Practical Nurse Diploma offered in Rocky Mountain House

Date posted: 
Fri, 09/22/2017
Practical Nurse Students

As Red Deer College embarks on its 2017-18 academic year, there are additional opportunities for rural learners, as the Practical Nurse program is now being offered in Rocky Mountain House.

“There are 16 students in the program, which is being offered at RDC’s Confluence Campus in Rocky Mountain House,” says Lynne Madsen, Practical Nurse Chairperson. “The idea of the program was very well-received from the beginning, and it filled just a few weeks after registration opened. Our first group of students started in September.”

Madsen explains that students learn in dedicated classroom and health care training lab space, with the lab simulating a hospital room and providing students with hands-on learning as they work through medical scenarios. “Students are taking Practical Nurse courses right from the start,” she says. “They take the same courses with the same expectations as they would have at RDC’s main campus.”

The two-year Red Deer College diploma prepares students to become Licensed Practical Nurses following graduation and successful completion of the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam. The high demand program is being offered in Rocky Mountain House thanks to a partnership between RDC’s School of Health Sciences and Campus Alberta Central (CAC).

“Campus Alberta Central works with central Alberta communities to identify local training needs and to support the delivery of regionally-based programming,” says Bonnie Ireland, Executive Director with CAC. “The Practical Nurse Diploma in Rocky Mountain House provided a great opportunity to expand regional programs using a blended format, where face-to-face instruction is supplemented with distance delivery technology.”

The format, which has been successfully used for Practical Nurse students in Stettler for the last three years, allows students to access post-secondary education in their home communities. Ireland notes that, in a recent CAC survey, 80% of learners identified that they would not be able to participate in programming if it were not in their own communities.

“Rural learners may have unique needs, such as work, family or other commitments, that prevents them from leaving their home communities to pursue post-secondary education,” says Dr. Paulette Hanna, Vice President Academic with RDC. “Through the collaboration between RDC’s School of Health Sciences and Campus Alberta Central, we are able to offer an important learning opportunity in Rocky Mountain House. The Practical Nurse students will complete their education and their practicums in the area, and many will go on to become employed in the region, which further helps to strengthen these communities.”

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For additional information contact:

Shelley Newman
Communications Strategist – Corporate

Erin Forbes
Communications Strategist – Corporate