Practical Nursing Diploma

Practical Nursing program update — November 2012

UFV’s Faculty of Health Sciences has changed its one-year Practical Nursing certificate program to a two-year diploma program beginning Fall 2012.

This change in program is being made because a new provincial curriculum for Practical Nursing programs has been developed with funding from the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education. The new provincial curriculum was developed because of changing expectations of Licensed Practical Nurses in workplaces across Canada and in British Columbia. The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of British Columbia, which has responsibility for accrediting all Practical Nursing programs in this province, requires that all post-secondary institutions offering Practical Nursing programs use the new curriculum.

The new provincial curriculum addresses additional knowledge and skills needed by Licensed Practical Nurses. The new program at UFV will be longer than the current program. The certificate program had 1,286 hours of instruction over three semesters offered over 12 months. The diploma program is expected to have 1,895 hours of instruction in 19 months over a 21-month period. The program will have a summer break of about two months between the two years of instruction.

The first diploma intake will be December 2012 with a projected end date of mid- June 2014.  The second intake is planned for September 2014 with an end date of mid-May 2016.  There will be classroom, lab, and clinical learning experiences. In the first year of the diploma program, the clinical focus will be in community and complex care settings. Clinical experiences in the second year will take place in acute care settings. A preceptorship clinical experience in one of a variety of clinical settings will, just as in the current certificate program, conclude the program. A total of 895 hours of clinical experience is planned for the diploma program.

Once the program in its new format is in place, UFV intends to have an intake of students to the PN diploma program every second year. Due to the increased number of hours of instruction and duration of the program, tuition will increase to reflect that Practical Nursing is now a diploma program.

The new diploma program will be launched at UFV’s new Canada Education Park (CEP) campus in Chilliwack. The program will be based in a new building at this beautiful location near the Vedder River. This building will house new and expanded classroom and nursing lab facilities for UFV’s nursing programs. In addition, an expanded library facility will be shared by all programs being offered at CEP. State-of-the-art simulation teaching labs will also be a special feature of the new facilities. Simulation teaching labs allow students to participate in life-like nursing practice experiences in controlled settings. The new provincial curriculum for Practical Nursing requires the use of simulation teaching opportunities.

Changes in UFV’s Practical Nursing program admission requirements are planned. Anatomy and Physiology will no longer be a part of the Practical Nursing curriculum and will be a pre-requisite for acceptance into the diploma program.  Students will also need to be prepared to provide up to two written character references before being permitted to attend clinical experiences in some clinical settings.

The program provides students with experiences that promote the development of holistic nursing care with a particular focus on the care of individuals with disabilities, the elderly, and adults experiencing acute and chronic illnesses.
Program Overview

The UFV Practical Nursing program is a 21-month full-time program. It is comprised of four semesters followed by a preceptorship experience. Program courses are delivered in a variety of formats such as group work, multimedia approaches, lecture, lab simulation, and skill mastery.
Clinical experiences include placements in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and selected community agencies. The clinical experiences encompass observational experiences, supervised clinical practice, and preceptorships.
Classroom experiences may include evening scheduling. Clinical experiences may include extended work days, evening and night shifts, and weekends.
The Practical Nursing program is very demanding. Students will not have time to work either full-time or part-time. Effective time-management skills, computer skills, and study skills are critical to success.
Campus:  Chilliwack (CEP)

Program Length:  21 months

Program Start:  September

Program Certification:  Diploma

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