Overview & Employment – Practical Nursing

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Practical Nursing is designed to prepare individuals to work in nursing situations which are relatively stable and unchanging. They are also prepared to assist experienced registered nurses and physicians in nursing situations that are complex and changing. Individuals considering enrollment or currently enrolled in the nursing program should be aware that prior felony convictions may prohibit eligibility for licensure upon completion of the program.

Students should be aware they may need to travel a distance for clinical experience and that some clinical experiences will be scheduled during evening/night hours and weekends. Drug testing may be required by individual agencies. Criminal background checks and adult/dependent abuse checks will be required for all incoming students.Results of the background and abuse checks will be reviewed to determine eligibility for clinical enrollment in the program. Costs for requirements will be the responsibility of the student.

Entrance Requirements

  1. The applicant must complete the application process through the health professions counselor located in the Student Development Office. Entrance requirements include the following criteria:Completion of a high school diploma or equivalency program.
  2. Completion of high school with a grade point average of 2.00 or higher.
  3. Completion of one year of high school Biology with a grade of C or higher, taken in the last five (5) years.
  4. Completion of one year of high school Algebra I with a grade of C or higher, taken in the last five (5) years.
  5. Satisfactory COMPASS assessment test results in reading, writing, and math (these are administered by NIACC).
  6. Approved applicants are accepted into the program based on the date of the application.

Nurse Aide Training

Successfully complete the 75-hour Nurse Aide Training course (HSC-171 and HSC-174) with a grade of C or higher, or provide a current CNA certification care or proof of employment as a CNA (minimum 500 hours).

Applicants who do not meet requirements or those with a poor academic history may meet entrance requirements by successfully completing approved college courses and/or increasing assessment test results in an approved manner. This should be discussed with the health professions counselor.

Course Recommendations

Six semesters of English are recommended prior to applying to the program. Since the NCLEX-PN exam is a computerized test, a computer class is strongly recommended. An application to the Practical Nursing program, high school transcript, GED scores (if applicable), and all college transcripts must be in the applicant’s folder before the Admissions Committee takes action on acceptance into the Practical Nursing program. After acceptance, a physical examination providing evidence of current immunization and sound physical and mental health is required.

Students must successfully complete all course requirements for each semester before enrolling in the next semester.

Students who withdraw from the program must make formal application for reentry and upon acceptance will be considered on a space-available basis. After being accepted into the program, a student may delay entrance into the program no more than one (1) year. A student will be required to reapply to the program after this period of time. Readmission criteria is addressed in the PN Student Handbook. A student may reenter the program one time only.

Students must attain a C grade in all nursing courses and at least a C in prescribed support courses to continue sequential progression in the PN program. However, an overall 2.00 GPA in the prescribed curriculum and a minimum overall cumulative college grade point average of 2.00 is required for graduation from the PN program.

A limited number of Licensed Practical Nurses who meet the following criteria are eligible to enter the Associate Degree Nursing program on a space available basis only during the fall start date for placement in ADN-103, Nursing II.  The student is eligible to begin the application upon completion of ALL prerequisite courses and ALL support courses completed in the first year of the program.  Criteria for entry include:

  • A current, unencumbered license.
  • An ACT composite score of 20.
  • Graduation from an approved Practical Nursing program with a minimum of a C (2.0 GPA) in each nursing course.
  • Completion of ALL ADN prerequisite courses listed with at least a C in each course and a cumulative 2.5 GPA for the four courses.
  • Completion of ALL support courses completed in the first year of the program with a minimum grade of C in each course.  A minimum overall 2.0 NIACC GPA is required to enter the program and must be maintained throughout the program.
  • At least one year must transpire between completion of the PN program and entrance into the ADN program.
  • Required employment within the past two years in an acute or long-term care setting involving medication administration and direct patient care with a least 500 hours of documented employment.  A form verifying hours of employment and skill sets incorporated while employed will be sent to the employer.
  • Participation in a mandatory orientation prior to entering the program.

The application process, entrance requirements and curriculum are provided in the ADN option for Licensed Practical Nurses Brochure

Any transfer student applying for admission, who has been enrolled in a nursing curriculum other than NIACC, will be required to meet with the Division Chair to discuss placement in the curriculum. Course syllabi and clinical site information from the transferring institution will be required for review. The student will also be requested to provide written authorization allowing contact with instructors from the transfer institution regarding class and clinical performance. A letter of reference regarding theory, clinical, and overall student conduct will be required from the chair of health programs at the transfer institution. Information acquired from these contacts will be considered in acceptance and proper placement into a NIACC nursing curriculum.

Further information regarding progression in the ADN program and specific program policies are provided to the ADN student in the individual program handbook distributed during the first ADN class. Students are referred to this handbook throughout the program.

Career Opportunities

Licensed Practical Nurses work indoors for:

    • Hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and other healthcare facilities
    • Health maintenance organizations
    • Private doctors’ offices
    • Public health agencies
    • Home healthcare services
    • Government agencies
    • Welfare and religious organizations
    • Nurses registries and temporary health agencies
    • Private duty

Licensed Practical Nurses work with:

    • Patients and their families
    • Thermometers, stethoscopes, and other medical equipment
    • Bandages, catheters, and other medical supplies
    • Patients’ records and charts
    • Various types of medication
    • Physicians’ orders
    • Appointment books

Gainful Employment

Overview & Employment | Program Information | Curriculum