Practical Nursing grads ace national exam
Whitehorse - Graduates from the Practical Nursing diploma program at Yukon College are certainly not “average”.
All 13 recent graduates aced the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Exam – a national competency test - taking an important step towards becoming licensed practitioners. The grads scored higher than the Canadian average in all parts of the four-hour written exam, which was administered by Consumer Services, the LPN Registrar’s Office at Yukon government.
Sue Starks, program coordinator, believes this is the result of dedicated students, instructors and program partners.
“Yukon government, Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Whitehorse General Hospital provided clinical practice settings and supportive staff to facilitate students in their learning and skill development,” said Starks, chair of the School of Health, Education & Human Services at Yukon College.
“Mentorships in work settings at the end of the program are critical in supporting our students’ transition from school to the workplace.”
The 13 practical nurses are the second cohort to clear the exam with a 100 per cent pass rate. The intensive two-year diploma program was first offered in 2008, with the first 11 students graduating in 2010. Most graduates are currently working in Continuing Care or at the Whitehorse General Hospital.
The program is a partnership between Bow Valley College in Calgary and Yukon College. Earlier this year Yukon government announced it would be extending its financial support for the program through to 2016.
The program is also leading the way in innovative use of technology.
Next week, Starks and Claire Hills, a clinical instructor, will travel to Montreal to give a poster presentation at the 11th International Congress on Nursing Informatics. They will present the results of their pilot program incorporating iPad technology into practical nursing classes.
The iPads have proved a big hit with students and staff. In a recent class survey the majority of students found them “very useful” in clinical rotations. They also stated that creating concept mapped care plans on the iPad enhanced their ability to link new information with previous knowledge.
Starks plans to continue the use of iPads to enhance student learning in the Practical Nurse program. She said the International Congress in Montreal will also provide an opportunity to learn about innovations from other parts of the world and consider ways to introduce them here.
“Introducing and experimenting with new technology is easier to do in a small program like ours, and will help ensure that our nursing graduates continue to excel.”