Bring your compassion and desire to care for others into a vital role as a practical nurse. Our Practical Nurse program offers in-depth, quality academic programming and innovative practicums to provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to begin your career working to the full scope of practice as identified by the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta. 

In the classroom, you’ll learn nursing theory from experienced instructors and receive hands-on training during simulated practice experiences. You’ll learn to use the critical thinking skills necessary to ensure the care you provide to the public is safe, competent and ethical. And you’ll get real-world experience during work-integrated learning placements that prepare you to enter the nursing profession.

Health Care Aide Pathway

The Health Care Aide pathway is designed to recognize prior learning of individuals who have successfully completed a recognized Health Care Aide certificate program. Applicants will be granted prior learning credit for PNG-1146 and PNG-1147 based on the following requirements:

  • Successful completion of a recognized Alberta provincial standard Health Care Aide certificate program within the last five (5) years;
  • Documented evidence of a minimum of 1000 hours working as a paid Health Care Aide within the last two (2) years in a health care facility.

Note: Applicants must still meet admission and competitive academic requirements.

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Career Opportunities

Upon successful completion of your diploma and passing the Canadian Practical Nursing Registration Exam, career opportunities exist in a variety of health care settings such as acute care, long-term care, and community agencies.

Practical Nurses are part of an inter-professional collaborative health care team and play a primary role in providing safe, competent and ethical care to the public.

Visit ALIS website for more career information.


percentage of LC program grads who pass the Canadian Practical Nursing Registration exams (provincial average: 88%)


work-integrated learning experiences to put theory into practice in a health-care setting

700+ hours

of learning experience in acute and long-term care settings




Credential / Accreditation



2 years

Dates and Deadlines

Visit the Program Application Status page for more details.

Program Availability
Domestic Status
International Status
International Status with Study Permit
Fall 2024


This program is available for International Students.

New applicants are accepted into this program for the Fall (September) term only.

General Admissions Requirements

All applicants must meet the general admission requirements for Lethbridge College programs, as indicated in the Admission section of this calendar.

Academic Requirements

In addition to meeting the general admission requirements indicated in the Admission section of this calendar, applicants to this program must also satisfy the following specific course requirements (or equivalencies):

  • 60 percent minimum in English Language Arts (ELA) 30-1 or 70 percent in ELA 30-2;
  • 60 percent minimum in Math 20-1 or a higher level Math;
  • 60 percent minimum in Biology 30 or C- in BIO-1160 (Anatomy and Physiology I) at Lethbridge College, or equivalent.

Note: Admission is competitive and is based on a point system for percentages in Biology, Math and English. More points will be awarded for higher grades and for the higher levels of math and English (i.e. 30-1). The points are then cumulative to determine placement for competitive entry. To calculate your point value use this guide.

English Language Proficiency Requirements for Practical Nurse Program

In addition to the academic requirements, if English is not your first language, English Language Proficiency (ELP) must be demonstrated within the last two (2) years prior to the application. Acceptable evidence of ELP may be one of the following:

  • IELTS Academic with a minimum band score of 6.5 in speaking, 6.5 in listening, 6.0 in reading, and 6.5 in writing
  • TOEFL Internet-based test score with a minimum score of 22 in speaking, 23 in listening, 21 in reading, and 25 in writing
  • Transcripts demonstrating successful completion of three (3) years of full-time secondary education at a school where English was the principal language of instruction
  • Transcripts demonstrating successful completion of one (1) year of full-time post-secondary education at a school where English was the principal language of instruction

Note: Meeting the English Language Proficiency requirement does NOT exempt the applicant from meeting the English academic admission requirement for entry to this program.


Graduation Requirements

To be eligible to graduate, students must attain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 1.7 in all Arts and Science courses and a minimum grade point average of 2.3 in all PNG (nursing) courses.

All requirements must be met within five years of the first nursing course used towards the diploma.

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, students are awarded a Practical Nurse diploma.

Graduates are eligible for licensure through the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta upon payment of a fee and successfully passing the Canadian Practical Nursing Registration Exam


Thompson Rivers University

Graduates of Lethbridge College's Practical Nurse diploma program are eligible to receive up to 57 transfer credits towards the Bachelor of Health Science or up to 60 transfer credits towards the Bachelor of General Studies at Thompson Rivers University. 

University of Lethbridge

Graduates of Lethbridge College's Practical Nurse diploma program with a minimum 3.00 GPA are eligible to be admitted into the University of Lethbridge’s Post-Diploma Bachelor of Health Sciences program for completion of their Bachelor of Health Sciences degree. Once admitted, students will be third-year degree level students at the University of Lethbridge in its Faculty of Health Sciences in all respects. 


Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Pre-Placement Requirements

This program has a required Work-Integrated Learning Pre-Placement Requirements (WIL) component. The College dictates the legal terms and conditions governing the WIL.

Students must meet and maintain certain requirements to participate in the WIL setting as determined by programs, practice agencies and/or legislated by government bodies. These may include health (e.g. immunizations, screening tests, etc.), privacy and security (e.g. police information check, IT access, etc.), and OH&S requirements (e.g. CPR certification, Fire Safety, WHMIS, Mask Fit-testing, etc.).

Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) coverage - WIL placement agencies and employers usually require WCB coverage on behalf of the student.  Students enrolled in post-secondary institutions in Alberta are deemed to be employees of the Province of Alberta and, as such, provided WCB coverage.  In certain instances for students outside of Alberta, WCB coverage may not be provided (e.g. non-Alberta residents taking a course solely through distance learning with a WIL placement outside of Alberta).  These students are advised to contact the program prior to application.

Students with disabilities who may require accommodations must schedule an appointment with Accessibility Services at Lethbridge College preferably upon acceptance to the program and no later than the Add/Drop deadline to identify potential impacts of their disabilities in the WIL setting. As part of this process, it may be necessary to collaborate with WIL supervisors to determine appropriate accommodations that do not compromise the health and safety of clients, essential placement requirements, or mandatory licensing processes. Failure to consult with Accessibility Services in a timely fashion may compromise the student's WIL placement and opportunities for success in the WIL setting.

In order to participate in a WIL, a student may be required to complete a Police Information Check or other type of Security Clearance to the satisfaction of Lethbridge College and the WIL organization. Completion of a WIL does not guarantee employment with a WIL organization. Many disciplines are provincially or otherwise regulated (e.g. health professions under Alberta's Health Professions Act); such regulation is beyond Lethbridge College's control. Completion of a WIL and graduation from a certain program do not guarantee one's licensure or admission into a regulatory body. Prospective students are encouraged to consult with a representative of the relevant regulatory body if they have concerns.

WIL sites may include Lethbridge, surrounding rural communities, and may extend beyond these boundaries depending on WIL site availability and approvals.   WIL’s may include day, evening, and/or weekend schedules. Students will be expected to travel to assigned sites and will be responsible for arranging travel and any associated costs.

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Delivery Formats

The Practical Nurse program is available through the following delivery methods.

On Campus

This program is delivered in a face-to-face format on the main Lethbridge College campus. Lectures, labs and hands-on training opportunities will all take place on campus in Lethbridge.


View all courses
Year 1
Term I
BIO-1156Wellness and Health Issues3
BIO-1160Anatomy and Physiology I3
COM-1162Interpersonal Relationships and Communications3
PNG-1145Health and the Practical Nurse (Theory I)3
PNG-1146Basic Nursing Skills (PN Practice I)3
PNG-1147Practical Nursing Clinical I1.5
Term II
BIO-1161Anatomy and Physiology II3
PNG-1148Health and Individuals (PN Theory II)3
PNG-1149Intermediate Nursing Skills (Practice II)3
PNG-1154Practical Nursing Clinical II3
PNG-1167Health Assessment3
Year 2
Term I
PNG-2251Health and Illness (PN Theory III)3
PNG-2252Senior Nursing Skills (PN Practice III)3
PNG-2253Practical Nursing Clinical III3
PNG-2254Mental Health Nursing3
PSY-1170Human Development Across the Lifespan3
Term II
PNG-2255Professional Growth3
PNG-2257Health and Families (PN Theory IV)3
PNG-2259Practical Nursing Clinical IV6
PNG-2260Full Scope of Practice Skills (Pr. IV)3
PNG-2267Community Nursing3
SOC-1167Sociology of Aging3
Term III
PNG-2277Comprehensive Practicum6
 Total Credits82.5

General Requirements

All specialized courses in one term must be successfully completed to advance to the next term’s specialty courses.

To remain in good standing, students must attain a minimum term grade point average (GPA) of 1.7 in all Arts and Science courses and a minimum term GPA of 2.3 in all nursing related courses.

A final minimum grade of C is required in all PNG (nursing) courses to pass the course. A student who receives a grade of C- or lower must repeat the course prior to proceeding in the program.

Students who have a gap in Practical Nursing studies must provide 4 months written notice to the Program Chair prior to the term they desire to continue in or return to for completion.

Students required to repeat any PNG (nursing) course, must meet with the Program Chair to discuss a progress plan.

Students who are unsuccessful in passing any course must successfully complete COL-1130 Achieving College Success (3 credits) .

Important Notes

  1. Students seeking Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) should contact the Program Chair immediately upon accepted admission to the program to allow sufficient time for assessment.
  2. Students receive a program handbook upon acceptance into the program outlining the program’s policies and expectations. It is very important for learners to review and understand these requirements.
  3. Students are encouraged to complete the following non-nursing courses prior to the first term of the program:
BIO-1156Wellness and Health Issues3
BIO-1160Anatomy and Physiology I3
BIO-1161Anatomy and Physiology II3
COM-1162Interpersonal Relationships and Communications3
PSY-1170Human Development Across the Lifespan3
SOC-1167Sociology of Aging3
View course timetables

Tuition and Fees

Title Tuition Fees Books/Supplies
Year 1
Year 2
View detailed program cost estimates
International Students
Title Tuition Fees Books/Supplies
Year 1
Year 2

Practical Nursing students are charged for their CNPNE exams after program completion at a cost of approximately $725 – these costs are not part of the college program.

Costs for supplies may vary considerably depending on what students already have or where they purchased their supplies; cost provided is on the moderately high end.

Students will be charged a medical/dental benefit fee unless they opt out by demonstrating alternative coverage prior to the end of the first week of class.

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