Under a new 2011 provincial curriculum, the Practical Nursing diploma prepares graduates to deliver nursing care that meets the LPN practice standards and entry-level competencies of the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals. The program emphasizes the concepts of caring, holism, nursing collaboration, self-reflection, lifespan, leadership and safety as well as diversity and Indigenous health.
The curriculum is divided into four levels:
Foundations and development of nursing practice.
Level 1 provides the foundation for the development of nursing practice and introduces the learner to the healthy adult.
Adults with chronic illness in various settings.
Level 2 explores the older adult and concepts related to ageing and chronic illness in various settings.
Community health; mental health, maternal and child health.
Level 3 examines a continuum of care in community care and applies concepts from Level 1, 2 and 3 in the management of stable clients across the lifespan.
Medical/surgical nursing practice in acute care.
Level 4 integrates knowledge from previous levels and examines concepts related to the care of the client with acute presentation or exacerbation of chronic illness.
The Practical Nursing diploma is held over 24 months (four semesters), and classes may be scheduled during the day, in the evening and on weekends. BIO-159
Human Anatomy & Physiology, a prerequisite for the Practical Nursing Diploma, is offered online beginning each February. Students begin the Practical Nursing Program in the fall, with 10 students at the Campbell River campus and 10 students at the Port Alberni campus. These 20 students make up one cohort.
The program is delivered via a blend of Interactive Television (ITV) and face-to-face classes. You will attend the majority of your classes at your home campus, however, classes or special events may occasionally be scheduled at other NIC campuses throughout the program. In these situations, you will be given advance notice and must arrange your own transportation and assume related costs.
During the program, you will participate in a range of activities, working with each other and with the instructor to master essential skills. Through concept-based, case-based, skill-based, and integrated learning experiences, you will achieve a strong sense of professionalism. The classroom emulates the workplace, where you learn skills, behaviours and attitudes that will carry you effectively into the workforce. You are guided by NIC policies, as well as the LPN standards and competencies of the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals.
Each of the four levels ends in a consolidated practice experience. At the end of the acute care practice experience, you will work through a 30-hour course that prepares you for the transition to your final practice experience or preceptorship. You will then complete a final preceptorship, which is approximately six weeks, or 180 hours, in length. During this experience, you will be partnered with LPNs and consolidate your learning as you gradually assume 100 per cent of the LPN's workload.
As a successful graduate, you will be an effective, responsible practitioner using critical thinking and a holistic, client-centred approach to plan and implement care for your clients; moreover, you will possess the communication and leadership skills needed to be a collaborative member of a health care team.
LPNs are integral members of the health care team, providing nursing care for families and individuals of all ages. LPN practice is governed by the Health Professions Act. Practitioners are regulated by the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals and are also responsible and accountable for their own nursing practice.
LPNs practice in a variety of settings including acute care hospitals, complex care facilities, community settings, rehabilitation centers, doctors' offices, clinics and correctional facilities. LPNs have a broad scope of practice with many responsibilities and assume a leadership role in residential care facilities. The complexity of client care is increasing for all nurses and there are many post-basic educational opportunities for LPNs. There continues to be a strong demand for LPNs in the province.
Important Practice Placement Information
Student practice experiences in health agencies are essential to the Practical Nursing program. You will be placed in a variety of community agencies that have services and resources to support the health of different age groups. Residential care facilities provide support for a primarily older adult population and acute care hospitals offer care to clients with episodic health events. While the majority of practice placements are located in NIC campus communities, it may be necessary to utilize agencies in other Vancouver Island communities. You may be scheduled to attend practice experiences in other communities and must arrange your own transportation and assume related costs. During the final preceptorship component you may be required to work eight and/or 12 hour shifts, including days, evenings, nights, weekends and holidays.