Start Dates



Program Delivery

  • Blended
  • Off-Campus
Tuition & Fees

Domestic: CAD $14,399

Applicants to the Regional Campuses must live outside Calgary in the Bow Valley College regional service area.

Start Dates

  • January 10, 2024
  • May 07, 2024


Program Delivery

  • In Class
Tuition & Fees

Domestic: CAD $14,399

We are no longer accepting applications for the January 2024 and Spring/Summer 2024 intakes.
This program is not open to international applicants.

Program Description

This is an intensive five-term program.

There are several exciting areas where you can provide care as a Practical Nurse. Some areas include child care, maternity nursing, community health, mental wellness, seniors care, and medicine. You can start this program in the winter, spring or fall terms. A duration of five terms is offered to provide you time to focus on nursing content and allows for consolidation of learning. Knowledge and experience is gained through the classroom, online courses, lab setting, and a variety of care facilities throughout the program.

The structured program delivery and time table are intended to support successful learning. Enrolment in this program indicates your commitment to education as a priority over any personal or work obligations.

**The program has a heavy course load, and to support better success in the program, it is recommended learners complete the following courses through Open Studies prior to starting the program: ENGL1201 and ANAT1101.

Regional learners

Learners living in the area surrounding Calgary can take the program starting in Fall (September) through Regional campuses. Contact Regional or view our locations to contact the campus nearest you. Program delivery is blended which includes a combination of online and in-person learning. Lab time is in person at the Calgary downtown campus. Clinical and preceptorship placement occur at care facilities in Calgary and the Bow Valley College service region.

After graduation

When you graduate, you’ll be eligible to become licensed with the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta. You need to pass the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam to become licensed.   

There are many opportunities for continued studies after your graduate. A few of these are: 

  • Athabasca University: Post LPN Bachelor of Nursing Program
  • Thompson Rivers University Open Learning Division: Bachelor of Health Science and Bachelor of General Studies
  •  University of Lethbridge: Post-Diploma Bachelor of Health Sciences, Public Health
Course Listings Request More Information
Domestic Applicants

Welcome Centre
South Campus – Main Floor

Regional Applicants


Airdrie Campus
Cochrane Campus
Okotoks Campus

Admission Requirements

Academic requirements
  • 60% or higher in English 30-1 or 70% in English 30-2 or the equivalent
  • Credit in Math 20-1 or a minimum final mark of 60% in Math 20-2 or the equivalent
  • Minimum final mark of 60% in Biology 30 or 64% in Anatomy and Physiology (ANAT1101) at Bow Valley College or equivalent
English proficiency requirements
Transfer credits

If you are a health care aide care provider, you can get credit for a limited number of courses. Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is another option if you have worked in a related health care field and believe that you have the understanding of a particular course. 

If you have a 64% or higher in equivalent anatomy training, you can request a Transfer Credit Form to the Registrar's Office. It must be submitted one month before the first day of classes.

Preparing for Clinical Placements

It is highly recommended that you participate in New Student Orientation as important information will be discussed and you will have an opportunity to ask questions. Documents required for clinical placements will be requested after you start the program and before you start your first clinical. 

Documentation required prior to your first clinical placement:

  •   Police Information Check (PIC), with Vulnerable Sector Search (VSS), should be requested no sooner than 90 days prior to the start of your program. 
  • To facilitate your Work Integrated Learning placement with our external partners Rubella vaccination is mandatory and proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is required for many of the sites. Failure to provide evidence of full COVID-19 vaccination will delay program completion. All other immunizations are highly recommended. Up-to-date immunizations are valid for the duration of the program.
  •   You can ensure your CPR certification is up to date by taking FACP9101 Basic Life Support CPR (Healthcare provider level) through Continuing Education. You can see the current schedule and register online by clicking here. This certificate must be renewed every year.
  •   You will have an opportunity to get an N95 mask fitting, at our downtown campus, before you begin your first placement.  You will be able to register for this course (SAFT9406 N95 Mask Fitting) through MyBVC (or your regional administrator) once your program begins.


Transfer opportunities are available to a variety of institutions. Transfer credits are reviewed and accepted on an individual basis by the institution to which you apply. See our most current transfer agreements here

Employment Rate


Training Related Employment Rate


Based on 2019-2020 domestic and international students who self-reported finding employment or training-related employment within 6-12 months after graduating.

Course Listing

Full course outlines are available here.

Curriculum subject to change.

Term 1

Required CoursesCredit

This comprehensive course introduces the structure of the human body and its relationship to the function and integration of the twelve body systems as well as how they work to maintain homeostasis. Learners will gain an in depth understanding of the organization of the human body from the chemical and cellular level to the tissues, organs and organ systems. This course will also facilitate understanding of the terminology associated with the human body.

This course focuses on knowledge essential to understanding nursing as a profession. The history and roles of nurses will be examined along with a review of influential nursing theorists and conceptual frameworks. Learners will discuss the nursing process and how it relates to providing individualized, culturally competent, person-centered care. Ethical and legal issues will be examined with emphasis on critical thinking and reflective practice.

This course provides a foundation for the principles underlying nursing actions and decision-making required to plan and provide safe, holistic person-centered care to individuals requiring assistance with basic needs. Nursing competencies introduced in the classroom are practiced and assessed in the nursing laboratory.

The ability to perform dosage calculations correctly is essential to safe nursing practice. This course provides an overview of mathematical concepts and operations foundational to medication administration. The course includes a review of basic mathematics followed by an examination of measurement systems; document use and medication orders; oral and parenteral medication calculations; and calculations regarding solutions and intravenous infusions. Proficiency in this course underpins safe nursing practice.

Through practice and reflection, learners nuture personal and professional relationships using interpersonal communication skills. With a focus on other-oriented communication, learners demonstrate how inequities and power dynamics influence relationships.

This first-year composition course introduces learners to academic writing and critical thinking. They read and analyze sociopolitical, cultural, and gender issues in texts with an emphasis on experiences of people whose voices were historically silenced, particularly those of Indigenous communities in Canada. Learners develop strategies to communicate their own ideas and integrate them with those of others by quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing source material. Learners present their written assignments professionally according to APA formatting guidelines.

Term 2

Required CoursesCredit

The pharmacokinetics of medications, the rationale for their use and the expected results of therapy are discussed, along with the development of critical thinking skills to assess the need for, and patient response to medication. Practical nurse competencies, the scope of practice and legal responsibilities are also emphasized.
Pre-requisites: ANAT1101, COMM1101, ENGL1201, NURS1101, NURS1202, and NURS1301

The knowledge of pathophysiology is related to the causes, treatment, and usual courses of illness. Learners are provided with a body systems approach to common health care issues, focusing on physiological changes that occur with alterations in biological health.
Pre-requisites: ANAT1101, COMM1101, ENGL1201, NURS1101, NURS1202, and NURS1301

Focus on physical, psychosocial and cultural health assessment of the adult population. Emphasis falls on differentiating normal from abnormal findings and the significance of the findings. A nursing lab component requires learners to demonstrate competence in adult health assessments.
Pre-requisites: ANAT1101, COMM1101, ENGL1201, NURS1101, NURS1202, and NURS1301

In this course, learners will gain knowledge and skills needed to provide high quality, relational care for the older adult. Learners will focus on meeting the complex physical, emotional, and cognitive needs for this diverse population by examining best practices in the field of elder care. Through a holistic and person centered approach, this course examines the experience of aging, common challenges in older adulthood, and nursing care interventions aimed at maintaining or restoring optimal health and functioning.
Pre-requisites: ANAT1101, COMM1101, ENGL1201, NURS1101, NURS1202, and NURS1301

Holistic interdisciplinary care is emphasized within the framework of professional nursing. Focus is on the principles underlying nursing actions and decision making required for planning and providing safe nursing care to patients using a body system approach. Nursing competencies introduced in the classroom are practiced and assessed in the nursing laboratory.
Pre-requisites: ANAT1101, COMM1101, ENGL1201, NURS1101, NURS1202, and NURS1301

Term 3

Required CoursesCredit

Learners will implement research skills to provide safe, organized nursing care focusing on activities of daily living, medication administration, and health assessments in a continuing care setting. Working with a variety of health team members and communicating with individuals in care and staff will be a focus.
Pre-requisites: NURS1102, NURS1103, NURS1201, NURS1203, and NURS1504

This course provides a comprehensive overview of human growth and development and typical behavioural responses throughout the lifespan. You will analyze human development across four domains: physical, cognitive, social, and emotional. Emphasis is placed upon the stages of development and their linkage to common events occurring during these stages.

Family-centered introduction to the needs and nursing care of childbearing families. Community resources and client teaching needs are addressed. Learning will be focused on the care of the mother and infant during pregnancy, labour and delivery, and the postpartum period within the context of the family.
Pre-requisites: NURS1102, NURS1103, NURS1201, NURS1203, and NURS1504

This course is a family-centered introduction to the needs and nursing care of child rearing families. Community resources and client teaching are addressed. Learners will be provided an introduction to common health issues of children and related nursing care using a body system approach.
Pre-requisites: NURS1102, NURS1103, NURS1201, NURS1203, and NURS1504

Holistic interdisciplinary nursing care and skills are emphasized within the framework of the nursing process. Focus is on the principles underlying nursing knowledge required to care for clients in the medical/surgical environment. Nursing competencies introduced in the classroom are practiced and assessed in the nursing laboratory.
Pre-requisites: NURS1102, NURS1103, NURS1201, NURS1203, and NURS1504

Term 4

Required CoursesCredit

Learners explore nursing roles and activities in varied practice settings within the community. The frameworks of population health, levels of prevention, primary health care, and determinants of health are used to identify populations at risk and formulate community health promotion strategies.
Pre-requisites: NURS1401, NURS2204, NURS2501, NURS2502, and PSYC1201

Learners are provided an introduction to the assessment, treatments, and nursing interventions for patients with psychiatric and mental health issues. Basic mental health concepts, therapeutic relationships, and assessment strategies are applied within the context of the nursing process, and legal and ethical practices.
Pre-requisites: NURS1401

Aging, while an individual experience, is also an experience that is heavily influenced by social structures and social processes. Using the sociological perspective, this course explores contemporary aging by examining choices and experiences that transcend the individual and incorporate larger social groups and processes. In doing so, learners build a foundation in sociological concepts and theories to apply this knowledge to age-related issues. Learners consider demographic factors leading to population aging; the role of social structures and processes in shaping experiences of physical aging; as well as aging in relation to health systems, retirement, social engagement, and family in Canadian society.

Critical thinking and reflective practice are emphasized within the framework of the nursing process. Learners will provide holistic care and plan for a client with complex health care issues to transition back into the community. Learners will also develop skills and competencies in interdisciplinary and primary health care models.
Pre-requisites: NURS1401, NURS2204, NURS2501, NURS2502, and PSYC1201

Term 5

Required CoursesCredit

In this course, learners bring forward nursing knowledge to examine current trends and issues in nursing practice. Underpinned in entry-level competencies for Licensed Practical Nurses, learners explore the roles of the Practical Nurse as a collaborative member of a heath care team, a leader, an advocate and a novice researcher.

In this course, critical thinking and reflective practice will be emphasized as learners return to the acute care setting to provide holistic care and plan for transition back into the community for clients with complex health care needs. This experience will be used to consolidate knowledge and skills and move toward independent nursing practice.
Pre-requisites: NURS2402 and NURS2503

Learners will work in health care settings and have opportunities to apply knowledge, perform skills, and critically think in a variety of practical situations. They will also have the opportunity to use evidence-informed practice to consolidate knowledge and nursing competencies, as well as apply critical thinking strategies in situations that challenge and nurture a novice nurse.

Program FAQs

Alberta LPNs are often employed by Alberta Health Services, which has a Collective Agreement through the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees.
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 Skills Videos and an online job board.
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 two to five hours of studying.
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