Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP) is the first post-secondary institution in the province to offer an accelerated pathway for health care professionals to complete the Practical Nurse Diploma program.  

The program is designed for Canadian and internationally educated nurses or health care professionals interested in completing the Practical Nurse program at a faster pace.   

“At Red Deer Polytechnic, we are extremely proud to be a leader among post-secondary institutions in providing an accelerated Practical Nurse pathway for health care professionals,” Lindsay Engel, Vice President of Academic and Student Experience said. “This program demonstrates the commitment from RDP to align learner-centric programming with industrial and societal needs, helping to fulfill labour market demand within the health care sector.”  

Program applicants can receive prior learning credits toward courses in the first year of the two-year diploma, potentially reducing the duration of the program.   

Students can demonstrate prior learning and competencies in first-year Practical Nurse courses that include Anatomy and Pharmacology by completing individual assessments, such as case studies, exams, and presentations.  

“This accelerated Practical Nurse Diploma program helps to reduce barriers for health care professionals to pursue a rewarding career as a Licensed Practical Nurse,” Heather Dirks, Interim Dean, School of Health and Wellness said. “Through this program, students will be able to build upon their previous knowledge and skills by receiving expert instruction in modern facilities and enhanced practicum and learning experiences with industry partners.”  

Through the program, students can take courses to help prepare them for the diverse needs of the health care sector, including Community Health Nursing, Maternity and Pediatric Nursing, and Mental Health Nursing.  

“This program is one example of how Red Deer Polytechnic supports internationally trained and educated students,” Werner Beylefeld, Dean, of International Education said. “By recognizing prior learning, RDP has created an efficient pathway for international students to accelerate their career and increase their earning potential as a nurse while contributing to the needs of Alberta’s health care sector.”  

The first group of the Practical Nurse program that recognizes prior learning will begin during the Fall 2024 Term.