Dec 05, 2022  
2020-2021 Catalog 
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Practical Nursing Certificate

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The certificate program in Practical Nursing is designed to prepare beginning practitioners for careers as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) with the knowledge and skills to care for clients of all age groups and function as contributing members of the health care team in a variety of health service facilities. At the successful completion of the program, students will be eligible to apply for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) leading to licensure as a practical nurse. The practical nursing program has full approval by the Virginia Board of Nursing. The NCLEX -PN pass rates for the preceding three years are as follows: 2016 - 100%, 2017 - 100%; 2018 - 87.8%; 2019 - 87.50%.

Program Requirements and Special Conditions

Program Application Requirements to Apply for Admission

In addition to the general admission requirements established for the College, minimum standards for entry into the program are:

  1. High school diploma or GED.
  2. Eligibility for ENG 111  by current ESCC placement criteria or completion of developmental English ENF 1 , ENF 2 , ENF 3 . Placement into MTT 4  by current ESCC placement criteria or successful completion of MTE 1-4.
  3. Completion of high school biology or equivalent within five years is highly recommended.
  4. Complete HESI A2 Admission Test for Practical Nurses with an acceptable score.
  5. Current CPR certification at the Basic Life support Health Care Provider level.
  6. Completion of all PNE curriculum courses taken with a grade of “C” or better.
  7. GPA of 2.0 or better for previous college course work taken.
  8. Submission of a program application.
  9. Completion of criminal background check and urine drug screening upon provisional acceptance into the program.
  10. Completion of a physical examination, two step PPD (or chest x-ray if already PPD positive). Immunizations must be up to date including tetanus, MMR or positive titers, varicella or positive titers, Hepatitis B and current flu vaccine.
  11. All developmental courses must be completed before application for admission.
  12. In all PNE courses, students must earn a grade of at least a “C” (which is an 80% average for these courses) to remain in the program.

Admission Sequence

  1. If not enrolled at ESCC, submit an application for admission, along with high school transcript or proof of GED and official transcript of any previous college work.
  2. Complete placement testing.
  3. Submit Practical Nursing application. Admission to the Practical Nursing Program must be achieved before PNE 161 - Nursing in Health Changes I  and subsequent PNE courses can be taken. The general education courses, PNE 155 - Body Structure and Function  and PNE 116 - Normal Nutrition  may be taken prior to Practical Nursing Program admission.  PNE 155 , PNE 116  must have been taken within five years of application to be accepted by the Practical Nursing Program unless approved by the program director. Courses must be taken in the appropriate sequence.
  4. Take the HESI A2 Admission Test for Practical Nursing and achieve an acceptable score. A fee must accompany the testing.
  5. Students are encouraged to take program general education courses in the curriculum prior to PN program application.
  6. Applicants selected are offered provisional acceptance until completion of criminal background check, physical examination, and submission of immunization records.

Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities who meet the program prerequisites, complete the physical and mental exams, and submit the physical form signed by the physician stating that they are able to perform as practical nurses in the clinical setting are eligible for admission. It is the responsibility of the student to meet the physical, mental and legal requirements for state licensure as practical nurses.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Apply nursing concepts based on bio-psycho-social cultural and spiritual aspects of individual patients across the life span.

Program Curriculum and Suggested Sequence of Courses

Total Credits For Program: 50

Plan 157

Notes and Additional Curriculum Options

  • The nursing law of Virginia addresses criteria for application for nursing licensure. The Virginia Board of Nursing has the power to deny the opportunity to become licensed through testing if the applicant has committed a felony/misdemeanor violating the provisions of 54-367.32 of the Code of Virginia. A student’s eligibility to take the PN licensing exam cannot be determined until application for licensure is received by the State Board of Nursing. Some health care facilities may not employ individuals or allow students to participate in clinical experiences in their facilities who have committed certain criminal acts. Any student that has committed any illegal offenses other than minor traffic violations should discuss these matters with the program director for further clarification
  • Students are responsible for their own transportation to off-campus facilities for clinical experiences.
  • Students must receive a grade of “C” or better in all PNE courses to remain in the PN program.
  • Students must maintain an overall grade point average of 2.0 or better.
  • Students are responsible for costs necessary for program completion such as required testing fees, liability insurance, uniforms, stethoscopes, nursing pins, books, criminal history and sex offender crimes against minors background checks.
  • Students must complete a drug dosage calculation test with the score of 80% or greater at the completion of NUR 135 - Drug Dosage Calculations  to remain in the PN program.
  • Students must complete program requirements that exist at the time of program entry.
  • Students must be certified in CPR at the health care provider level prior to entering the program; PELL will NOT cover this course for the PN program.


Courses in this program may help students attain the following license(s) or certification(s):

  • Practical Nurse, Virginia Board of Nursing

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