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College Catalog: Health Sciences: Practical Nursing

Program: Practical Nursing
Award: Certificate
Plan Code: 157
Length: 44 credit hours, 3 semesters
Lead Faculty: Laurel Pope

Gainful Employment Disclosure Information: Please see www.pdc.edu/future-students/gainful-employment/ to access gainful employment information for this program.

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…

  • Utilize a caring therapeutic relationship to demonstrate sensitivity to human needs.
  • Incorporate knowledge of cultural diversity and spirituality across the life span in the plan of nursing care.
  • Contribute to the nursing process by integrating critical thinking techniques when responding to nursing situations within the scope of LPN practice.
  • Provide a supportive and protective nursing environment at the direction on the RN or other appropriate healthcare professional.
  • Apply principles of teaching/learning in the promotion, restoration and maintenance of health.
  • Uses nursing knowledge, skills, and current technology provide and promote safe nursing practice.
  • Demonstrate responsibility and accountability in the management and delegation of patient care in selected health care setting.
  • Communicate effectively with clients, families and health team members through written, verbal and electronic modes.
  • Demonstrate responsibility and accountability for own nursing practice and care delegated by practicing within the profession’s ethical and legal framework.
  • Assumes responsibility for professional growth, self-development, and lifelong learning.
  • Pass the NECLEX-PN Examination at or above 80%.
  • Assume an entry level LPN position in the health care setting.

NCLEX-PN Scores

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 application take and pass the Kaplan Entrance Exam prior to admission. Applicants must score in the 43rd percentile of each component of the test. The test can be taken once a semester. The test is scheduled with the Nursing/Allied Health Programs secretary.
  • 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 February 26.  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
  • Results of Kaplan Entrance Exam

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 who also have been enrolled at PDCCC as part of a nursing program approved dual enrollment program. Interested high school sophomores should see their counselors in the spring of the sophomore year Interested juniors should see their counselors in the fall junior year. All dually enrolled students interested in the PDCCC nursing program must have their program of study approved in writing by PDCCC nursing lead faculty member.

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 and course outlines including: maintaining current CPR certification as designated, good academic standing by maintaining cumulative 2.5 GPA, satisfactory clinical performance, satisfactory physical and mental health, documentation of certain immunizations, and suitable demeanor and attendance. In fact, an attendance policy is in effect for both class and clinical experience. Students must pass each curricular PN course to proceed to the next course. Students must pass pharmacology and calculation test, designated clinical skills testing, and demonstrate clinical competence in PN course with clinical components. Any student who receives a final grade lower than “C” in any of the courses in PN or biology will not be permitted to continue in the PN program. In order to resume PN courses, students must write a letter of request to the program lead faculty member. Students will have day and evening clinical experience. Students are also responsible for additional fees charged for required testing, uniforms, books, criminal history and sex offender crimes against minor’s background checks, and drug screening. An estimated cost of the background check and drug screening is $130 (cost is students responsibility).

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 PN Nursing Students 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. All admissions are at the discretion of 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 $75
Graduation Pin (cost depends on price of gold or silver)* $50
AHA BCLS CPR Certification (good for two years) $144.65
Kaplan, 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 $130

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.

Clinical nursing students must successfully pass standardized content specific test at various points in the curriculum in order to progress in the program. Students who are unsuccessful will be counseled and guiled in required remediation. Upon successful completion of remediation requirements and passing appropriate level standardized testing, a student may progress to the next clinical course.

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 “C” or above in all PN course and general education course required for the degree.

Practical Nursing (157)
Required Courses and Credits
Schedule
Semester 1
SDV 100 or equivalent College Success Skills 1
BIO 142 Human Anatomy Physiology II 4
PNE 146 Fundamentals of Practical Nursing 6
PNE 174 Applied Pharmacology for Practical Nurses 2
  Total Semester Credits 13
Semester 2
BIO 150 Introductory Microbiology 4
PSY 201 or equivalent Introduction to Psychology 3
PNE 151 Medical-Surgical I 4
PNE 158 Mental Health 2
PNE 173 Pharmacology for Practical Nurses 2
  Total Semester Credits 15
Semester 3
ENG 111 College Composition 1 3
PSY 230 or equivalent Developmental Psychology 3
PNE 135 Maternal and Child Health Nursing 5
PNE 145 Trends in Practical Nursing 1
PNE 152 Medical-Surgical II 4
  Total Semester Credits 16
  Total Credits 44

The wellness requirement is an integral part of the nursing curriculum. Health and disease, health promotion, preventive behavior, nutrition, and community health are all addressed within the curriculum in the following PNE classes: 146, 173, 151, 135, 145, 158, and 152.

BCLS CPR certification is a preadmission requirement for the practical nursing program. Students also maintain current BCLS CPR certification throughout the 3 semester program.

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.