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Practical Nursing - Mi’kmaw and Indigenous Offering

Work as part of a healthcare team to provide exceptional care and promote healthy lifestyles to the individuals and families you serve.

A nurse in white scrubs checks the blood pressure of a female patient wearing a pink sweater.
NSCC Practical Nursing Alumni Katrina Paul, now working as a Registered Nurse, giving back to her community at the Eskasoni Health Centre.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
2.5 Years

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The Mi’kmaw and Indigenous designated offering of Practical Nursing prepares you to provide culturally responsive care and develop the skills needed to make a positive impact on the health and well-being of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. In this offering, you learn as a cohort meaning you work with fellow students through a course or courses as a group.  The content in the program is being reviewed and deconstructed by Knowledge and Community Experts to have a Etuaptmumk (Two-Eyed Seeing) perspective. 

Upon successful completion of the diploma, you will be eligible to write the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam (CPNRE) and may be eligible for licensure with the Nova Scotia College of Nursing. Licensed practical nurses (LPN) 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 LPN depends upon your willingness to work as a team member, to be flexible and enjoy working in a variety of settings while providing safe, competent, ethical and compassionate care.

Clinical placement

  • This program includes mandatory clinical placements that may take place in a variety of settings, including medical-surgical, geriatric, obstetrics, pediatrics, mental health, public health, community care, home care and NSCC labs.
    • Clinical placements can include weekday, evening, weekend and / or holiday shifts. Shifts range from 6-12 hours and start times vary, with some beginning at 7 am and 11 pm.
    • Clinical placements are mandatory credit courses. They provide you with the opportunity to integrate theory with practice and understand the everyday challenges of a work environment.
    • Placement 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 Flex delivery consists of a combination of online (synchronous and/or asynchronous) hybrid and in-person classes, in-person skill labs and clinical placements. It involves approximately 3 hours of study time per 1 hour of class time and takes 2.5 years to complete.
  • This cohort will be based out of the Pictou Campus. To facilitate student experience and incorporate cultural teachings, the in-person sessions may be held at various locations throughout the province. 
  • Mandatory skills labs are held in person, on campus and may occur on weekends.  
    • Theory classes may be delivered through synchronous and/or asynchronous, online and/or in person delivery.
    • This program does not follow the regular academic schedule. The program begins in September 2024 and will complete in July 2027. There will be holiday breaks and a 2-3 week summer break each year.

Choose NSCC

  • This program is approved by Nova Scotia College of Nursing (NSCN).
  • Learn from experienced instructors who have earned solid reputations in a wide variety of healthcare areas.
  • This program has low student-to-teacher ratios.
  • NSCC graduates enjoy a notably high rate of success on the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination (CPNRE). Graduates can be confident in assuming their work responsibilities because they have a firm foundation in the theory and practice of practical nursing, and they understand the Canadian healthcare system.

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.
  • 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 five  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. Successful completion of the examination qualifies you to apply for a license to practice as a LPN. This  exam is recognized nationally and qualifies you to license in any province or territory.
  • The Nova Scotia College of Nursing provides information to candidates about the requisite skills and abilities (PDF 554KB) needed to work as an LPN in Canada.

September 2024

Campus Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Pictou Campus
Full time Blended flex
Delivered through a combination of online and in-person classes. Less than 50% of learning occurs in-person.
Seats available
Designated for Aboriginal/Indigenous persons
Only open to individuals from specified equity-seeking groups, organizations or companies.

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). 
  • All applications received will be reviewed by the Mawkina’masultinej (Let’s learn together) Committee. Applicants that meet the above requirements will receive an email from the committee to complete a Self Identification Declaration form.
  • If you do not have the required academic credits, NSCC offers a variety of credit courses through the Academic and Career Connections program. Supports will be provided to assist you in meeting the Admission requirements. Please reach out to if you have questions.

Program requirements

  • A current, official criminal record check and vulnerable sector check are required to complete work placements in many programs. A conviction may impact your ability to complete program requirements.
  • The Practical Nursing program in the school of Health and Human Services requires the completion of First Aid/CPR Level C. For specific program requirements, view additional Health and Human Services program requirements
  • Additional requirements in the Practical Nursing program includes the completion of immunizations. You must submit proof that you've completed these requirements by the date provided to you 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  clinical placement, which will impact your ability to complete program and graduation requirements.
  • 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.
  • Pass mark for this program is 70%.


Tuition amounts are for the 2023-24 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

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

  • LPNs play a significant role on healthcare teams. Graduates work in long-term care, acute care, community care and mental health care.

Future study options

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