Practical Nursing

Jumpstart your career

Be at the centre of healthcare with the Practical Nursing program. Our intensive, two-year diploma will prepare you for an exciting career where you’ll work one-on-one with patients, making quality care your main focus. You’ll learn about various concepts, including teamwork, collaboration, leadership and lifespan, determining how these principles apply to your line of work. Our combination of theory and hands-on learning will set you up to work with individuals of all ages and challenges in a rewarding and caring career, administering medications, and monitoring, planning, implementing and documenting patient care.

Practical Nursing is right for you if you:

  • have excellent critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • have good communication and interpersonal skills
  • can work independently and as part of a health-care team
  • are committed to life-long learning
  • have a caring attitude and enjoy working with people.

Inject meaning into your future

You’ll get hands-on training, letting you test your knowledge in a variety of areas including clinical and lab settings, as well as in the community working with patients in acute and long-term care. You will also participate in a two-month practicum to sharpen your skills and prepare you for work in this crucial industry.

Practical Nursing: At-a-Glance
2 Years
Diploma in Practical Nursing
Thompson Rivers University, University of Calgary, University of Lethbridge

This program has a required Practice-Based Experience (PBE) component. The College dictates the legal terms and conditions governing the PBE.

Students must meet and maintain certain requirements to participate in the PBE setting as determined by programs, practice agencies and/or legislated by government bodies. These may include health (e.g. immunizations, screening tests, etc.), privacy and security (e.g. police information check, IT access, etc.), and OH&S requirements (e.g. CPR certification, Fire Safety, WHMIS, Mask Fit-testing, etc.).

As a post-secondary health care program in Alberta, provincial immunization standards apply to students in this program. As per the provincial “Standard for Immunization of Post-Secondary Health Care Students and Students in Other High-Risk Occupational Programs”, all Post-Secondary Institutions (PSI) have the responsibility of assessing the immunization status of each healthcare student at the time of initial enrollment and to ensure all healthcare students are fully immunized before leaving post-secondary programs. There is an administrative fee for this assessment and vaccinations required to become fully immunized.

Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) coverage – PBE placement agencies and employers usually require WCB coverage on behalf of the student. Students enrolled in post-secondary institutions in Alberta are deemed to be employees of the Province of Alberta and, as such, provided WCB coverage. In certain instances, for students outside of Alberta, WCB coverage may not be provided (e.g. non-Alberta residents taking a course solely through distance learning with a PBE placement outside of Alberta). These students are advised to contact the program prior to application.

PBE sites will include Lethbridge and may include surrounding rural communities. PBE’s may include day, evening, and/or weekend schedules. Students will be expected to travel to assigned sites and will be responsible for arranging travel and any associated costs.

To be eligible to graduate, students must attain a passing overall program grade point average (GPA) of 1.7.

All requirements must be met within five years of the first nursing course used towards the diploma.

Important Notes:

  1. Students seeking Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) should contact the Program Chair immediately upon accepted admission to the program to allow sufficient time for assessment.
  2. Students receive a program handbook upon acceptance into the program outlining the program’s policies and expectations. It is very important for learners to review and understand these requirements.
  3. Students are encouraged to take the general elective courses prior to acceptance into the program.

Graduates are eligible for licensure through the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta upon payment of a fee and successfully passing a national practical nurse examination.

Practical Nursing - Cost Estimate
2017-18 Academic YearTuitionFeesBooks & Supplies
Year 1$3,827$1,204$2,970
Year 2$4,614$1,366$1,290
• Practical Nursing students are charged for their CNPNE exams after program completion at a cost of approximately $725 - these costs are not included as they are not a part of the college program.
• Students will be charged a medical/dental benefit fee unless they opt out by demonstrating alternative coverage prior to the end of the first week of class.
• International students are charged three times the tuition fee of their particular program and the same (other) fees as domestic students.
• Costs for supplies may vary considerably depending on what students already have or where they purchased their supplies; cost provided is on the moderately high end.
Practical Nursing School | Practical Nursing Program | Practical Nurse Education

Contact Us

Program Office:
• 403.320.3211
Office of the Chair:
• 403.320.3202 Ext. 5713
Office of the Dean:
• 403.320.3464
Centre for Health and Wellness Placement Office:
•  403.320.3202 Ext. 5380


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Lethbridge College CPNRE 2016 Pass Rate

In Fall of 2016, the Practical Nursing program at Lethbridge College achieved a 94% pass rate on the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination, above the provincial pass rate of 91% and the national pass rate of 92.5%.

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