Education is the first step to empowerment for Licensed Practical Nurses, and the CLPNA ensures this quest for excellence continues every step of the way. We work tirelessly to anticipate the future needs of Albertans; to share our innovations and embrace interprofessional collaboration; and to support the ongoing competency of our dedicated LPNs – leaders in healthcare.


Alberta LPNs are transforming the future and that begins with their education.

Students attend a recognized post-secondary practical nursing program and complete a two-year diploma, which includes a minimum of 1650 instructional hours incorporating 750 hours of theoretical instruction and 900 hours of clinical / lab experience. Graduates must then pass the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam.

The following colleges are approved to provide practical nurse education in Alberta. Some colleges deliver practical nurse programs from multiple locations:

  • Bow Valley College, Calgary
  • Columbia College, Calgary
  • Keyano College, Ft. McMurray
  • Lakeland College, Lloydminster
  • Lethbridge College, Lethbridge
  • NorQuest College, Edmonton
  • Northern Lakes College, Slave Lake
  • Medicine Hat College, Medicine Hat
  • Portage College, Lac La Biche/Cold Lake
  • Red Deer College, Red Deer

LPNs continue to embrace ongoing education opportunities in specialty, certificate and employer-based learning in a growing number of topic areas.

Education Foundation for LPNs

The Fredrickson-McGregor Education Foundation for LPNs is a non-profit organization which raises, manages and distributes educational grants, awards and bursaries to members of the CLPNA to enhance their nursing knowledge, skills and ability, and honour their achievements. The Foundation administers the proceeds of a $3 million endowment fund, and approves funding for individual LPNs in courses that enhance their role or support advancement into another area of practice.

In 2014, the Foundation’s Education Grant Program approved 587 applicants for a total of $250,581.82, slightly down from 2013’s total of 631 applications totaling $267,051.98. Since the Education Grant Program began in September 2006, the Foundation has approved 3548 applications for a total of $1,449,884.86 in grants and distributed 67% of the approved funds.

In 2014, the top three courses applied for were Immunization, Foot Care and Executive Links’ one-day seminar in Oncology.

Education Standards Advisory Committee

The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta is mandated by the Health Professions Act to review all current practical nurse programs and any proposed new practical nurse programs, as well as specialty and refresher programs outlined in the HPA.

To assist the Council, the CLPNA established the Education Standards Advisory Committee. The Committee is responsible for establishing the Standards for Program Approval and for reviewing programs to ensure compliance with these Standards. The Committee completes reviews of the programs and reports to the Council with its recommendations. The Council determines the acceptance of the report and recommendations.

The Advanced Education in Orthopedics program for licensed practical nurses offered by NorQuest College is a specialty program specifically designed to prepare licensed practical nurses with advanced knowledge in orthopedics. This program was reviewed in 2014 and received a five-year approval.

The practical nurse diploma program offered by Lakeland College in Lloydminster, Alberta, received a post-implementation review and was approved until June 30, 2015. The Board of Governors of Lakeland College has determined that the College will no longer admit learners to the practical nurse program; therefore, effective July 1, 2015, Lakeland College is no longer educating practical nurses.

The CDI College practical nurse program brokered from Bow Valley College was formally concluded on July 31, 2014.

The practical nurse diploma programs at Lethbridge College and Keyano College were reviewed, but approval status will not be available until the 2015 Annual Report.

The nurse educators in the practical nurse programs remain committed to learners’ success and are to be commended for their efforts to apply innovative instructional methods and to seek unique opportunities to stimulate learning in the classroom, laboratory and clinical settings.

A major initiative this year has been the review and revision of the Standards for Program Approval. The draft document including Standards, Policies and Procedures is slated to clear ESAC in late February 2015 and then be presented to Council for approval in March 2015.

ESAC has welcomed me to the team and I am impressed by the commitment of the committee members to fulfill the responsibility assigned to them by the Council.

D. Jean Valgardson, BScN, MEd
Chair, ESAC

2014 Awards of Excellence

Diverse in background but united in spirit, this year’s nominees and recipients of the CLPNA’s Awards of Excellence represent exceptional LPNs and associated health professionals. These special nurses were celebrated during the Awards Dinner on May 1, 2014 in Edmonton. LPN winners received a commemorative crystal award and $1000.

Mohamed Abazinab, LPN


Stephanie Miller, LPN


Lynn Bursaw, LPN


Charlotte Hnatiuk, RN