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College Catalog: Health Sciences: Practical Nursing

Program: Practical Nursing
Award: Certificate
Plan Code: 157
Length: 45 credit hours, 3 semesters
Lead Faculty: Laurel Wright

Purpose: This nursing major prepares selected students to qualify as practitioners of practical nursing (PN) in a variety of health care facilities. After successful completion of the program, students will be eligible for the National Council Licensure Exam Practical Nurse. The program provides a background for maximum transfer opportunities to a two year college, four year college or universities.

Program Student Learning Outcomes: At the completion of the Practical Nursing Certificate, graduates will…

  1. Apply nursing concepts based on bio-psycho-social cultural and spiritual components of individual patients across the life span.
  2. Utilize legal and ethical principles while providing safe, patient centered care to culturally diverse populations.
  3. Demonstrate safe and competent care in the performance of basic clinical nursing skills while utilizing information technology.
  4. Collaborate professionally with members of interdisciplinary health care teams.
  5. Utilize the concepts of the nursing process that include conducting a focused nursing assessment of the patient status, be able to make appropriate decisions about who and when to inform, identify patient needs, plan for nursing care, implement appropriate aspects of nursing care, and contribute to the evaluation of patient outcomes.
  6. Demonstrate professional growth and development by acquiring knowledge and skills through lifelong learning.


The Virginia Board of Nursing posts the passage rates for all programs on their web site: http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing/nursing_edprogs.htm This information is also located on the PDCCC’s PN Program web page.

Occupational Objectives: Employment opportunities for the PN include staff positions in hospitals, nursing homes, health departments, physicians’ offices, clinics, day care centers, industry, hospices, mental health facilities, rehabilitation centers, and home health care agencies.

Admission Requirements: Interested students should contact the nursing office for academic advising. The applicant must meet the following requirements for admission into the PN program.

  • Admission to Paul D. Camp Community College (PDCCC).
  • Graduation from high school with an overall GPA of 2.5 (or better) or satisfactory completion of the GED. Must submit official GED scores with application.
  • Complete PDCCC placement tests in English, reading and mathematics, if scores indicate, the applicant will be required to successfully complete developmental courses prior to admission to the PN program.
  • Complete one unit of algebra, one unit of general biology, and one unit of chemistry with a “C” grade or better. Deficiencies can be made up through approved developmental or college level courses. Development course requirements must be completed before the student can begin the PN program.
  • A curricular and cumulative college grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or better is required in all general education requirements completed before admission into PN program courses.
  • It is required that all applicants take and pass the HESI prior to admission.
  • Passing scores are 70% in each category: English Composite, Science: Biology and Chemistry and Math. You cannot take the HESI Entrance Exam more than 2x within an application period; you cannot take your HESI Entrance Exam more than 1x a semester. Your test dates have to be at least 6 weeks apart.

  • Applicants who do not meet the residential qualifications will be considered based on space availability.

Admission Procedure: Applications to the PN program are processed during specified application periods. Applications for the PN program must be submitted by the second Wednesday in May.

Applicants are responsible for making certain that all application materials are on file in the nursing office, including the following documents:

  • The completed practical nursing application
  • Official transcripts of all secondary school work and all prior college work to include GED scores if applicable.
  • Results of Virginia Placement Test ( if required), and
  • Passing HESI Entrance Exam Results for the current year.
  1. Current, Healthcare Provider CPR Certification through the American Heart Association
  2. Verification that you attended one of the mandatory advising/information sessions; the ‘Admit one’ ticket available to attendees of the Advising session.
  3. Professional License (if applicable): CNA, or LPN for example

Because the PN program addresses the educational needs of students with a variety of experience and prior education, a limited number of entering class positions are designated for prospective high school graduates. Interested high school students should consult with their guidance counselors

The typical physical demands of a practical nurse include the following: full range of motion including handling and lifting patients and/or equipment, manual and finger dexterity, hand, and eye coordination. The job generally requires standing and walking for extensive periods. The practical nurse should be able to lift and carry items weighing up to 50 pounds. Upon admission to the PN program, the prospective student is provided with a Nursing/Allied Health Programs Physical Examination form that must be completed by a healthcare practitioner prior to enrolling in nursing classes.

After admission, students must comply with the rules and regulations as outlined in the Student Handbook.

Criminal history and background checks for sex offender crimes against minors and required of entrance into some clinical agencies and therefore the nursing program. Students must have a negative background check and drug screen in order to begin clinical nursing courses. Some health care facilities may not employ individual who have committed certain criminal acts (see Barrier Crimes under Nursing on the PDCCC web site). Students who have positive results from these checks may be prohibited from clinical and may not complete the program.

Please note: The Virginia State Board of Nursing can deny admission to any license or certification examination and refuse to issue a license or certificate to any applicant who has filed false credentials, falsely represented facts on an application for licensure, or has been convicted of any felony or any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.

Withdrawal/Readmission: An exit interview with a nursing faculty member or the lead faculty member is required of all students who withdraw. Students who withdraw because of academic failure may not enroll more than once. Any student wishing to enroll in courses must have at least a 2.5 cumulative and curricular grade point average at PDCCC to be considered. Enrollment must occur within one year to maintain nursing course credits. A student who wishes to enter the nursing curriculum must follow the procedure outlined in the Nursing Student Handbook. The student may be required to enroll in and satisfactory complete specific courses before admission. Students will also have to demonstrate certain competencies and meet health and clinical requirements to be considered to enrollment.

The nursing faculty will consider each student’s application for readmission and the decision to readmit will based on additional data, prior performance in the nursing program, and space availability. Students who fail a nursing course or withdraw for any reason from the nursing program may be readmitted to the nursing program only once. Students who have failed two nursing courses will not be able to enroll in the program within five years. All admissions are at the discretion of the Dean and nursing faculty and based on space availability.

Financial Requirements: In addition to the usual college tuition and fee, this program requires the following estimated expenses:

Uniforms $150
Books $3,000
Health/Physical Examination (Does not include the cost of immunizations, may vary by practitioner/insurance.) $75 – $100
Graduation Pin (cost depends on price of gold or silver)* $50
AHA BCLS CPR Certification (good for two years) $144.65
HESI, used throughout the program, with a live NCLEX-PN exam review at the end of the program $600
NCLEX-PN Exam $200
VA Board of Nursing fee $170
Skills Lab Kit $150
Criminal & Sex Offender Background & Drug Screening Check $133.50

Curriculum Requirements: In addition to formal lectures, laboratory exercises, selected clinical, and community experiences will be scheduled during day and evening shifts depending on availability of facilities. Field trips at additional cost to the student may be included as a course requirement.

In an effort to reduce student fees, students are required to have an electronic device that they can load eBooks onto. The preference for nursing textbooks will be e-books as opposed to the textbook.

The student must complete all general education and related courses either before or concurrent with PN program requirements. To remain in the program, a student must have a “B” or above in all PN course and general education course required for the degree.

Practical Nursing (157)
Required Courses and Credits
Semester 1
SDV 100 or equivalent College Success Skills 1
BIO 145 Basic Human Anatomy and Physiology 4
HLT 143 Medical Terminology I for Health Care Providers 3
PNE 161 Nursing in health Changes I 7
  Total Semester Credits 15
Semester 2
ENG 111 College Composition 1 3
PNE 162 Nursing in Health Changes II 10
PNE 173 Pharmacology for Practical Nurses 2
  Total Semester Credits 15
Semester 3
NPNE 163 Nursing in Health Changes III 9
PNE 196 On Site Training 2
PSY 230 Developmental Psychology 3
PNE 145 Trends in Practical Nursing 1
  Total Semester Credits 15
  Total Required Credits 45

NOTES: Program requirements may change in accordance with federal, state, or industry standards. Contact the lead program faculty or Dean of Nursing and Allied Health for the most current information.