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Practical Nursing Access

The Practical Nursing Access program at Vancouver Career College recognizes past education, training and work experience of applicants who have graduated from a Health Care Assistant (HCA) program at an accredited BC post-secondary institution. Those entering with an education other than an HCA diploma, or from an institution outside of BC, will need to demonstrate their eligibility prior to entrance through consultation with our program co-ordinator.

In the Practical Nursing Access program, students will be taught to efficiently deliver client-centred care to individuals, families and groups of all ages, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Graduates of the program will be prepared to work in various healthcare settings throughout BC.
“My new career has given me amazing opportunities to learn, meet new people and to grow.” Nicole T., Vancouver Career College Graduate
This program is 63 weeks in length.

Job Opportunities
  • Acute Care Hospitals
  • Long-Term Care Settings
  • Group Homes
  • Public Schools
  • Alzheimer Units
  • Home Care

Program Courses

The program outline below is for British Columbia.

Term 1

Code Course Name Hours
  • BC-NSG-PRD100 Academic Success Strategies 25

    • This course is designed to inform learners about the knowledge, skills, behaviours and expectations that are required to succeed in the Provincial Practical Nursing program. Emphasis is on study skills, time management. A math ‘boot camp’ for two days introduces the learners to the use of the Eminata+ Group College Interactive Math Portal.
  • BC-NSG-COM-A Professional Communication A 45

    • This course provides learners with the foundational knowledge for caring and professional communication in nursing. It uses an experiential and self-reflective approach to develop self-awareness and interpersonal communication skills in the context of safe, competent and collaborative nursing practice. Communication theory, the nurse-client relationship, therapeutic communication, cross-cultural communication, effective teamwork and learning and teaching concepts will be covered. The learner is provided with an opportunity to develop professional communication skills with clients requiring end of life care.
  • BC-NSG-FD-A Professional Practice A 45

    • This theory course provides an introduction to the profession of practical nursing. Legislation that informs PN practice within British Columbia will be introduced. The history of nursing and specifically, the evolution of practical nursing within the Canadian healthcare system will be discussed. The philosophy and foundational concepts of the Provincial Practical Nursing program are explored. The legislation influencing PN practice with clients experiencing chronic illness and those in residential care settings is examined. Specific professional issues such as responsibility, accountability, ethical practice and leadership relevant to the PN role in residential care will be explored. Critical thinking and decision making specific to the care of the chronically ill and inter-professional practice will also be addressed.
  • BC-NSG-PHAR-A Pharmacology A 60

    • This introductory course examines the principles of pharmacology required to administer medications in a safe and professional manner. Medication administration requires the application of the nursing process for clinical decision-making. The routes of medication administration introduced include medications used to treat constipation, eye and ear disorders and the Integumentary system. Complementary, Indigenous and alternative remedies, and polypharmacy across the lifespan are explored. The learners will gain an understanding of pharmacology and medication administration across the lifespan. Also included are the topics of substance abuse and addiction.
  • BC-ILMNG-A Variations in Health A 60

    • This course provides the learner with the foundations of disease and illness across the lifespan. Learners will gain an understanding of pathophysiological alterations of body systems. Nursing management of disease and illness across the lifespan with an emphasis on interventions and treatment is also discussed. The learners understanding of pathophysiology as it relates to the aging process and selected chronic illness will increase. A major focus of this course is on the care of the older adult experiencing a health challenge. Cultural diversity in healing practices will be explored as well as evidence informed research and practice.
  • BC-NSG-HP-A Health Promotion A 30

    • This introductory course will increase the learners understanding of health promotion within the Canadian context. This includes health enhancement, health protection, disease prevention, health restoration/recovery, care and support. Knowledge of growth and development, health inequities and determinants of health will support the Practical Nurse to provide culturally appropriate and holistic care.
  • BC-NSG-SKC-A Integrated Nursing Practice A 180

    • This course emphasizes the art and science of nursing, focusing on the development of nursing care and assessment. Learners will apply nursing knowledge through the practice of clinical decision making, nursing assessments and nursing interventions aimed at the promotion of health, independence and comfort. Classroom, laboratory, simulation and other practice experiences will assist learners to integrate theory from other Access courses to provide sage, competent and ethical nursing care with clients.
  • BC-NSG-CL-A Consolidated Practice Experience A 120

    • This clinical experience provides learners with the opportunity to integrate theory from the Access level into practice. Learners will practice with ageing clients and/or those with chronic illness in residential care settings. Medication administration, nursing care, organization, comprehensive health assessment, wound care and introduction to leadership are emphasized in this course.

      This is a hands-on direct patent care experience supervised by faculty. The Level A competencies are practised and mastered.

Term 2

Code Course Name Hours
  • BC-NSG-COM301 Professional Communication III 20

    • This course focuses on specific professional communication skills used with clients and care providers across the lifespan requiring care in the community.
  • BC-NSG-FD301 Professional Practice III 20

    • This course integrates the concepts from previous professional practice courses and introduces the learner to practice in the community. The role of the practical nurse as leader is emphasized in interactions with clients, families and other healthcare providers.
  • BC-ILMNG-301 Variations in Health III 45

    • This course focuses on the continuum of care and the development of knowledge related to health challenges managed in the community setting. Patho-physiology and nursing management of clients requiring home healthcare, rehabilitation, and supportive services such as community living and disabilities will be explored. Cultural diversity in healing approaches will be explored as well as the incorporation of evidence informed research and practice.
  • BC-NSG-HP301 Health Promotion III 36

    • This course is focused on health promotion as it relates to the continuum of care across the lifespan. Health promotion in the context of mental illness, physical and developmental disabilities and Maternal/Child health is highlighted. Normal growth and development from conception to middle adulthood is addressed.
  • BC-NSG-SKC301 Integrated Nursing Practice III 120

    • This practical course builds on the theory and practice from Terms I and II. Through classroom, laboratory, simulation, and other practice experiences, learners will continue to develop and practice comprehensive nursing assessment, planning and develop knowledge and interventions for clients experiencing multiple health challenges.
  • BC-NSG-CL301 Consolidated Practice Experience III 65

    • This two-week clinical experience will introduce learners to community practice and an opportunity to apply and adapt knowledge gained in Terms I, II, and III within a continuum of care for clients across the lifespan. Students may gain experience through simulation and in a variety of community and residential care agencies and settings. These hours may be offered as CPE III or integrated into the Integrated Nursing Practice III course as practice hours.

Term 3

Code Course Name Hours
  • BC-NSG-COM401 Professional Communications IV 20

    • The focus of this course will be on the advancement of professional communication within the acute care setting across the lifespan. The practice of collaboration with healthcare team members and clients will be further developed.
  • BC-NSG-FD401 Professional Practice IV 20

    • This course is intended to prepare the learner for the role of the practical nurse in managing clients with acute presentation of illness. Legislation influencing PN practice, specific professional practice issues and ethical practice pertinent to PN practice in acute care environments will be explored. Practice issues that occur across the lifespan will be considered. Collaborative practice with other healthcare team members and specifically the working partnership with RN’s in the acute care setting will be explored.
  • BC-ILMNG-401 Variations in Health IV 50

    • This course will increase the learners understanding of patho-physiology as it relates to acute disease and illness for clients across the lifespan. The focus is on the care of the client experiencing acute illness including, nursing interventions and treatment options. Acute disease and illness often occurs in individuals with existing chronic illnesses – the implications of these complexities will be addressed. Cultural diversity in healing practices will be explored as well as evidenced informed research and practice.
  • BC-NSG-HP401 Health Promotion IV 24

    • This course focuses on health promotion for the client experiencing an acute exacerbation of chronic illness or an acute episode of illness. Relevant health promoting strategies during hospitalization may improve or help maintain their health status after discharge. Learners will focus on preparing clients for discharge, through teaching and learning of health promoting strategies.
  • BC-NSG-SKC401 Integrated Nursing Practice IV 180

    • This practical course emphasizes the development of nursing skills aimed at promoting health and healing with individuals experiencing acute health challenges across the lifespan. Classroom, laboratory, simulation, and integrated practice experiences will help learners build on theory and practice from Terms I, II, and III to integrate new knowledge and skills relevant to the acute care setting.
  • BC-NSG-CL501 Transition to Preceptorship 30

    • This course will prepare the learner for the final practice experience. A combination of faculty led simulation experiences and self directed learning will provide the learner with increased competence and confidence in their final practice experience.
  • BC-NSG-CL401 Consolidated Practice Experience IV 200

    • This six-week clinical experience provides learners with the opportunity to integrate theory from all semesters into the role of the practical nurse in the acute care setting and other clinical areas as appropriate. Learners will focus on clients with exacerbations of chronic illness and/or acute illness across the lifespan and will consolidate knowledge and skills such as: post operative care, surgical wound management, IV therapy, focused assessment, and clinical decision-making in acute care settings.
  • BC-NSG-CL601 Preceptorship 180

    • This final practice experience provides an opportunity for the learner to demonstrate integration and consolidation of knowledge, skills and abilities within the realities of the workplace, and become practice ready. This faculty monitored experience may occur through a variety of practice experience models, including the preceptorship model, under the immediate supervision of a single, fully qualified and experienced LPN or RN or RPN and/or within the context of a collaborative learning environment as a participating team member.
  • BC-NSG-CL405a Review, Practicum Prep and Job Search Seminar 30

    • Description coming soon...
  • BC-NSG-CL405b Academic Review, Flex Days, and CPNRE Prep 60

    • Description coming soon...

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