Prepare to enter the nursing profession
Program: Practical Nurse
Program length: 2 Years
Start date: To Be Determined
This program provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to enter employment as beginning practitioners. Upon successful completion of the program, students will be eligible to write the Canadian Practical Nurse (PN) Registration Exam (CPNRE). Upon successful completion of these examinations the student will be eligible to apply for licensure with the Government of the Northwest Territories.
Courses are offered in a combination of settings including classroom, laboratory, and clinical practice. The program covers concepts and skills related to health and nursing, basic microbiology, human anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology, human growth and development, psychology, and nursing theory. In recognition that the North is culturally diverse, the constructs of Traditional Knowledge and health/healing practices are woven throughout the curriculum. Clinical practicums occur in a wide variety of settings throughout the Northwest Territories. Students may need to travel to meet program requirements.
Applicants may be admitted into the Practical Nursing program based on one of the following pathways: academic and previous nursing education.
Applicants may be considered for admission who have a minimum final grade of 60 percent in each of:
- English 30-2;
- Math 20-2; and
- Biology 30.
Applicants who have completed the Aurora College University and College Access Program (UCAP) in the Nursing Pathway may also be considered for admission if they have minimum final grades of 60 percent in each of:
- Aurora College English 150;
- Aurora College Math 145; and
- Biology 30.
Equivalencies and other post-secondary education may be considered.
Previous Nursing Education
Students who have successfully completed nursing courses may be eligible to receive transfer credit. Applicants who have taken Aurora College courses in the Bachelor of Science and Nursing program may have the opportunity to use those courses or combination of courses as Internal Transfer Credit in the PN program.
Regardless of the pathway for admission, all applicants must:
- Submit official transcripts from high school and post-secondary education, as applicable.
- Submit a letter from a work or school related reference that highlights the applicant’s preparedness for an academically challenging program and for a career as a Licensed Practical Nurse.
- Submit a satisfactory* Criminal Records with Vulnerable Sector Check.**
- Submit a copy of immunization records showing proof of compliance with the NWT Immunization Schedule published by the Department of Health and Social Services, and evidence of tuberculosis screening.**
* A record of certain offences may prevent candidates from completing all elements of the program, in particular, working with clients and securing practicum placements (see Aurora College Policy C.21 Practicums/Internships). As the program is practice based, including working with clients, a satisfactory Criminal Records and Vulnerable Sector Check is mandatory.
** Prior to working with clients, students must have submitted their Criminal Records and Vulnerable Sector Check, proof of CPR/First Aid certification, and current immunization record. These are typically required to be submitted by the end of September.
Depending on the applicant’s pathway, they may be advised/requested to submit:
- A resume or other evidence of relevant work/life experience.
- A letter outlining why they should be considered for priority admission based on the criteria outlined in the Program Admission section below.
Applicants must complete an Aurora College application form, submit official transcripts (high school and post-secondary), and a letter of reference to be considered for admission.
Applicants who are currently enroled in one or more of the required academic courses for admission are encouraged to apply early and provide transcripts that demonstrate that they are currently registered in these courses. Applicants may receive a conditional acceptance that is dependent on their successful completion of the required courses (60 percent or higher). Applicants who are conditionally accepted will be required to provide a final transcript upon completion of the required courses to be fully accepted.
Students who have already completed post-secondary course work in practical nursing or related courses may have transferability into this program. Post-secondary transcripts and course syllabi/outlines will be required for evaluation. Students seeking transfer credit will be required to follow process defined in Aurora College Policy C.01 Transfer Credit.
Applicants must complete an Aurora College application form, submit official transcripts (high school and post-secondary), and a letter of reference to be considered for admission. The Practical Nursing program is in high demand. Applicants are encouraged to apply early and submit all required and requested documentation.
Applicants who are currently enrolled in one or more of the required academic courses for admission are encouraged to apply early and provide transcripts that demonstrate that they are currently registered in these courses. Applicants may receive a conditional acceptance that is dependent on their successful completion of the required courses (60 percent or higher). Applicants who are conditionally accepted will be required to provide a final transcript upon completion of the required courses to be fully accepted.
Students who have already completed post-secondary coursework in practical nursing or related courses may have transferability to this program. Post-secondary transcripts and course syllabi/outlines will be required for evaluation. Students seeking transfer credit will be required to follow the process defined in Aurora College Policy C.01 Transfer Credit.
Applicants will be admitted to the program based on how well they meet the program eligibility requirements and on space availability. Indigenous persons, long-term residents of the NWT*, and graduates of the UCAP/Nursing Career Pathway at Aurora College will be given priority in the selection process if they have submitted a complete** application before April 1. Priority consideration for admission will not be considered for applications received on or after April 1. Applications will be processed based on the date that their application is complete**.
* Preference will be given to longer-term northern residents from the Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Nunavut before short-term residents of one year or less.
** A complete application is one in which all required documentation (ex. application, transcripts, letter of reference) and all requested documentation (ex. additional documentation that supports your eligibility that is requested for your application).
This is a two-year diploma program, which includes fall, winter and spring semesters in both years.
The Aurora College PN program follows the Requisite Skills and Abilities of the Canadian Council for Practical Nurse Regulators (CCPNR). The nursing practice environment requires the practical nurses have basic skills and abilities including: mental process of perception, memory, judgement and reasoning; written, verbal, and non-verbal communication; ability to conduct themselves in a professional manner; ability to work with others in a professional relationship; demonstrate the physical abilities required of a health care environment; sensory perception abilities; and ability to work in challenging environments (CCPNR, 2013). Applicants who question whether they have the skills and abilities to apply and successfully progress through the Practical Nurse program should contact the program to determine if practical nursing is an appropriate career choice, and/or identify areas potentially requiring accommodation.
For further detail on the requisite skills and abilities, potential applicants should refer to the document, Becoming a Practical Nurse in Canada; Requisite Skills and Abilities (CCPNR, 2013) from www.ccpnr.ca.
The Practical Nurse program is practice-based; clinical experiences are mandatory. This may require working days, evenings, nights, weekends, and statutory holidays.
Due to the limited availability and nature of clinical placements, students may need to relocate for clinical experiences.
The purpose of the program is to prepare graduates who are able to provide health care services that meet the unique needs of the Northwest Territories. The successful completion of the PN program will enable the graduate to:
- Assess, plan, implement, and evaluate care for clients as an entry level practical nurse;
- Demonstrate leadership and critical thinking skills as accountable practitioners working with individuals and families in community and facility settings;
- Collaborate with the health care team to provide culturally safe, holistic care across the life span;
- Demonstrate commitment to lifelong learning and professional growth; and
- Demonstrate entry to Practice Competencies for Licensed Practical Nurses established by the Canadian Council for Licensed Practical Nurse Regulators (CCPNR).
Students are required to complete all courses and assignments in the program. The pass mark for all courses is 60 percent.
The diploma must be completed within five years. Availability of courses beyond the two-year full-time offering is dependent on funding and/or recognition from another post-secondary institution offering a practical nurse program.
Document of Recognition
Aurora College Practical Nurse Diploma
Courses in Program
- Non-Nursing Social Sciences Elective - NURS 0152
- Practical Nurse Practicum I - NURS 0112
- Academic Reading and Writing - ENGL 0110
- Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology I - NURS 0101
- Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology II - NURS 0108
- Blending Traditions with Foundational Knowledge - NURS 0106
- Healing in Primary Health Care: Part I - NURS 0109
- Healthy Development - NURS 0103
- Holistic Wellness, Holistic Teaching - NURS 0102
- Nursing Skills: Building Practice - NURS 0110
- Nursing Skills: Getting Started - NURS 0105
- Pharmacology for Health Care - NURS 0111
- Practical Nurse Consolidated Practicum I - NURS 0113
- Ways of Being - NURS 0104
- Community Focused Nursing - NURS 0207
- Healing in Primary Health Care: Part II - NURS 0201
- Healthy Families - NURS 0206
- Holistic Health Assessment - NURS 0203
- Integrative Practicum - NURS 0210
- Nursing Skills: Expanding Practice - NURS 0204
- Practical Nurse Practicum II - NURS 0205
- Practical Nurse Practicum III - NURS 0209
- The Profession in Practice - NURS 0202
- Transition to Graduate Nurse - NURS 0208