Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP), a public post-secondary institution located in Central Alberta, with expertise in the development and teaching of innovative education programs of study, and Prairie College today announced a private public partnership agreement to offer RDP’s Practical Nurse Diploma to nursing students at the Prairie College campus in Three Hills, Alberta.
For the past 16 years, Prairie College has offered the Practical Nurse diploma on its campus in partnership with Bow Valley College, graduating 200 practical nurses into the Alberta nursing community and establishing credibility in the public-private education partnership sector. Successful graduates of the Practical Nurse program earn 2 designations- a Diploma in Practical Nursing (from Red Deer Polytechnic) and a Diploma in Ministry (from Prairie College). Graduates are prepared to provide high-quality nursing care in the areas of medical, surgical, pediatric, maternity, mental health, and geriatric care. Trained LPNs are able to work in hospitals, physician’s offices, nursing facilities, home health care services, camp ministry and/or missions/overseas. Over 90% and been employed in the health care field within 1 year of graduation.
Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a significant need for more nurses to help fill the growing number of practical nurse positions open in Alberta. The AHS website currently lists over 1,500 openings, a higher than average need in Alberta. In addition, the colleges in Alberta offering the Practical Nurse diploma have filled all their learner seats for the Fall semester with large waitlists. Offering this program in a private school setting is important to meeting the demand for learners and the public health care needs in Alberta.
The partnership with Red Deer Polytechnic allows Prairie College nursing students more access to Central Alberta Region AHS and private facilities for clinical placements than previously possible. The CLPNA (College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta) readily approved the change in partnership due to the experience evidenced in working with a public institution and the success of students in the partnership with Bow Valley College. This agreement with RDP also increases the probability of establishing other program partnerships between Prairie and RDP.
Mark Maxwell, the President of Prairie College says “We are honoured to be entering into this partnership with RDP, and look forward to expanding it in future years.”
Rod Holt, Associate Vice President Academic Entrepreneurship at RDP is excited to work with Prairie College, “Building partnerships and creating opportunity for learner success is important to both Red Deer Polytechnic and Prairie College; we look forward to working with our new partners to serve learners and create pathways for their success.”
Kim Hogarth, Dean, Extended Education, Practical Nurse and Pre-Health Sciences for RDP, developed the current model for Prairie’s PN education while working for Bow Valley College, and led the accreditation process for RDP with the CLPNA. Hogarth is “pleased to be working with Prairie again and looks forward to leading the educational efforts in providing a high quality program where graduates can enter the vital and valued career of the Licensed Practical Nurse”.