School of Health & Community Services

Practical Nurse

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.

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 a variety of bodies of nursing knowledge with a focus in:

  • foundational knowledge,
  • critical thinking, and
  •  clinical judgement 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).


*Important Program Options/Delivery Information

New targeted enrolment funding for this program has allowed for the addition of a second PN intake. Please review the following options carefully as the programs are structured differently.


Brooks Campus (Primary Site)

  • Fall Intake (September)
  • Offered over two years (five semesters)
  • Clinical experiences may require travel to other parts of the region
  • Open to domestic and international applications

Medicine Hat Campus (New for 2024)

  • Winter Intake (January)
  • Offered over 20 months with non-traditional scheduling, students will be expected to attend classes through the summer months and may have evening and weekend classes
  • Clinical experiences may require travel to other parts of the region
  • Open to domestic applications only

With the additional intake, the application deadline for Fall 2023 has been extended. Apply online at Apply Alberta.

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 that 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 program 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 co-op 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 visit mhc.ab.ca/InternationalStudents). 

First Year

Fall Semester

  • BIOL 152 - Anatomy and Physiology for Practical Nurses
  • COMM 154 - Interpersonal Communications for Practical Nurses
  • PRNU 156 - Nursing Theory I & Nursing Science Lab I
  • PSYC 153 - Growth and Development for Practical Nurses
  • SOCI 201 - Introductory Sociology
  • Junior ENGL

Winter Semester

  • PHSL 200 - Pathophysiology
  • 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

Second Year

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

SEE COURSE DETAILS HERE

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.

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.

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