Practical Nursing

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. If this sounds interesting to you, explore Saskatchewan Polytechnic's Practical Nursing program. 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 Sask Polytech Saskatoon Campus, Regina Campus, and Prince Albert Campus, with online distance learning options. Onsite labs and community-based clinical practice education experiences let you apply nursing knowledge, theory and skills in a variety of environments.

The program is a sequential 6-semester program allowing the concepts from one semester to be built on in subsequent semesters. The 6 semesters run over 76 weeks, over a 2-year period. Classes are designed to meet diverse learning styles.

Our experienced faculty help you grow into a competent, confident nurse capable of bringing a holistic, humanistic approach to patient care. You'll 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
  • Sociology

Courses are delivered in a blended model which comprise of onsite face-to-face and online course delivery. Our instructors engage with students through a variety of instructional methods such as 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.

Opportunities for critical reflection about caring-based practice, development of employability skills, and understanding the role and scope of practice of the licensed practical nurse (LPN) are blended into the program's learning activities.

The clinical practice education courses are integrative in nature, and, as such, the evaluation of your performance in the clinical setting involves evaluating the application of the theoretical concepts learned in all other courses. This is what ultimately determines your progress toward achieving the competencies of the beginning practical nurse. Clinical rotations are a mandatory component of the Practical Nursing program and may occur in both urban and rural settings. Students are responsible for arranging their own travel to and from clinical sites, regardless of location. Any cost related to travel, including transportation, accommodation, and meals, are the responsibility of the student.

The focus of each semester is as follows:

  • Semester 1 - Health Promotion/Illness Prevention
  • Semester 2 - Rehabilitative and Supportive Care
  • Semester 3 - Restorative and Curative Care
  • Semester 4 - Acute Medical and Surgical Care
  • Semester 5 - Acute Medical Surgical Care/Maternal-Child Health/Community
  • Semester 6 - Transition from Student to Graduate

Note: Students who have previously completed the following courses may be eligible to receive transfer credit upon acceptance into the program: BIOL 102 and BIOL 103.

Effective Fall 2025-26 academic year and onward:

  • Course replacement: SOCI 171 will replace SOCI 160 in Semester 3 of the program. These courses are not eligible for transfer credit for one another.
  • Course removal and replacement: SOCI 201 will be removed from the program and will be replaced with a new sociology course that is currently in development.

For students enrolled in the 2024-25 academic year:

  • If you are a student who is starting the program in the 2024-25 academic year, you may continue to complete the SOCI 160 and SOCI 201 courses as planned.
Sask Polytech is one of the most respected providers of nursing education in Canada. Our small class sizes mean more opportunities to interact with faculty. High-tech simulation centres use near-life scenarios to give you hands-on practice. Clinical practice education lets you transfer your nursing knowledge and skills into the real world.
Apply what you learn in class and gain real-world experience in actual health-care settings.
  • Lab and simulation – Application of your nursing knowledge and skills will occur in Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s state-of-the-art lab and high-fidelity simulation centres.
  • Clinical practice education – Each semester contains a clinical experience that gives you the opportunity to put theory into practice. Clinical is completed in a variety of practice settings: long-term care, rehabilitation, acute care, community, and more.
  • Experience with preceptors - In the final experience of the program, you will be preceptored with a practicing LPN who is licensed with the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Saskatchewan (CLPNS). This time will assist in your transition from student nurse to practicing nurse.
You can enrol in Sask Polytech’s Practical Nursing diploma program while staying close to home by enrolling in the full-time online program. The online program allows students to study class theory at home and join mandatory scheduled labs/seminars and clinical experiences in either Regina or Saskatoon, with eight designated clinical spots for each site. Scheduled labs/seminars and clinical experiences typically occur a few days per week over the course of each semester.

Online students are required to write their exams at an approved invigilation site, which includes Saskatchewan Polytechnic Testing Centers or Regional Colleges. Additional sites, such as Elementary or Secondary Schools, may be utilized with prior approval from the instructor. Online students are responsible for scheduling their exams with the chosen invigilating site and covering any associated expenses.
The Practical Nursing program meets the approval of the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Saskatchewan (CLPNS). Graduates are eligible to write the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam (CPNRE), which is necessary to become licensed as a practical nurse.
Leverage your diploma into the Bachelor of Applied Management degree at Saskatchewan Polytechnic with only two years of additional study. Remote classes and part-time options are available.   

For more information about the program, including the admission process and program requirements, refer to the admission requirements and selection criteria sections below, and to our program frequently asked questions.

Career and salary information

Your career

Employment opportunities for licensed practical nurses are excellent. Most LPNs work in acute care hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, medical centres and long-term care facilities. Choose an area that interests you - gerontology, maternal-child, medical, mental health, palliative, pediatric, rehabilitation or surgical nursing.

You also can pursue a career in a community setting: a nursing clinic, home care agency, private nursing agency, community health centre or physician's office. Saskatchewan Polytechnic Practical Nursing graduates enjoy national reciprocity, which means you can work in any province in Canada or the Northwest Territories. Our graduates have also found jobs in the United States and overseas.

  • Conduct informational interviews with people working in this field.
  • Explore the possibility of job shadowing.
  • Read more about Licensed Practical Nurses.
  • Arrange an INSIGHT experience or attend an Open House event at Sask Polytech.
  • Read more about Licensed Practical Nursing practice and regulation by visiting the CLPNS website.

Potential careers

Sample job title NOC classification
Licenced practical nurse (LPN) Licensed practical nurses (32101)


Admission requirements

  • The Practical Nursing program is subject to the competitive admission process.

  • Grade 12 with a minimum overall score of 65% in the following five subjects: English Language Arts A30, English Language Arts B30, Foundations of Math 30 or Pre-Calculus 30 or Workplace and Apprenticeship Math 30*; one of Biology 30, Chemistry 30 or Physics 30; and one of Social Studies 30, History 30 or Native Studies 30
  • English Language Requirement Specific to Practical Nursing (see Program-Specific ELP Requirements section)


  • Please indicate on your application form whether you are applying to the on-campus or online program.
  • Applicants should have the Requisite Skills and Abilities (pdf) to become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Canada.
  • Accepted applicants will be required to provide evidence of a Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Search upon admission into the program. At the discretion of the practicum agency, you may be declined access to a clinical or work placement based on the contents of the Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Search. The cost of the Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Search is your responsibility.
  • Proof of current Standard First Aid and Heart and Stroke Foundation CPR is required prior to entry into the clinical practicum. The required course for CPR is Basic Life Support – Health Care Provider (BLS-HCP). The cost of Standard First Aid and CPR is your responsibility.
  • Accepted applicants will be required to provide evidence of Transferring Lifting Repositioning (TLR®) certification upon admission into the program.
  • Accepted applicants are required to provide current immunization records and meet Saskatchewan Polytechnic immunization requirements prior to entry into clinical experiences.
  • Accepted applicants are required to provide evidence of current N95 respirator mask testing prior to entry into the clinical experiences. The cost of N95 respirator mask testing is your responsibility.
  • Accepted applicants are required to provide evidence of 2015 WHMIS Globally Harmonized System (GHS) certification upon admission into the program. Recertification will be required every three years to remain current. The cost of WHMIS certification is your responsibility.

*Previous Saskatchewan mathematics requirement also accepted: 

  • Math A30, Math B30, Math C30, Calculus 30, or General Math 30

Admission method


The competitive admissions process is used for programs where the number of qualified applicants regularly exceeds the number of spaces available. In competitive programs, higher admission requirements and/or additional selection criteria may be required. The application period for this program is October 1 to February 15, each academic year. All supporting documentation is required by 4:30 p.m. (Saskatchewan time), March 1.

See Admission Processes for more information about this method of admission.

Selection criteria

  • Phase I for High School Graduates: The competitive score is calculated from the final marks in high school courses required for admission to the program. The high school competitive score will be compared to any grade point score(s) (UGPA) presented for a minimum of 15 passed post-secondary credit units to a maximum of 30 of the most recent credit units from recognized post-secondary institutions - and the highest score will be considered for the applicant's competitive score.  Such applicants must be in good academic standing with the institution.  Applicants are then ranked in the order of the highest score.  
  • Phase I for Current High School Students: The competitive score is calculated from final marks provided by March 1. Conditional admission may be granted on this basis. Current high school students must order transcripts to be sent directly to Saskatchewan Polytechnic at the end of Semester 1 and the end of Semester 2 of the grade 12 year. The final grade 12 mark will be used where the course is completed. The final grade 11 mark will be used only in the absence of the grade 12 mark in the same subject.

Tuition and fees

Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as approximate cost for books and supplies. Visit the Tuition and Fees web page for a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program.

2023-24 academic year

Year 1 - $12,030
Year 2 - $8,380

Year 1 (Online program) - $11,600
Year 2 (Online program) - $7,950


Get credit for what you know

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Saskatchewan Polytechnic recognizes that adults learn in many different ways. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training.

See link(s) below to get more information about PLAR.

Transfer credit

Many Sask Polytech students benefit from transferring course credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit to Sask Polytech or to another college or university.

Student awards

Thanks to the generosity of donors and alumni, Saskatchewan Polytechnic gives away more than $2 million in student awards during the academic year.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic offers student awards for every certificate and diploma program at every campus. Not all student awards are based on marks - some are based on financial need or things like community or volunteer involvement.

More about scholarships


The program is approved by the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Saskatchewan (CLPNS)

The program meets provincial and national standards set by the CLPNS and Canadian Council for Practical Nurse Regulators.

Below are key guiding documents for the practical nursing program:

Practical Nursing Certificate to Diploma


Continuing Care Assistants (CCA) to Practical Nursing

Additional information

If you have questions about this program, please email