FAQs - Practical Nurse

Students can apply beginning October 1st of the preceding academic year.

Moving from the waitlist into the program will vary from year to year. You are essentially waiting for a student admitted to the program to decline the offer, and also waiting for students on the waitlist ahead of you to also decline the offer. We will notify you via phone call if you are offered a position while waitlisted. This can happen right up until the first week of classes, so be prepared for the possibility of admission right until the beginning of classes in September.

The PN program is 2 years in duration, with courses in fall / winter and spring. The program is typically designed to be taken on a full time basis.

Yes, you can take ENGL 219 and One 3 credit humanities or social science class- typically students choose one of Psychology 260 or Sociology 260 for the Practical Nurse program. No credit however will be granted for any other RDC classes in open studies toward the Practical Nurse program.

In addition to the Red Deer College Main Campus, you can now take the PN program at the Rocky Mountain House Confluence Campus and Stettler Campus Alberta Central Site. This full-time program will be delivered over two years in a blended, on-site format. To apply for either of these sites, please ensure you identify your preferred site on either the printed or online RDC application form. Please contact the Registrar's office with any questions about the application process. You can view more information on these sites by viewing the Campus Alberta Central webpage.

It is definitely possible, but first you need to apply to RDC. Once you have your application processed you can submit what is called Recognition of Prior learning (RPL). You can submit the form in person or you can email rpl [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca. Our assessment office will review your documents and let you know if any of your previous courses will work for credit our program. In most cases students will receive transfer credit and see a reduced course load rather than a shortened program, this is a general rule, and our assessment office will let you know if you are eligible to start in a second year. All PN programs in the province, although having the same outcome, are not taught the same so there is not a guarantee of full years’ worth of transfer credit. We will however give transfer credit for as much as we can. Remember this is a general overview, some students may find they are receiving more or less transfer credit and it all depends on many different factors. RDC will not asses any documents for transfer credit without both an RDC application and a separate RPL application.  The RPL process can take quite a bit of time so please ensure you are applying for RPL as soon as possible.

Although both professions are similar, the BSCN program does cover a larger depth of knowledge, so year one of PN is not the same as year one of BSCN. PN’s usually still take 4 years to complete our BSCN program here. Also there are usually only a couple of courses from PN credited towards the BSCN program here at RDC (this is a general guideline however). In addition, you will still need to present the admission requirements from high school as well and a strong entrance GPA. Your PN studies will however give you a solid foundation for success going forward. Athabasca University (http://www.athabascau.ca) does however offer a  LPN to RN bridging program, you must contact Athabasca for more details.

Absolutely not. Just because the program is shorter does not mean that you will be experiencing a watered down version of the nursing profession. Practical nurses are extremely important to the healthcare system, as an RDC graduate you will be well prepared to enter a career in which you are charged with the care of vulnerable people. PN students need to approach the program with the same professionalism and dedication that they would in the Bachelors program. The workload will be very intense for the 2 years, so please be prepared to dedicate yourself to study!

Currently the program is being offered for full time studies, it may be possible in the future, however plan to be a full time student when you begin your program!

Typically no, the only winter starts available are usually for students who have completed part of a nursing program elsewhere, however, this is usually a very unique situation and dependent on space available, so please plan for starting in September.

Absolutely we love the opportunity for students from all backgrounds and experience to enter our program. However, if you already hold a nursing degree from an international institution, you may wish to contact CLPNA- College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta - http://www.clpna.com. As the governing body for nurses in Alberta they may have more information of transferring education from a foreign country to Alberta. Check with CLPNA first before you apply to RDC as it may be the quicker option.

International students on a study visa or permanent residents who have not attended school in Canada must also provide the high school admission requirements. Students also must provide official documents from their home country. Depending on the country of origin, students may need their documents assessed by IQAS-International Qualifications Assessment Services. This organization will compare your courses from your home country to Alberta high school equivalents. This organization cannot give you credit for your degree towards a Canadian credential.

IQAS, CLPNA and RPL here at RDC do take time to process, so keep this in mind when planning for your education; you may have to wait for your assessments to be done.

RDC also has what is called and English Language Proficiency requirement, which can be met a few ways, please refer to this link International Admissions if you are an international student. You can also contact healthsciences [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca

All PN students are registered for courses automatically; you can log into the loop and view your schedule. Keep in mind that the program itself is very structured and there are only small tweaks that can be made, but this is dependent on space available, so for the time being plan on having the schedule laid out for you.

Yes! Our nursing program does offer lots of opportunity to also compete in collegiate sport, however, time management will be vital to success both in athletics and also the program.

The process to asses transfer credits does take quite a large amount of resources, I can assure you that it is being worked and you will be notified once it is completed. It may take a few months however before you hear a response. It is easier however to plan on taking your scheduled courses regardless of the transfer credits, and make changes later, then it is to make changes now based on transfer credit you are unsure of.

Great news! We can remove you from courses you have transfer credit for by either contacting the advising or recruiting specialist for the school of health sciences, or the associate dean of nursing here at RDC. They can be reached at healthsciences [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca or in the health sciences office in room 1509.

First speak with our Student funding and awards office, to see how many credits you need, do not assume as it might be that you do not need any. They can be reached at financialaid [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca or on campus in room 1102. If you do need to add credits, then come in and speak with the Advising and Recruiting specialist, and we can see what might fit in your schedule. It is possible that you may be taking a course that does not work for your diploma; it may just be taken in order to get your full time funding.