Access to Practical Nursing


Coast Mountain College - Terrace

British Columbia, Canada

About Course

Key information
: 13 Months
Study Type
: Full Time
Tuition fees
: 40.00 CAD / Total
Exam Accepted
: IELTS 6.0/9
Exam Intake
: Sep
Program Taught language
: English
: On Campus
Conditional Scholarship
: NA
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  • Access to Practical Nursing Diploma
  • The Access to Practical Nursing (APN) program is designed to build on the Health Care Assistant (HCA) Certificate. Students who complete or hold an HCA Certificate* may complete the Access to Practical Nursing (APN) Diploma in 13 months rather than the direct entry PN program which is 24 months.

    The (APN) Diploma prepares graduates to provide professional nursing care to individuals and families in a range of settings. Graduates of the program can apply to write the Canadian Practical Nurse Examination (CPNRE) for licensure as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). LPNs are hired in the community, continuing care and acute care hospital settings. The CMTN Practical Nursing Access program meets or exceeds all of the Provincial education competencies required for Licensed Practical Nurse graduates.

    This 13-month Diploma program is full-time study divided into three levels:

  • The Access level provides the balance of training from a combination of Levels 1 and 2 of the revised 2011 Practical Nursing Provincial Curriculum (2017), giving prior learning credits for knowledge and skills acquired in the HCA, RCA, HS/RCA certificate programs.
  • The next two levels are the same as Levels three and four of the revised 2011 Practical Nursing Provincial Curriculum (2017).
  • * Resident Care Attendants (RCA) or those with a combination of Home Support/Resident Care Attendant (HS/RCA) may also be recognized. Those entering with an education other than from a BC public post-secondary institution (HCA; RCA or HS/RCA Certificate) will need to provide active registration with the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry and will be assessed on a case by case basis. 

    Bridging model (HCA to PN):

    The APN program allows students to begin their health career education at CMTN, completing an HCA Certificate in 29 weeks. HCA graduates are required to obtain 600 hours of work experience as HCAs before bridging into the APN program, where after an additional 13 months of study they will graduate with their PN Diploma.

    Pre-requisite dates

    Practical Nursing Anatomy and Physiology PNUR 103 is a pre-requisite for the program.

    PNUR 103 will be offered in August 2021.  Equivalent online courses are available through other institutions. Applicants enrolled in PNUR 103 or an equivalent course can be conditionally accepted to the Access to Practical Nursing program.  The pre-requisite must be successfully completed (with a grade of 65% or better) before the program begins.  

    Please see the BC Transfer Guide for equivalent courses.

    Please inquire at a campus near you for offerings of Biology 12, English 12, and Math 11 which are offered by our Career and College Prep Program.  These courses are tuition-free.

    Apply to CMTN

    Visit Apply to CMTN for an Admissions Checklist and to apply online.

    Our Educational Advisors are here to help if you have any questions or need guidance along the way.

  • Career opportunities 

    Upon successful completion of the program and certification exam, Licensed Practical Nurses can work in a variety of settings included, but not limited to the following:

  • Hospitals
  • Community group homes
  • Residential and long term care facilities
  • Schools
  • Public and private medical clinics
  • Home care agencies
  • Rehabilitation centers

Entry Requirement

  • Applicant must have a bechalor degree.

Application Process

  • Admission requirements

    Students are accepted into the program once all Step 1 documentation has been received, on a first come –first serve basis and will be invited to register. Prior to the first day of classes, students are expected to submit all Step 2 documents. Step 2 documentation is required for practice education experiences; students who fail to submit any Step 2 documentation will be prohibited from attending practice education experiences.

    Step 1: Required for admission and registration

  • BC Grade 12 or equivalent
  • Foundations of Math 11, Pre-Calculus 11, Advanced Level - Business and Technical (Math 046), or equivalent with a minimum grade of 60% or equivalent;
  • Biology 12, Anatomy and Physiology 12, or equivalent with a minimum grade of 60%;
  • English Studies 12 or First Peoples English 12 or equivalent with a grade of minimum grade of 65%; International English Language Testing System (IELTS) as per the BCCNP with minimum scores of: Speaking: 7.0, Listening: 7.5, Reading: 6.5, Writing: 7.0, Overall Band Score: 7.0; Second language applicants who have taken an upgrading English course must also demonstrate three years of full-time, face-to-face secondary or post-secondary education at an accredited institution where English is the medium of instruction and is also one of the country’s official languages;
  • PNUR 103 Anatomy and Physiology for Practical Nurses or equivalent with a grade of 65% or better, taken within the last 5 years;
  • A certificate in one of the following programs: Health Care Assistant (HCA) or Resident Care Attendant (RCA) or a combined Home Support/Resident Care Attendant (HS/RCA).
  • Minimum 600 Hours of work experience, within the last two years, in a care facility where care is provided to a group of Gerontology clients. Work experience must be verified by an official employer letter. Individualized home care experience is not acceptable.
  • Step 2: Required for practice education experiences. Students who fail to submit any Step 2 documentation will be prohibited from attending practice education experiences.

  • Current Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certificate as outlined in the Practice Education Guidelines (
  • Criminal record check (including advanced vulnerable populations) under the Criminal Records Review Act and the Ministry of Justice process for educational institutions. Applicants should only initiate their criminal record check when instructed by Admissions.
  • Immunizations as outlined in the Practice Education Guidelines and recommended by the BC Centre for Disease Control (2009): diphtheria and tetanus, polio, hepatitis B, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), varicella and influenza. 
  • Negative TB skin test or chest x-ray  
  • *Students who do not meet the immunization requirements may be prohibited from attending practice education experiences.

  • Residency requirements 

    Students must complete a minimum of 50% of the program hours at Coast Mountain College.

    Graduation requirements 

    Students must achieve a minimum accumulative GPA of 2.67 and a CR in each Consolidated Practice Experience and Preceptorship to graduate from the Access to Practical Nursing Program. Students who receive a grade of less than 70% in any course may be placed on a learning contract.

Coast Mountain College - Terrace

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