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Practical Nursing Diploma

Program Start: 27 February 2023
Application Deadline: 30 April 2022
Location: Melfort
Credit Granting Institution: Sask Polytech
Length: 76 Weeks


Applications for the 2023 program will be accepted:  November 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022

Licensed Practical Nurses are a vital part of today's health care team - in acute hospital care, long-term care and in the community. They provide compassionate, professional nursing care to individuals throughout the human lifespan, infants to seniors. In just two years, we’ll help you develop into a competent, confident nurse capable of making a positive difference in the health and well-being of individuals, their families and our communities.

Practical Nursing is a two-year diploma program offered at Cumberland College.  The program is a sequential 6-semester program over 76 weeks allowing the concepts from one semester to be built on in subsequent semesters.

Onsite labs and community-based clinical practice education experiences let you apply nursing knowledge, theory and skills in a variety of environments.  Our experienced faculty help you grow into a competent, confident nurse capable of bringing a holistic, humanistic approach to patient care.

You will study anatomy and physiology, foundations of health, pharmacology, health assessment through the lifespan, long-term and rehabilitative care, medical and surgical care, obstetrics and pediatrics, mental health and addictions, community, and sociology.

Instructional methods include seminars, observational experiences, pre- and post-clinical conferences, small group presentations, lectures, demonstrations, role-playing, storytelling, discussion, reflective thinking and writing, and simulation lab experiences.

As a graduate, you’re eligible to:

  • write the national licensure exam,
  • register with the Saskatchewan Association of Licensed Practical Nurses (SALPN), and
  • practice in any province or territory in Canada


  • transcripts - high school and any post secondary transcripts
    • Grade 12 with a minimum overall average of 65% in English Language Arts A30 and B30, any 30-level Mathone of Biology 30, Chemistry 30 or Physics 30, and one of Social Studies 30, History 30 or Native Studies 30 
    • ** Previous Saskatchewan mathematics requirement also accepted: Math A30, Math B30, Math C30, Calculus 30, or General Math 30
  • English language Requirement - Program Specific Requirement to Practical Nursing  (only required for internationally educated students)

After the application deadline:

This is a high demand program.
ONLY complete applications will be assessed after the application deadline. Applicants who are selected will be notified of a conditional acceptance.  

Students that receive a conditional acceptance will be required to provide documentation in order to receive a Full Acceptance.  This documentation may include, but may not be limited to the following:

Additional requirements prior to clinical placements (more details to follow upon acceptance):

  • Applicants should have the Requisite Skills and Abilities (pdf) to become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Canada.
  • Vulnerable Sector Check:   We will request this from you, and provide the request forms at the START of your program.  Please DO NOT get it completed before that time.   Your Vulnerable Sector Check must be clear (or Negative).  
  • N95 Mask Fitting: Accepted applicants may be required to provide evidence of current N95 respirator mask testing prior to entry into the clinical experiences. 

Fees explanation:

  • Student Fees are calculated $95 per academic year.
  • Student Health Plan fees are $504 (calculated $252 per academic year).
  • We estimate high for books and supplies.  You can expect about $3000 for books + scrubs + testing/licensing fees.
Tuition: $12,000*
Books & Supplies: $4,000*
Student Fees: $190
Health & Dental Plan: $252*
*Note: Tuition, Books and Supplies, Health and Dental amounts are approximate, based on last year's program and may change at anytime.

Practical Nursing Diploma includes the following courses

Addictions (NSRG 258)

You will examine substance abuse and the physiological and psychological risks related to addiction. You will describe the processes of withdrawal and detoxification and examine the principles and application of the harm reduction model. You will examine addictions treatment models and describe the challenges of addictions treatment for patients with concurrent disorders. You will apply critical thinking and inquiry throughout the nursing process in addictions care.


CLIN 105, SOCI 160

Culture and Diversity in Health Sciences (SOCI 201)

You will explore the cultural diversity of Canadian society. You will discuss immigration trends, cultural values and the implications to the provision of health services. Cultural safety in healthcare and the role of the health care professional will be discussed in context.


SOCI 160

Foundations 1 - Foundations of Health (NURS 171)

You will discuss the metaparadigm of nursing in the context of nursing theories and philosophies. You will describe health determinants, primary health care and health care delivery in Canada. You will discuss law and ethics as they pertain to the nursing profession. You will describe critical thinking and apply key elements of patient safety. You will describe the concepts of culture and ethnicity with a focus on Indigenous and other predominant cultures in Saskatchewan.

Foundations 2 - Mental Health (NURS 176)

You will describe mental health concepts, legal and ethical considerations, and social stigmas related to mental health disorders. You will examine the role of nursing in relation to mental health and describe evidence informed nursing practice for patients and their families. You will promote mental health for patients and their families using the metaparadigm of nursing, demonstrating critical thinking and inquiry in your application of the nursing process. You will examine specific mental health disorders and examine strategies to promote safety in the context of mental health.


BIOL 100, CLIN 103, NURS 163, NURS 171, NURS 172, PHAR 101


Foundations 3 - Maternal Child Health (NURS 292)

You will examine foundational assessments in the context of maternal, newborn and pediatric patient populations. You will identify growth and development milestones from newborn to adolescence with a focus on family-centered care. You will apply critical thinking and inquiry to examine common medical, surgical, nutritional, and mental health issues common in childhood and adolescents. You will examine health promotion, teaching and safety of these populations in a variety of contexts.

Equivalent Course: NURS 242


CLIN 240, NURS 294, NRSG 257, NRSG 258, SOCI 201

Foundations 4 - Community Health (NSRF 298)

You will examine the role of the practical nurse in the context of patient care in the community with a focus on Indigenous health. You will examine the health promotion model and apply the determinants of health through experiential learning with community agencies. You will examine the leadership role of the practical nurse and prepare for the transition from the role of student to that of a graduate practitioner. You will examine interprofessional collaboration and apply critical thinking and inquiry in the context of community health nursing.


 CLIN 240, NURS 294, NRSG 257, NRSG 258, SOCI 201

Foundations of Sociology (SOCI 160)

Using your sociological imagination, you will examine how to practice sociology, and learn about the importance of culture, socialization, and the family. You will discuss social inequality in Canada, as well as explore the concepts of social control and deviance. Your studies will also include issues related to the power of mass media, the dualism of sex and gender, and race and ethnicity. You will have an opportunity to examine collective behavior, social movements, social change, and globalization.

Equivalent Course: SOCI 184

Health Assessment and Praxis 1 (CLIN 103)

You will demonstrate, at an introductory level, the assessments and skills associated with the care of adult and geriatric patients. Your experiential learning will provide opportunities to practice your skills and abilities for patients in long term care environments. You will apply the nursing process and principles of patient teaching and practice documentation.

Health Assessment and Praxis 2 (CLIN 104)

You will practice assessments and skills associated with rehabilitative and supportive care. Your experiential learning will provide opportunities for assessment and care of adults with chronic health challenges. You will demonstrate the concepts of patient safety, critical thinking, and evidence informed practice in the delivery of patient care and teaching.

Equivalent Course: NURS 238


 BIOL 100, CLIN 103, NURS 163, NURS 171, NURS 172, PHAR 101

Health Assessment and Praxis 3 (CLIN 240)

You will apply knowledge and skills associated with curative and restorative care and perform focused health assessments. Your experiential learning will include organizing care for adult patients with acute health challenges in the context of medical and surgical environments. You will plan patient-centred care, prepare patient teaching, and apply concepts of patient safety and critical thinking supported by your use of evidence informed practice.


CLIN 105

Health Assessment and Praxis 4 (CLIN 241)

You will perform assessments and skills with increasing proficiency for adult patients requiring curative and restorative medical and surgical care. You will plan holistic nursing care supported by evidence informed practice and critical thinking. Your experiential learning will provide opportunities to demonstrate knowledge and skills related to maternal, newborn and pediatric patients. You will examine medical emergencies and plan care with increased interdependence in collaboration with the health care team.


 CLIN 240, NURS 294, NRSG 257, NRSG 258, SOCI 201

Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 (BIOL 100)

You will study the human body, how it is constructed and how it functions to maintain homeostasis. You will focus on the interaction between the structures of the body cells, tissues, organs and organ systems. You will learn about levels of organization of the human body, cells, and tissues. You will examine integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, and sensory systems.

Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 (BIOL 101)

You will continue to study the anatomy and physiology of the human body. You will learn about fluids, electrolytes, and acid-base balance. You will examine structures and functions of the cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, endocrine, and reproductive systems.


BIOL 100

Integrated Clinical Practice 1 (CLIN 105)

You will apply your knowledge and skills related to holistic nursing care of patients. Your experiential learning will focus on rehabilitative and supportive care for patients experiencing a variety of health challenges. With faculty guidance, you will demonstrate the principles of health teaching and perform complete and focused health assessments. You will demonstrate professional behaviour and practice collaborative relationships with patients and the interprofessional team to deliver safe, competent, and ethical patient care.

Equivalent Course: PRAC 260


BIOL 101, CLIN 104, NURS 176, NURS 240, NURS 293, PHAR 102

Integrated Clinical Practice 2 (CLIN 242)

You will plan safe, competent patient care working in partnership with a licensed practical nurse. You will manage patient care with increased interdependence and confidence, demonstrating enhanced organization, decision-making, and critical thinking abilities. You will examine the leadership role of the practical nurse in the context of the health care team. You will examine the value of reflective practice in relation to lifelong learning. You will establish collaborative relationships, using professional communication, and demonstrate respect for diversity and ethical practice.


CLIN 241, NURS 292, NRSG 298, NRSG 299, PHAR 215

Pharmacology 1 (PHAR 101)

You will identify Canadian medication systems, medication classifications and names. You will identify the principles and nursing responsibilities for competent medication calculation and administration. You will demonstrate evidenced informed care and knowledge of medication actions, differentiating medication actions and effects in the body, and examining strategies for safe administration. Your theoretical learning will focus on vitamins, complementary medications, antihistamines and drugs affecting the gastrointestinal system.

Pharmacology 2 (PHAR 102)

You will demonstrate skills and abilities required for medication administration to pediatric and adult populations. You will prepare and administer medications through enteral, percutaneous and parenteral routes. You will examine medication classifications for the cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, and central nervous and autonomic nervous systems, and demonstrate evidenced informed practice in applying principles of safe medication administration.


BIOL 100, CLIN 103, NURS 163, NURS 171, NURS 172, PHAR 101

Pharmacology 3 (PHAR 215)

You will demonstrate skills and abilities required to safely prepare and administer medications through the intravenous route. You will interpret diagnostic tests and provide evidence informed patient care related to medication administration. You will recognize medications used in emergency patient care and examine traditional and alternative medications. You will identify the purpose and schedule for specific immunizations and plan patient teaching related to medication administration.


CLIN 240, NURS 294, NRSG 257, NRSG 258, SOCI 201

Professional Practice and Communication 1 (NURS 163)

You will explore the concept of self in relation to others. You will illustrate the role of caring in the practice of nursing and begin to develop reflective practice and critical thinking skills. You will demonstrate principles of verbal and non-verbal professional communication and explore the professional image of nursing.

Equivalent Course(s): NEPS 112, NURS 112

Professional Practice and Communication 2 (NURS 240)

You will examine therapeutic relationships with an emphasis on caring, advocacy, diversity, and managing ethical dilemmas. You will examine trends and issues in Canadian nursing practice and identify the scope of professional practice for the practical nurse.


BIOL 100, CLIN 103, NURS 163, NURS 171, NURS 172, PHAR 101

Professional Practice and Communication 3 (NRSG 257)

You will examine the professional roles, ethical responsibilities and relationships of the practical nurse. You will explore nursing standards of practice, and concepts of professional development and reflective practice in the context of life-long learning. You will analyze conflict resolution in relation to personal and professional relationships, and examine nursing informatics and skills for professional employment.


CLIN 105

Variations in Health 1 (NURS 172)

You will begin to apply critical thinking skills, explaining the physiological and psychological health changes of the ageing adult. With guidance, you will apply the nursing process and describe evidence informed practice related to the ageing adult patient. You will describe specific health variations using a systems approach and recognize health promotion strategies in gerontological care.

Equivalent Course: NURS 174

Variations in Health 2 (NURS 293)

You will examine variations in health and common chronic conditions diagnosed in the adult population. You will apply knowledge of anatomy and pathophysiology to explore health challenges affecting body systems. You will examine the diagnostic findings, nursing interventions and treatments associated with specific health challenges. With guidance, you will apply the nursing process, promote safety, and use critical thinking and evidence informed practice to deliver holistic nursing care.


BIOL 100, CLIN 103, NURS 163, NURS 171, NURS 172, PHAR 101

Variations in Health 3 (NURS 294)

You will examine the concepts of holistic nursing care related to acute variations in health for the adult patient. You will interpret laboratory and diagnostic findings in the context of acute health challenges. You will interdependently use the nursing process to deliver competent care; applying concepts of safety, critical thinking, and evidence informed practice. You will compare specific surgical treatments and apply concepts related to preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative nursing care.


CLIN 105

Variations in Health 4 (NSRG 299)

You will examine the complex nursing care of patients with multi-system challenges and medical emergencies. You will plan ethical and competent holistic nursing care related to acute variations in health. You will apply concepts of safety critical thinking, and evidence informed practice in the delivery of patient care.


CLIN 240, NURS 294(concurrent), NRSG 257, NRSG 258, SOCI 201

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