Programs & Courses

Practical Nurse


The application deadline for this program is June 1, 2023.

About the Program

Become a valued member of the health care team as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and build a rewarding career providing patient care and advocacy. Please Note: The diploma in practical nursing is a competitive entry program. Meeting minimum published admission averages does not guarantee admission.

Offered at our Brooks Campus over two years and five semesters, this program involves classroom learning and laboratory activities, as well as instructor and preceptor supervised clinical experiences which may require travel to other parts of the region.

LPNs are professional nurses and work within their own scope of practice, standards of practice and code of ethics. As an LPN, you will have the skills and abilities to contribute in all phases of the continuum of care from prevention to acute treatment and management, to long term and palliative care.

You will study from the same body of nursing knowledge as registered nurses (RNs) and registered psychiatric nurses (RPNs) with a more focused approach in

  • foundational knowledge,
  • critical thinking, and
  • clinical judgment to suit the LPNs role of today.

MHC's Practical Nurse program utilizes a conceptual framework called the “Concept of Caring”, which provides opportunity for reflection on nursing education and practice. “Caring” is the central concept in which the curriculum is based. Practical Nurses apply the nursing process using health assessments that consider physical, social, emotional, cultural and spiritual needs of clients. Practical Nurses work with clients, families and other members of the health care team to develop a plan of care that will best meet the client’s needs. Practical nurses assist the client with activities of daily living, carryout prescribed procedures and treatments while maintaining a safe and comfortable environment.

Practical Nurse graduates are eligible for licensure through the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta upon payment of a fee and successfully passing the national practical nurse examination (Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam or CPNRE).

High School

  • 60% in ELA 30 -1 or 70% in ELA 30-2
  • 60% in Math 20-1 or 70% in Math 20-2 
  • 60% in Biology 30 or Bow Valley College ANAT 1101 

Mature Student

  • 60% in ELA 30 -1 or 70% in ELA 30-2
  • 60% in Math 20-1 or 70% in Math 20-2 
  • 60% in Biology 30 or Bow Valley College ANAT 1101 

International Student

For the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) students must have an overall band score of 7.0 with no band score less than 7.0.

Pre-Program Requirement: 

Immunization Requirements
All PN students are required to complete a series of immunizations and diagnostic tests as outlined on the Student Immunization Form. Documented proof of completion must be provided to the Administrative Assistant, Division of Science and Health, prior to commencement of the program.Throughout the PN program, students are required to ensure that immunizations are current and must provide proof of updates.Failure to do so may result in students being removed from practice courses until adequate proof has been provided. Please note requirements may change during the program as determined by Alberta Health Services.

N-95 Fit Testing
All PN students must be fit tested for a N-95 mask prior to commencement of Clinical. Documented proof of a fit test must be provided to the Administration Assistant, Division of Science and Health prior to commencement of the program. Failure to do may result in students being removed from practice courses until adequate proof has been provided. Fit testing is valid for two years; therefore, students must present proof of a second fit testing at the time of expiration.

Police Information Check
All applicants to the Practical Nurse Program are required to provide a current Police Information Check (PIC), which includes a Criminal Record Check, Vulnerable Sector Search and a Intervention Record Check. In order to be considered ‘current’, these documents must be completed during the three months prior to admission (i.e. June 1 – August 31 for Fall admission). Without this documentation, admission to the Faculty will be rescinded.Students who are concerned about the presence of a criminal record should contact the PN Coordinator. Students need to keep the original documents for future employment purposes.

Failure to present clear documentation may result in admission being denied/rescinded. Subsequent to admission and at anytime during the program, a student may be required to produce a current documentation, the results of which could require their withdrawal from the program. Students are required to inform the Faculty immediately of any change in status of their criminal record.

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation Certification
All PN students will be required to submit proof of current CPR Certification (valid for a 12 month period from date of course completion) which includes a Health Care Provider component prior to the commencement of clinical practice courses. Students will be responsible for obtaining course training and certification.Without this documentation, may result in students being removed from practice courses until adequate proof has been provided.

International Students
A coop work permit is required for practicum as well as your student visa, please contact our International Education and Diversity Office for information (phone 403.504.3615 or


Fall Semester

BIOL 152
Anatomy and Physiology for Practical Nurses
COMM 154 Interpersonal Communications for Practical Nurses
HLSC 151 Personal Health and Wellness
PRNU 156
Nursing Theory I & Nursing Science Lab I
PSYC 153 Growth and Development for Practical Nurses
  Junior ENGL
Winter Semester
PHSL 200
PRNU 158 Clinical Experience I - Continuing Care
PRNU 160 Adult Health Assessment Theory and Lab
PRNU 162
Applied Pharmacology & Medication Admin Lab
PRNU 166 Nursing Theory II & Nursing Science Lab II
Spring Semester
PRNU 168
Clinical Experience II - Continuing & Acute Care 


Fall Semester
PRNU 200 Nursing Theory III & Nursing Science Lab III
PRNU 201 Maternal & Newborn and Lab
PRNU 203 Mental Health and Addiction
PRNU 204 Clinical Experience III - Acute Care
PRNU 205 Pediatric Nursing
Winter Semester
PRNU 208 Transition to Practical Nursing Graduate
PRNU 209 Community Health Theory and Lab
PRNU 215 Final Practicum
SOCI 201 Introductory Sociology


Licensed practical nurses provide care to patients and clients in a number of settings, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Continuing care
  • Community
  • Industry
  • Clinics

Practical nurses work as:

  • Staff nurses
  • Team leaders or charge nurses

Current employment opportunities are active, with Canadian statistics suggesting a shortage of approximately 110,000 nurses (registered and licensed practical nurses) by the end of this decade.


What is your education going to cost?

Our TUITION and FEES page provides a total cost estimate for your program including books and supplies and related expenses.

In addition to tuition and textbook costs, students must plan for the inclusion of costs such as CPR, uniforms, white duty shoes, lab coat, lab kits, a watch with a sweep hand, practical nurse registration exams ($600 – subject to change), and travel/accommodation for clinical and practicum placements.

Looking for ways to help fund your education?

There are lots of options like student loans, scholarships, bursaries and emergency funding available.
Check out our FINANCIAL AID page for more information.

Many programs offered at Medicine Hat College qualify for transfer credits to other institutions. In some cases, you must transfer to another institution to complete your program and gain your credential.

The ACADEMIC CALENDAR has official information on transfer options for each program.
Please consult the calendar or meet with an academic advisor for more information.

At MHC, we care about students and want to help you succeed.

As a student, there may be times when you require support. Our SERVICES page provides you with links to a number of campus supports including academic success, counselling and care, health and wellness, and many other resources.

Have you always wanted to study abroad?

Enhance your education, share in cultural diversity and embrace new experiences. Visit the INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY PROGRAM section to find out more.

The Practical Nurse program is an intensive program involving full classroom/laboratory days and clinical days. Clinical experiences, in particular, may be scheduled at various hours,including evenings, nights, and weekends and it is expected that students will make accommodation for commitments outside the program to accommodate this scheduling. Students must be prepared to travel for clinical experiences and/or practica outside of Brooks.

Performance in Clinical and Practica
Students are expected to observe program policies regarding punctuality, attendance, dress, response to supervision and feedback, and to provide safe, competent nursing care. If your performance is questionable in relation to the delivery of safe patient care and/or to the maintenance of the program standards you may be asked to leave the laboratory or clinical site at anytime. Continued failure to uphold standards related to safe,professional performance will result in dismissal from the program.