Practical Nursing Access Program

This specialized LPN bridging program allows practicing* and certified HCA’s credit towards their practical nursing 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) may be admitted to the access semester of the Practical Nursing program.

This LPN bridging program includes a practicum placement. This experience within a workplace enables Instructional staff to observe the student in a practice situation while providing the student with the opportunity to gain direct exposure to the chosen career field.

* 600 Hours of work experience, within the last two years, in a care facility where care is provided to a group of Gerontological clients. Work experience must be verified by an official employer letter. Individualized home care experience is not acceptable.

Learning Objectives

The Sprott Shaw College (SSC) Practical Nursing Program curriculum is based on the BC College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) Standards of Practice Framework. These include the Scope of Practice Standards, Professional Standards, and the Practice Standards as set out by BCCNM. This LPN bridging program is designed to allow Health Care Assistants seamlessly transfer

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 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 an evidence-informed practice
  • Make practice decisions that are client-specific and consider client acuity, complexity, variability, and available resources
  • Use critical thinking, clinical judgment and knowledge of assessment to plan, implement, and evaluate the agreed-upon care of plan
  • Develop a collaborative relationship with clients by connecting, sharing, and exploring with them in a caring environment
  • Provide culturally safe, person-centred 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 Your 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 

Related Programs:

Diploma Program

Total Program Hours:
1650 Hours
Full-Time Program Length:
61 Weeks
(Includes holidays and professional days)
Program content is subject to change.

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Career Opportunities

Care Aide
Practical Nurse
Admission Requirements:

1. Letters of Reference
Two letters – one personal and one professional (no relatives)

2. Certification
Successful completion of HCA, RCA or HSRCA certificate

3. Knowledge Assessment
Practicing HCAs, RCAs, HSRCAs with a certificate from the BC Post-Secondary System are exempt from this assessment

Practicing HCAs; RCAs or HS/RCAs not from the BC Post- Secondary System will be required to take this assessment (minimum grade of 70%).

If applicants are unsuccessful in the assessment the first time, they may rewrite once. If the second attempt is unsuccessful, they may take the Sprott Shaw HCA or PN program.

4. Proof of 600 hours of work experience
600 hours of work experience within the last two years

Completed in a care facility where care is provided to a group of Gerontological clients

This means care in a long-term care facility of a group of elderly residents

This includes multi-level long-term care facilities; assisted living and independent living facilities

This does not include mental health group homes for those under 65 years; children’s care facilities; or individualized home care experience of any age

Any questions to clarify work experience are submitted to Compliance Auditor

Work experience must be verified by an official employer letter

On the employer’s letterhead

All documentation must be placed into student file

5. Grade 12 transcripts
Or equivalent (GED, ABE) or mature student status.

6. English Essay
Choose one of the following four topics:

What does nursing mean to you and why do you want to become a nurse?

What does caring and giving care mean to you?

What qualities do you possess that will enable you to become a nursing professional?

What role do you believe nurses have in health promotion and disease prevention?

(2 pages handwritten – done in the college – no exceptions)

7. Biology 12
BC Curriculum Anatomy and Physiology 12 (formerly known as Biology 12) with 60% OR SSC Biology Basics with of 60% OR Equivalent. Note: Biology Basics should not be a continuous intake course – modules have been created as building blocks

8. English 12
English 12 with a 65% OR English 12 First Peoples with 65% OR English for Healthcare with 76% OR Equivalent – see Language Proficiency Requirements form

9. Math 11
Math 11 Foundations with a grade of 60% OR SSC Math for

10. Food Safe Level 1
As per Student Handbook timelines

11. CRC (Criminal Record Check)
Within three months of the start date, the application is made through Public Safety and Solicitor General using a Schedule B. If it is not clear, it must be brought to the attention of the campus director who will consult with the Provincial Coordinator. Each student will be assessed on an individual basis.

12. TB Test
Within three months of the start date. A negative Mantoux test is required. If positive, CXR (chest x-ray) must be done and results can take 4 to 6 weeks. May come to the program if a physician gives a letter confirming that the student is asymptomatic for TB.

13. Immunization
• DT is non-effective after 10 years
• MMR/Chickenpox is good for a lifetime. If no there are no records, must have a titre test
• Polio is given in the first year of life. Boosters are given now only to travellers

14. International Graduates With Nursing And Other Medical Background
All documents to be assessed and the applicant interviewed by the Director / Coordinator. Each student will be admitted to the program on an individual basis. Consult Compliance Auditor

15. CPR
Level C is required. Note: the CPR portion expires after a year. Students must have a CPR certificate that will remain current for their year of study. If their CPR expires before the year is over, they must take the four-hour re-certification course.

16. HCA Students
HCA students wanting to take the PNA program can complete their entrance requirements while attending HCA classes
• Biology Basics can be offered over eight weeks. If successful, biology tuition fees will be applied to their PN tuition
• English 12 can also be completed—See Language Proficiency Requirements form for our accepted English proficiency levels OR SSC Communication for Healthcare may be taken and tuition fees will be applied to their PN tuition.
• SSC PN Mathematics Proficiency Assessment with a minimum score of 40/50
• Math 11 can also be completed OR SSC Math for Healthcare may be taken and tuition fees will be applied to their PN tuition.

17. Flu Shot / Hep B Immunization
To be discussed by Advisor and Coordinator. For example: The flu shot is required at the time of practicum during flu season.

18. $1500 deposit
Students will be required to give a $1500 deposit.
• If he/she does not start the program and has not received books or courses from us, we retain the portion which is non-refundable ($250 Domestic or $350 International)
• If he/she does not start the program and has received books and/or courses (Biology, Math, Communications, CPRFA, FoodSafe, etc.), we retain the non-refundable portion plus the costs for the books and courses’ tuition amounts.
• If he/she does start the program, 100% of the tuition for Biology, Math, or Communications (if taken) is applied to the student’s account. Costs for the Biology, Math and Communications books (if taken) are the student’s costs and will be added to the student’s account.

Diploma Requirements:

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

Clinical / Preceptorship:

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.

Other Specifications

Basic word processing and computer skills are required; a caring attitude and a sincere interest in the well-being of people are essential; foundational courses in Mathematics, Biology, Psychology and Sociology are an asset; flexible and adaptable work/life schedule to accommodate for clinical experience shift work; healthcare-related work/volunteer experience strongly recommended; must be able to cope with the emotional aspects of working with the sick, injured and terminally ill. Has the following required skills and abilities described in Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in Canada Requisite Skills and Abilities (2013):

  • Cognitive skills that demonstrate thinking capacity.
  • Communication ability to express and receive written, verbal and non-verbal language, and the ability to interact with others in a respectful and professional manner.
  • Ability to create positive relationships.
  • Ability to conduct oneself in a professional manner.
  • Ability to accurately perceive using sight, hearing, smell and touch to provide safe care and actively participate in nursing activities.
  • Ability to physically participate in providing safe client care and educational activities.
  • Ability to provide safe client care in commonly encountered and unavoidable environmental factors.

Biology, English and Math Upgrade Courses

We offer Biology, English and Math upgrade courses needed for the Practical Nursing program. The cost of this upgrade will be credited to your account once you have been accepted as a Practical Nursing student at Sprott Shaw College. Speak with a Career Advisor for more details.


Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in Canada: Requisite Skills and Abilities document

Professional Standards

Entry to Practice Competencies for Licensed Practical Nurses (2013)

Scope of Practice: Standards, Limits and Conditions

Practice Standards

* Practical Nursing Access Program was reviewed and approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training.

Students can expect to complete one to three hours of homework per day.

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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

  • Identify an event's purpose and its objectives
  • Identify event critical path planning
  • Arrange travel plans

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