Practical Nursing Access

Diploma Program

Total Program Hours:
1650 Hours
Full-Time Program Length:
61 Weeks
Includes holidays and professional days.
Delivery Methods:
  • In-Class Instruction
  • Combined Delivery (Both In-Class and Distance)
Program content is subject to change.

This full-time program prepares graduates to provide nursing care in partnership with other health care professionals. Graduates will be able to care for selected clients chosen on the basis of acuity and complexity in a variety of settings.

Please note:  it is intended that this Access to Practical Nursing curriculum is used in conjunction with the Practical Nursing Provincial Curriculum (2012). The first level of the Access to PN Curriculum was adapted from the Practical Nursing Provincial Curriculum (2012). An in-depth comparison of the Health Care Assistant Provincial Curriculum (2008) and the Practical Nursing Provincial Curriculum (2012) and identification of the curriculum gaps resulting from this comparison has led to the development of this Access curriculum. The other levels are the same as courses in the Practical Nursing Provincial Curriculum (2012).

Licensed Practical Nurses in BC provide nursing services to patients and their families across the lifespan in a variety of hospital, community, long-term care and home care environments working as an integral part of the health team in collaboration with Physicians, RNs and RPNs. LPNs practice nursing using their knowledge, skills, judgment, critical thinking and problem solving to provide safe, competent and ethical care.

Comprehensive patient assessments serve as the basis for developing individual nursing care plans. As a Practical Nurse and valued member of the primary healthcare team you are qualified to:

•  Provide nursing care in the acute, geriatric and home care settings

•  Assess and monitor patients in various healthcare settings

•  Assist clients with activities of daily living such as personal care

•  Administer medication to patients and monitor their effectiveness

•  Document assessments and report progress

•  Perform examinations in consultation with doctors, registered nurses and therapists

•  Educate patients and family regarding health-related issues

•  Advocate for clients

•  Assist in rehabilitation activities

•  Be a team leader and assign care to unregulated care providers

Learning Objectives

The Sprott Shaw College (SSC) Practical Nursing Access Program curriculum is based on the current 2012 Access Practical Nursing Program Provincial Curriculum (APNPC) Guide and Supplement 2nd Edition Revised 2017. These include the Scope of Practice Standards, Professional Standards and the Practice Standards as set out by BCCNM.

On completion of this LPN bridging program graduates will be able to:

  • Apply the Entry to Practice Competencies for Licensed Practical Nurses to provide safe, competent, culturally safe and ethical nursing care to clients across the lifespan.
  • Practice within current legislation, Scope of Practice Standards, Practice Standards, and Professional Standards for Licensed Practical Nurses.
  • 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 practice decisions that are client specific and consider client acuity, complexity, variability, and available resources.
  • Use critical thinking, clinical judgement 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 and diversity.
  •  Provide leadership, direction, assignment and supervision of unregulated care providers as appropriate.
  •  Identify one’s own values, biases and assumptions and the influence of these on interactions with clients and other members of the health care team.

Why Take The LPN Bridging Program at Sprott Shaw? 

  • Lifetime access to dedicated Employment Services Specialists (ESS) who can help you with resume and cover letter writing, interview skills, and the overall job search after graduation 
  • Lifetime tuition-free access to course refreshers if you ever need to retrain and update your skills 
  • Practicum opportunities with recognized organizations across BC 
  • Multiple start dates so you can start your education when you want to without the wait 
  • Career and professional development success courses to help create a career development marketing plan, learn the cardinal rules of professionalism, and identify the target markets and employment resources in the counselling field 
  • Preparation and orientation courses to teach you how to find credible research, write papers, create proper citation formats including APA, and study effectively for exams 
  • All-inclusive program costs where what you see is what you pay. Our costs include registration fees, assessment fees, tuition, textbooks, supplies, course materials, uniforms, certificates, graduation fees, practicum fees, and much more 
  • Grant and scholarship opportunities are available to help you save on tuition. Up to $4000 in scholarships and grants are open to recent high school graduates, Sprott Shaw alumni, military veterans, and more! Click here to browse our full list of grants and scholarships.

Success Stories

  • “The supportive environment at Sprott Shaw drove me through the nursing program and inspired me to strive for educational excellence.” – Kylie M.
  • “It was really easy and quick to get in and make an appointment with the advisor who was really helpful throughout the process, explaining step-by-step what I needed to do.” – Natasha C.
  • “Aside from a better quality of education, Sprott Shaw College treats everyone like a family. They’re here to help, comfort, and guide you through your successes.” – Kirby O.

Where Are Sprott Shaw Graduates Working? 

Our Health Care, Nursing and Dental graduates can be found working throughout the province. In addition to health authorities across BC, our Practical Nursing and Health Care Assistant graduates are working at recognized hospitals like Vancouver General Hospital, Surrey Memorial Hospital, Chilliwack General Hospital, Kelowna General Hospital, Victoria General Hospital, and more. 

Our Dental Assistant graduates can be found working at a variety of dental clinics throughout the province such as Family Care Dental Clinic, Heavenly Dental, NOVO Dental Centre, and more. Our Pharmacy Assistants can be found working in Walmart Pharmacies, Rexall Pharmacies, and numerous other independent pharmacies throughout BC. 

Click below to learn more about where our graduates are currently working. Please note that these lists do not cover every single business that has hired a Sprott Shaw graduate, but they do provide a good representation of the sort of industries that Sprott Shaw graduates are working in. 

Related Programs:


Applicants must meet all of the pre-requisites listed below, meet their financial obligations to the college at registration, and acknowledge their understanding of SSC’s policies and procedures provided in the Student Handbook, prior to starting classes.

  • Complete admissions interview
  • Complete interview with Coordinator/Director
  • Meet the requirements as set by the BCCNM


EDUCATION LEVEL (one of the following):

  • Grade 12 or equivalent (GED, Adult Basic Education) with evidence of a ‘true certified copy’ or original transcript.
  • Mature student status (age 19 and one year out of high school)
  • All courses are taught in English, and therefore, a proficiency in the English language is required for enrolment in all Sprott Shaw College (SSC) programs.
  • Unless otherwise stated, applicants with a high school diploma, earned in any province or jurisdiction in Canada where English is the language of instruction, will meet the language requirement. For programs that allow, mature applicants educated in Canada (minimum age of 19 years with one or more years out of high school), and who do not have evidence of the required high school transcript, may need to successfully write SSC’s English entrance assessment if no additional English requirement is listed on the program outline.


ENGLISH REQUIREMENT (one of the following):

  • English 12 First Peoples (min. grade 65%).
  • English 12 (min. grade 65%).
  • SSC English for Healthcare (min. grade 76%).


  • As English is the language of study in BC, students must meet English language proficiency at an appropriate level to be accepted into the provincial PN program.
  • Applicants with English as a Second/Additional Language must meet the language requirements set by the BC College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) and be successful in one of the following (subject to change, consistent with BCCNM requirements).
  • Three years of full-time, face-to-face secondary or postsecondary instruction at an accredited institution where English is the language of instruction and is also one of the country’s official languages. English as a second language/additional language courses are not included in this three-year calculation. Those not meeting this requirement must achieve scores identified in one of the two tests listed below:
IELTS (Academic) with a minimum score of:

• Speaking: 7.0

• Listening: 7.0

• Reading: 6.5

• Writing: 6.5

• Overall band score: 7.0

CELBAN (minimum scores):

• Speaking: 8.0

• Listening: 9.0

• Reading: 8.0

• Writing: 7.0


MATH REQUIREMENT (one of the following):

  • Math 11 Foundations (min. grade 60%).
  • SSC Math for Healthcare (min. grade 64%).
BIOLOGY REQUIREMENT (one of the following):
  • BC Curriculum Anatomy and Physiology 12 (formerly known as Biology 12) (min. grade 60%).
  • BC Curriculum Biology 12 (min. grade 60%).
  • SSC Biology Basics (min. grade 60%).



  • Portfolio containing an English essay and resume.
  • Criminal record check from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, including clearance to work with vulnerable populations.
  • Completed SSC Health Declaration form
  • Evidence of full COVID-19 vaccinations
  • FoodSafe Level 1
  • Standard First Aid and CPR-C OR Basic Life Support certification must be valid for the duration of the program

This full-time diploma program was initiated in response to the need for recognizing past education, training and work experience of applicants to the Practical Nursing program. If applicants have achieved certification in the following programs:

  • Health Care Assistant (HCA) or Resident Care Attendant (RCA) or a combined Home Support/Resident Care Attendant (HS/RCA) they may be admitted to the access semester of the Practical Nursing program.
  • 600 hours of work experience, within the last two years, in a care facility where care is provided to a group of clients. Work experience must be verified by an official employer letter. Individualized home care experience is not acceptable.



  • Provide evidence of clear TB testing prior to acceptance (must be done no more than three months before the work experience start date).
  • Provide evidence of up-to-date Immunizations: Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Polio, Chicken Pox, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Hepatitis B, Pertussis.
  • Influenza vaccinations (and others), as required by clinical sites
  • Adhere to the requirements of the BC Practice Education Guidelines.



Graduation from this program is based on:  A passing grade in all theory courses; successful completion of all practice experiences, including demonstration of mastery of all the clinical competencies; each student must attain the entry level competencies for an LPN in BC as set by the BCCNM.

Note: Successful graduation of this program does not guarantee a license to practice. Such license is issued by the BC College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM)  after successful completion of the mandatory national examination. For more information on this process please visit: http://www.bccnm.ca



  • PVPC – Provincial Violence Prevention Curriculum.

– Clinical / Preceptorship may include any shifts other than day shift (i.e. evenings — 3 to 11 pm or nights — 11 pm to 7 am and possible weekends).

– Students may be required to work 12-hour shifts during the clinical and / or preceptorship.

– Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from clinical / preceptorship sites.

-Clinical / Preceptorship are conducted over 7.5 to 12 hours per day to meet required hours as set out by BCCNM.
-Clinical / Preceptorship sites are subject to availability.
-Clinical / Preceptorship sites may require more current and/or additional CRC (for instance: RCMP) and TB testing (to be done at student’s expense), or other requirements to be completed prior to starting.
-Students can expect to complete 1 – 4 hours of homework per day.

* Practical Nursing Access was reviewed and approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills.

Contact an Admissions Advisor for More Information Today!

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Our advisors are happy to answer any questions.

Courses List

This 61 week Diploma program requires the student to complete the following courses.

  • PN105: Human Anatomy & Physiology, Medical Terminology; Structure and function of the 10 body systems; Various health promotion strategies that work toward the optimal function of these systems
  • PNA100: Program Preparation
  • PNA1000: Orientation
  • PNA901: Professional Practice A
  • PNA902: Professional Communication A
  • PNA903: Variations in Health A
  • PNA904: Health Promotion A
  • PNA905: Pharmacology A
  • PNA906: Integrated Nursing Practice A
  • PNA907: Consolidated Practice Experience A

  • PN3001: Professional Practice 3
  • PN3002: Professional Communications 3
  • PN3003: Variations in Health 3
  • PN3004: Health Promotion 3
  • PN3006: Integrated Nursing Practice 3
  • PN3007: Consolidated Practice Experience 3 (Clinical)

  • PN4001: Professional Practice 4
  • PN4002: Professional Communications 4
  • PN4003: Variations in Health 4
  • PN4004: Health Promotion 4
  • PN4006: Integrated Nursing Practice 4
  • PN4007: Consolidated Practice Experience 4 (Clinical)

  • PN5000: Transition to Preceptorship
  • PN5001: Preceptorship
  • PN5002: Exam Preparation

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Our advisors are happy to answer any questions.

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