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Practical Nurse Diploma Program Frequently Asked Questions

Practical Nurse Diploma Program Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the expected salary after graduation of a Licensed Practical Nurse?
Alberta LPNs are often employed by Alberta Health Services, which has a Collective Agreement through the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees.

Q: What resources are available to help graduates find employment?
Practical Nurse students will be exposed to health care contacts and networking opportunities during their practicum placements. Bow Valley College Career Services provides graduates with access to Job Search Skills Workshops and an Online Job Board.

Q: I would like to experience the Bow Valley College state-of-the-art nursing labs! Can I be a Student for a Day?
Simply fill out the Student for a Day online booking form indicating your preferences and the Prospective Student Centre team will be in touch with you to coordinate your experience.

Q: How much time commitment is required in the full-time Practical Nurse Diploma program?
There is a strong correlation between energy and time dedicated to studying and success in the program. For every hour of class time, there is an estimated 2-5 hours of studying.

Q: What does the class schedule look like?
Courses are generally scheduled between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm from Monday to Saturday. However, students register online for courses, and thus, your schedule will vary, depending on whether you are able to enroll in a time of your choice and the number of courses you register for.

Q: What if I have a part-time job or other commitments?
It is recommended that students prioritize learning first, and organize their employment schedule around school.

Q: I am unable to commit to studying full-time. Can I study part-time?
The Practical Nurse Diploma can be taken on a full time or part time, depending on which option you choose. However, all nursing courses in the PN program must be completed within four years. In addition, academic advisors are available to assist with planning your program based on your needs.

Q: What does the schedule for clinical or practicum placements (this is working in a hospital or care facility with an instructor or nurse present) look like?
Be prepared to travel to various locations for clinical experiences and practicum/preceptorship. Clinical shifts may include early mornings, days, evenings, nights, and/or weekends. Please plan on being flexible.

Q: What resources are available to help me if I experience academic difficulties once I begin the program?
Learners should discuss their difficulties with their facilitator (instructor). Tutoring is also available through the BVC Learner Success Services. Other services that the Learner Success Services offers are Counselling and Specialized Support as well as Student Success Workshops.

Nursing Courses

Q: I would like to take Anatomy and Physiology (ANAT 1101) from BVC before the program starts, and use it to meet the Biology 30 Admission Requirement. How do I register?
This course is typically offered through BVC's Open Studies option. Click here to find out how to register.

Q: I have been accepted into the Practical Nurse Diploma program. Are there courses I can take before the program start date?
The courses listed below are typically offered through Open Studies every semester and are subject to availability. Click here to find out how to registe.

  • Anatomy and Physiology (ANAT1101)
  • English: Composition (ENGL1201)
  • Human Growth and Development Across the Lifespan (PSYC1201)
  • Interpersonal Relationships and Communication Skills (COMM1101)
  • Introduction to Sociology (SOCI1101)

Transfer Credit


Q: If I take Anatomy and Physiology (ANAT1101) from BVC before the Practical Nurse program starts, am I able to earn credit for the Anatomy and Physiology (ANAT1101) course in the PN program?
Yes, if you submit a Request for Transfer Credit Form to the Registrar's Office at least a month before the program start date and if you achieve a grade of C (64%) or higher. Requests can be submitted while the course is being completed.


Police Information Check (PIC)

Q: Can I apply to the Practical Nurse Diploma program if I have a criminal record?
Yes. If accepted, a Police Information Check (PIC) with a vulnerable sector search must be submitted. It must be current (no older than 90 days before you start the program). Once you start the PN program, the date when these must be submitted will be given to you. The existence of a criminal record may postpone or prevent clinical, practicum, or field work placements and, subsequently, successful completion of the program.

Q: Are Practical Nurse Diploma program applicants eligible for a discount on Police Information Checks?
A letter indicating eligibility for a Police Information Check (PIC) discount is included in the package mailed to successful applicants. Sometimes PICs can take 6-8 weeks so it is advised to begin the process as soon as possible.