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Get back into nursing with NorQuest’s refresher program

NorQuest College is a leader in meeting students’ needs at any stage of their education.
Now, our new Practical Nurse Refresher program is opening even more doors for internationally and Canadian-educated nurses who wish to regain their licenses and work as licensed practical nurses in Canada.
Through the college’s PLAR— Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition—programming students can take up to five years to complete the refresher training and enjoy the benefits and rewards of becoming anessential healthcare worker in this country.
“What makes this so unique for us is that we are looking at a different way to do PLAR training,” says Ayshea Thornton, associate chair of the Practical Nurse program at NorQuest. “We are taking more than just previous course work into account.”
This, she adds, will open doors to employment for many people.
“If a nurse who has been internationally trained or employed—or a Canadian who has taken time off from the profession andhas previous experience working in a place like a maternity wardbut without any official courses in that—we are now giving these people the opportunity to use experiential learning or certificates outside of official theory-based classroom learning to get transfer credit at NorQuest.”
The college will take into account many factors when determining whether transfer courses can be offered, including past-employer assessments and performance reviews.
With the demand for practical nurses in Alberta increasing, the college’s Practical Nurse (PN) program is becoming ever more popular with prospective students and currently-employed professionals. Last year, NorQuest saw a 130 per cent increase in applications for the spring term.
“There is still a big need for more practical nurses in Alberta, especially the rural areas,” says Thornton.
Internationally-trained applicants must meet program language requirements and reside in the province of Alberta. For those who need additional language training before acceptance can be granted, NorQuest is offering help.
“Once the student applies for the PN Refresher program, they have to submit their English language proficiency assessment marks,” says Thornton. “If they are below the admission requirements, they are funneled into a PN refresher stream that offers five English language courses, one of which focuses on medical terminology. Once they have successfully passed all of those courses, they will funnel back into the standard PN Refresher stream and go through the PLAR and the PN courses.”
Once the application has been received, NorQuest will begin the PLAR process to evaluate thestudent’s educational needs.
For Canadian-trained nurses, interested students must submit a document from the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) or their provincial professional organization if theywere registered outside of Alberta, verifying they were a member in good standing or a referral letter from the same organization.
After the PLAR process, theymay register for the Practical Nurse Refresher Challenge course. This course enables students to challenge assigned PN courses through a combination of written and lab exams.
If successful in the challenge exam, they will not have to retake these courses.
Hands-on, practical education offered
Students of the new PN Refresher program will have the advantage of participating in clinical practice within Edmonton or in their respective communities, depending on the availability of appropriate health-care facilities.
Get back into the profession you love with NorQuest College and become a vital player in improving the health of Albertans, our communities, and our economy.
For more information on all NorQuest College programs visit www.norquest.ca

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