geriatric, obstetrics, pediatrics, mental health, public health, community care and home care.
  • Clinical placements can include weekday, evening, weekend and /or holiday shifts. Shifts range form 6-12 hours and start times vary, with some beginning at 7 am and 11 pm.
  • Clinical placements are mandatory credit courses offered throughout the duration of your program. They provide you with the opportunity to integrate theory with practice and understand the everyday challenges of a work environment.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid.
  • Transportation, living accommodations and other costs related to clinical placements are your responsibility.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities.

Study options

  • Blended delivery is an option, which consists of a combination of online classes, in-class skills labs and clinical placements. It involves approximately 20 hours/week of study and takes 3 years to complete.
  • For this option, in-class courses are held at Ivany Campus, approximately 2-3 times a semester (often on weekends). No additional campus locations are available.
  • This program does not follow the regular academic schedule. Years 1 and 2 run from September to late July. Year 3 begins in September and ends in May.
  • Clinical placements take place in the Halifax area. Some weekday, evening, weekend and/or holiday shifts may be required.

Choose NSCC

  • This program is available at campuses throughout the province. It is approved by the Nova Scotia College of Nursing (NSCN).
  • Learn from experienced instructors who have earned solid reputations in a wide variety of healthcare areas.
  • With low student-to-teacher ratios, you have access to your instructors, especially during the clinical experiences.
  • NSCC graduates enjoy a notably high rate of success on the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination (CPNRE) as well as an impressive rate of employment. Graduates can be confident in assuming their work duties because they have a firm foundation in the theory and practice of practical nursing and they know how the healthcare system works.
  • Continue your studies at university – This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more

Other info

  • NSCN requires a Criminal Record Check prior to licensing. A conviction may impact your ability to obtain a license.
  • Many employers in this sector require one or all of the following as part of the hiring process: current, official Criminal Record check, Vulnerable Sector check and/or Child Abuse Register search. A conviction or finding may impact your ability to secure employment.
  • Alternate Locations – The location for this program alternates and is not always offered at the same location each year. Check program locations for upcoming start dates.
  • Shift work is an integral part of this occupation. Physical demands include moving and lifting people, as well as spending long periods of time on your feet. Emotional demands include frequent stressful and occasional emergency situations.
  • Students are required to complete the program within four years. Pass mark for this program is 70%.
  • Graduates are eligible to write the Canadian Practical Nurses Registration Exam (CPNRE) and work as a Graduate Practical Nurse upon successful completion of the NSCC program. Application and fees must be submitted to the Nova Scotia College of Nursing to write the examination and to receive a temporary graduate Practical Nursing License.
  • The Nova Scotia College of Nursing provides information to candidates about the requisite skills and abilities (PDF 483KB) needed to work as an LPN in Canada.

January 2021

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Burridge Campus/Online Yarmouth Full time BlendedBlended
Complete your program through courses that combine online (scheduled), and on-campus learning.
Waitlist
Ivany Campus/Online Classes in Ivany CampusDartmouth Full time BlendedBlended
Complete your program through courses that combine online (scheduled), and on-campus learning.
Waitlist This program location has a multi-year waitlist. Contact Admissions for more information.
Ivany Campus/Online Dartmouth Full time BlendedBlended
Complete your program through courses that combine online (scheduled), and on-campus learning.
Waitlist This program location has a multi-year waitlist. Contact Admissions for more information.
Kingstec Campus/Online Kentville Full time BlendedBlended
Complete your program through courses that combine online (scheduled), and on-campus learning.
Waitlist This program location has a multi-year waitlist. Contact Admissions for more information.
Marconi Campus/Online Sydney Full time BlendedBlended
Complete your program through courses that combine online (scheduled), and on-campus learning.
Waitlist This program location has a multi-year waitlist. Contact Admissions for more information.
Pictou Campus/Online Stellarton Full time BlendedBlended
Complete your program through courses that combine online (scheduled), and on-campus learning.
Waitlist This program location has a multi-year waitlist. Contact Admissions for more information.
Truro Campus/Online Truro Full time BlendedBlended
Complete your program through courses that combine online (scheduled), and on-campus learning.
Waitlist This program location has a multi-year waitlist. Contact Admissions for more information.

September 2021

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Cumberland Campus Classes at Amherst Learning Centre Full time In-class Waitlist

January 2022

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Annapolis Valley Campus Middleton Full time In-class Waitlist
Lunenburg Campus Bridgewater Full time In-class Waitlist
Strait Area Campus Port Hawkesbury Full time In-class Waitlist

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent, including Grade 12 Academic English and Math and two additional Grade 12 Academic Sciences (Biology, Chemistry or Physics).
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details
  • If you do not have the required academic credits, NSCC offers a variety of credit courses through the Academic and Career Connections program.

Program requirements

  • A current, official Criminal Record check, Vulnerable Sector check and a Child Abuse Register search are required to complete work placements in this program. A conviction may impact your ability to complete program requirements. Information on this process will be provided at the beginning of your program.
  • Health and Human Services programs have additional requirements including immunizations and completion of first aid/CPR. You must submit documentation that you have completed these requirements at the beginning of your program. View additional Health and Human Services Program Requirements.
    • Receiving immunizations may take up to 10 months to complete. Failure to complete immunizations can result in a delayed work placement.
  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.

Tuition

Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
$3,515
Tuition (International):
$11,350

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Upon completion of the program, graduates qualify to write the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination. Successful completion of the examination qualifies you to apply for a license to practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). This license is recognized nationally.
  • Licensed Practical Nurses can assume a leadership role on the healthcare team. Graduates work in long-term care, acute care, community care and mental health.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

ANAP 1011 - Anatomy and Physiology
This course introduces the sciences of anatomy and physiology and the basic structure, functions and assessment of the integumentary, musculoskeletal, respiratory, circulatory gastrointestinal, urinary, reproductive, endocrine, and nervous systems as well as the sensory organs. Integration of systems and maintenance of homeostasis within the body will also be discussed.

CONC 1200 - Dementia: Understanding the Journey
This course prepares the student to work with persons experiencing Alzheimer Disease or other dementias in facility and/or community settings. The student will develop an understanding of dementia and the impact on both the individual and families. Strategies based on the philosophy of providing person-centred care to persons as well as support to family caregivers will be explored. The course will be delivered through completion of the provincial standard Dementia: Understanding the Journey Course. The student must attend all sessions and complete the final project of the course to meet the requirements.

GDEV 1010 - Growth and Development
Upon completion, the student will acquire an understanding of the physical, cognitive, psychosocial processes of growth and development, including developmental tasks across the lifespan.

PRNS 1002 - Nursing Skills I
Upon completion of this course the student will be able to perform basic nursing skills that are commonly required in the care of clients. These skills are required in acute, long term and community settings. In addition to classroom theory, the student will have an opportunity to practice and perform skills in the demonstration lab. The student must be successful in both the theory and all lab components of this course. Students will demonstrate professional conduct competencies at all times in the lab setting.

PRNS 1020 - Introduction to Nursing Profession
Upon completion of this course the learner will utilize Orem's theory to have an understanding of the legal and ethical aspects of their role and scope of practice in the Canadian healthcare delivery system. This course will also explore concepts of global health. The learner will be able to employ therapeutic communication skills to a diverse community.

PRNS 1024 - Interprofessional Communication
Interprofessional communication skills provide the framework to effectively deliver respectful care in nursing. This course is designed to enable the student to establish and maintain interprofessional relationships with individuals and groups. The learners will further develop their skill in applying therapeutic communication principles.

PRNS 1050 - Nursing Clinical I
Upon completion the student will be able to provide basic care to a stable client using the nursing process. The student will function as a member of the Health Care Team while providing a safe environment utilizing the principles of infection control. The student will function within the legal and ethical parameters of their role.

PRNS 2002 - Nursing Skills II
Upon completion of this course the learner will have the ability to perform the skills required in the care of clients in acute/long term care facilities and community care. In conjunction with classroom theory, the learner will have the opportunity to practice and perform skills in the demonstration lab and various clinical settings. The learner must be successful in both the theory and all lab components of this course. Learners will demonstrate professional conduct competencies at all times in the lab setting.

PRNS 2003 - Pharmacology/Administration of Medications
This course teaches, in a simulated setting, the basic concepts of pharmacological theory and the skills necessary to safely administer medications, and provides awareness of responsibilities and legal implications. Students will not be permitted to use calculators in this course.

PRNS 2004 - Health Assessment of the Adult
This course provides the student with the opportunity to develop health assessment skills. It includes an introduction to a health assessment, components of health interview and guidelines to performing a head-to-toe physical examination. It also encompasses a review of anatomy as it pertains to the physical examination.

PRNS 2011 - Alterations in the Health of Adults
Upon completion of this course the learner will have an understanding of common disorders affecting the body systems and the care required while employing Orem’s self care deficit theory of nursing.

PRNS 2014 - Oncology Nursing and Palliative Care
This course describes the concepts of oncology nursing and the role of the Practical Nurse in assisting the client and family to deal with loss and death. Students will also develop an understanding of the concepts related to palliative care based on Cancer Care Nova Scotia Palliative Care Front-line Education.

PRNS 2017 - Maternal Child Nursing
This course provides the learner with an introduction to the role of the Practical Nurse in maternal and child care, emphasizing evidenced based practice. The learner will be able to explore the concept of family development employing Orem’s theory of self-care. The learner will develop an understanding of families as social systems within a community.

PRNS 2018 - Health Promotion and Community Nursing
This course is designed to prepare the learner with an understanding of the factors that affect health and wellness both on an individual and community level. The learner will examine risk factors to health, safety issues and the effect of stress and adaptation. The learner will explore the role of the Practical Nurse in community health.

PRNS 2022 - Mental Health Nursing
This course will provide the learner with the opportunity to explore various types of mental health issues, abuse, crisis, and related challenging behaviours. The course is designed to allow the learner to explore the role of the Practical Nurse in supporting individuals and families experiencing alterations in mental health and social well-being. The course will include a community based applied learning project.

PRNS 2050 - Nursing Clinical II
This course provides selected supervised learning experiences allowing the learner the opportunity to apply the nursing process and health promotion strategies. The learner will use clinical judgment for decision making when providing care to clients with alterations in health.

PRNS 2055 - Nursing Clinical III
This course provides selected, supervised learning experiences allowing the student the opportunity to apply the nursing process and health promotion strategies. The student will perform health assessments and nursing skills for clients with alterations in health.

PRNS 2062 - Clinical Intercession Preceptorship
This course provides the student with the opportunity to apply the nursing process and health promotion strategies during a preceptored experience. The student will perform health assessments and nursing skills for clients with alterations in health.

PRNS 3020 - Professional Practice
Upon completion of this course, the student will be familiar with concepts related to the professional role of the practical nurse. This will include, but is not limited to, an understanding of accountability, leadership, administration, research and evidenced-based practice. The students will also have an opportunity to review and debate current issues in health care. The students will complete a week of license preparation at the end of this course.

PRNS 3055 - Family and Community Clinical
This course provides the student with the opportunity to become familiar with the role of the Practical Nurse in family-centred and community nursing care using Orem’s theory of self care. The outcomes for this course can be met through a combination of clinical experience, guest lecturers, and student presentations.

PRNS 3060 - Pharmacology Clinical
This course provides the learner with the opportunity to apply the nursing process during the administration of medications in the clinical setting. Students will not be permitted to use calculators in this course.

PRNS 4052 - Nursing Clinical IV
The clinical experience is a time for students to integrate their knowledge, skills, ability and judgment in the provision of nursing care. Using Orem’s theory of self-care, the student will demonstrate safe, ethical and competent practice to clients and families requiring increasingly complex care.

PRNS 4058 - Mental Health Clinical
This course provides the learner with opportunities to continue to explore types of mental health issues, abuse, crisis, and related challenging behaviours and to apply the nursing process in alterations in mental health by completing a 30 hour preceptor clinical experience with a mental health focus.

PRNS 4060 - Internship
The clinical experience is a time for learners to consolidate their skills and knowledge. This will be a time in which the learner can actively apply the NSCC conceptual framework and learned skills. It will be a transitional period where the learner will gradually move into the role of a beginning practitioner.

PRNS 4062 - Integrated Clinical Skills
The purpose of this course is to provide the learner with the opportunity to integrate the skills and competencies required for safe clinical practice. The learner will participate in Lab demonstrations and simulated learning while applying clinical judgement and critical thinking skills.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

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