Practical Nurse Access Program

Take Your HCA or RCA Training to the Next Level & Get Certified as a Practical Nurse in Less Time

If you’re a trained medical professional with experience as Health Care Assistant or Registered Care Aide (professional title may vary by province) and you’re interested in moving into practical nursing, the Practical Nurse Access program can be your bridge to a nursing career in less time.

Get credit for your previous training and experience and complete the program in less time.

The best way to see if Discovery Community College is the right fit for you is to see it for yourself. You can tour our facilities, get all your questions answered, and meet with both learners and instructors. Schedule a Tour Now or Get more info.

Why Upskilling is Essential in Today’s Job Market

Like many Canadians, you may be concerned about the rising cost of living and the need to find ways to increase your income potential. If you’re looking to stay ahead of the curve, training to obtain new qualifications could be a great solution.

Discovery Community College is dedicated to offering convenient, supportive, and affordable career training. With a range of funding options available, there has never been a better time to invest in upskilling. Contact us today to learn how we can help you get ahead in today’s job market.

Practical Nurse Access Program

76-Week Diploma | $58,240 median annual salary*

  • Expected Job Openings in BC (2022-2032): 4,760**
  • Occupations include Licensed Practical Nurse, Operating Room Technician, Registered Nursing Assistant
NOC - 3233

* visited on September 21, 2021. Salary source for licensed practical nurses in British Columbia with lowest 10% earning $50,419 to the highest 10% of workers earning $64,792.

** visited on May 24, 2023.

Practical Nurse Access program

Total:  1686 hours, 77 weeks

Level A – Nursing Practice Foundations Development

  • CPR C (6 hours)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology (72 hours)
  • Professional Practice A (48 hours)
  • Professional Communication A (48 hours)
  • Variations in Health A (60 hours)
  • Health Promotion A (32 hours)
  • Pharmacology A (60 hours)
  • Integrated Nursing Practice A (180 hours)
  • Consolidated Practice Experience A (120 hours)

Level III – Management of Stable Clients Across Lifespan

  • Professional Practice 3 (20 hours)
  • Professional Communication 3 (20 hours)
  • Variations in Health 3 (48 hours)
  • Health Promotion 3 (36 hours)
  • Integrated Nursing Practice 3 (140 hours)
  • Consolidated Practice Experience 3 (68 hours)

Level IV – Client Care with Acute Presentations or Chronic Illness

  • Professional Practice 4 (20 hours)
  • Professional Communication 4 (20 hours)
  • Variations in Health 4 (52 hours)
  • Health Promotion 4 (24 hours)
  • Integrated Nursing Practice 4 (180 hours)
  • Consolidated Practice Experience 4 (200 hours)

Transition to Final Practice Experience (32 hours)
Final Practice Experience (180 hours)

Practical Nurse Access Program

The Practical Nurse Access program was initiated in response to the need for recognizing past training and work experience of applicants to the Practical Nursing program. This program credits applicants for their previous British Columbia HCA, RCA, or RHCA training.

Upon successful completion of the program, you will possess the competencies to successfully complete the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam (CPNRE). After passing the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam, ready-to-work graduates of this program find themselves highly employable in one of the fastest-growing areas in the health care system.

The program is led by experienced healthcare professionals who know what it takes to succeed in this field. Skills include:

  • Professional Communication
  • Variations in Health
  • Health Promotion
  • Pharmacology
  • Integrated Nursing Practice
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Consolidated Practice Experience


Program length: 77 weeks, 1686 hours.

Includes 388 hours of consolidated practice experience with 212 hours of final practice experience at various regional health sites.

Class Delivery:  On campus with online learning options for theory courses.

Is a Career as a Practical Nurse Right for You? Take the Discovery Community College “Practical Nursing Career Training Readiness Quiz”

This fun, online quiz takes 3 minutes to complete and you’ll get a personalized report. Identify your strengths and social style plus the training and positions you’re best suited for. Get your Practical Nursing career training readiness score now >>

On-the-Job Training – Preceptorship

Nursing is a hands-on profession and at Discovery we believe that’s the way it should be taught. As a Nursing Access trainee, you’ll gain real-world, on-the-job experience in a variety of healthcare facilities. You’ll provide care to patients and their families, under the supervision of experienced healthcare providers.

Each level of this program is supported by a Consolidated Practice Experience (CPE). The program culminates in a final practice experience to prepare the learner as an entry-to-practice and ready-to-work graduate.

“I was able to practice skills in the classroom due to the small class size and found employment right out of graduation.”
– Lee Smith, Practical Nurse Access Graduate

Professional Licensing

Upon successful completion of this program, you will be fully prepared for the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam. Upon successfully passing this exam, you will earn the title of Licensed Practical Nurse and will be able to add the letters LPN after your name. These credentials, coupled with the direct-to-patient, on-the-job experience you’ll gain during your time at Discovery, will make you a highly attractive candidate to potential employers.

With career-focused training and dedicated support from Discovery Community College, you could be working in a rewarding Practical Nursing career in less than 2 years.

High Placement Rate

Discovery College has a 96% job placement rate.** That is because we assess employment gaps within the community and then tailors the programs around that, giving you the exact skills that employers are looking for to fill their vacant positions.

Convenient Learning Options

At Discovery Community College, you don’t have to put your life on hold to start career training. We offer accessible learning including on-campus, online and blended on-campus and online learning options.

Many of our learners are raising families and some continue to work while training. We will help you choose a schedule that works for you.

Almost 35 Years of Success

Discovery Community College has been training learners just like you for successful careers for almost 35 years. Our college is a well-respected institution, who has formed alliances with numerous community partners. We are also registered with and designated by the Private Training Institutions Branch of British Columbia, formally PPSEC, since 1996.

Is the Practical Nurse Access Program Right For You? Get More Info…

If you’re interested in learning more about the Practical Nurse Access Program and exploring whether this might be the path for you, fill out the form on this page to receive more information.

Our friendly and knowledgeable Admissions Representatives are happy to answer any questions you may have and can help with everything from courses to financial aid.

To speak with an Admissions Advisor right away, give us a call at 1-877-315-5241.

//CRO Toolbar