Health Arts: Practical Nursing Emphasis

Associate of Applied Science Degree (A.A.S.)
Nursing student

About this program

You set your sights on a career in nursing. You’re motivated to give back. And driven to care for others. At Penn College, you’ll meet your passion head-on with our comprehensive practical nursing program. Delivered by dedicated masters-prepared faculty, coursework includes 900+ hours of hands-on training in labs, classrooms, and clinical experiences. When you’re done, you’ll be well-prepared to take the Practical Nursing licensing exam (NCLEX-PN).

Special Admissions Requirements

A limited number of seats are available in this program. That’s why we rely on special admissions requirements to select applicants with the highest potential for success. Entry into the program is competitive. There are a number of pathways to earn your seat including, but not limited to, TEAS, SAT, or ACT scores.

Read more about the selection criteria →

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3

Semesters of Nursing Coursework

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900+

Hours of Hands-On Learning

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100%

NCLEX-PN Performance Exam First-Time Pass Rate; National Average is 85.76%

Careers

  • Extended-care facilities
  • Home health agencies
  • Private duty nursing
  • Physician/dentist offices
  • Hospital acute care settings
Courses

At Penn College, we believe your educational experience should go beyond specialized skills. Real-world ready means taking a broader approach that builds communication skills, inspires collaboration, and encourages exploration of arts, history, and science.

​​Specialization requires in-depth knowledge and high-level proficiency. Students learn and apply major-specific concepts, skills, and methods.

  • Fundamentals of Practical Nursing (NUR156)
  • Adult Health Nursing I (NUR158)
  • Adult Health Nursing II (NUR168)
  • Maternal/Newborn Nursing (NUR177)
  • Child Health Nursing Concepts (NUR179)
  • Adult Health Nursing III (NUR178)

​Perspectives are points of view, offering a variety of ways of understanding, interacting, and influencing the world. Students identify, explain, and utilize the approaches used by academics and professionals to study, analyze, or understand problems, and offer solutions.

  • First Year Experience (FYE101)
  • Math Elective (MTH124 or Higher) (MNA)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO115)
  • Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective (FIT)
  • General Psychology (PSY111)
  • Medical Terminology Survey (MTR100)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology II (BIO125)

​​Foundations are the practical, intellectual, and social skills: communication, collaboration, critical and ethical thinking, quantitative thinking, and technological literacy that are crucial to every student at every stage of education and at every stage of life.

  • English Composition I (ENL111)
  • Information, Technology, and Society (CSC124)
  • English Composition II (ENL121) or
  • Technical and Professional Communication (ENL201) or
  • Speech Elective (SPC)
Facilities

Advanced Learning Labs

Gain valuable hands-on skills working in six different nursing labs outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment including a series of high fidelity patient simulators: Nursing Anne, SimBaby™, SimJunior®, SimMan® 3G, SimMan® ALS, and SimMom®.

Student Experience

"The classroom and clinical instructors did more than prepare and educate me – they inspired and motivated me. They made me think outside of the box, helping mold me into the nurse leader I am today."

Andrea Reed, Director of Nursing, UPMC Susquehanna Muncy

Nursing

Industry Partners

Work with experts to become an expert

Penn College's strong partnerships impact every step of your journey – from your first day in the classroom and labs, to career placement (oftentimes before graduation) and beyond.

UPMC Susquehanna
Geisinger
Evangelical Community Hospital
Related Programs

Follow your passion

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Nursing, Completion

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Nursing, Traditional

Bachelor of Science Degree (B.S.) 

Student Life

Lead and put your skills to the test

Student Nurses’ Association (SNA)

The SNA’s mission is to explore professional growth, promote mutual respect in collaboration between the different levels of nursing, and serve as a channel for the exchange of ideas to promote holistic health and provide for both patient and student education.

Student Organizations at Penn College

Your college experience is about more than the classroom. Join one of 65+ clubs and organizations, or create your own.

News
04.28.2020

Nursing employee inventively enlists ‘patient’ spouse

A staff member in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s nursing program was just trying things out, experimenting with what ...

04.16.2020

Nursing student helps bolster hometown hospital’s ER staff

Pennsylvania College of Technology nursing student Connor J. Burke, of St. Clair, is among many in the Penn College family who ...

01.29.2020

Penn College provides varied pathways to nursing career

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s nursing program answers a national call to support nurses who seek academic and career ...

Study Abroad

Gain global experience

Explore the field of nursing beyond the classroom with international learning experiences to Guatemala and Belarus.

Learn More

Clinical Experience

Your knowledge in practice

Get career defining exposure to diverse specialties through clinical experiences at all types of healthcare facilities within a one-hour radius of campus. As a Practical Nursing student, you’ll further define your specialization with a preceptorship experience at a facility of your choice.

Dual Degree

Take two

Dual Degree

Students have the option of dual majoring in the Pre-LPN to RN associate degree program once they are accepted into the Health Arts Practical Nursing major.

Learn more

Student Experience

The community as their classroom

Nursing students host cancer fundraiser

The Student Nurses’ Association teamed up with six other campus organizations and Student Activities to raise about $1,800 at Tuesday’s “Penn College for a Cure” cancer benefit walk. 

Learn more

Accreditation

The Health Arts: Practical Nursing Emphasis is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. For further information, contact ACEN at 3343 Peachtree Rd. NE, Suite 850, Atlanta GA 30326; 404-975-5000.

More Information

The Health Arts: Practical Nursing Emphasis major is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. For further information, contact ACEN at 3343 Peachtree Rd. NE, Suite 850, Atlanta GA 30326; 404-975-5000.

Student Achievement Outcome Data

Anyone desiring entrance into this major must first gain admission to Penn College. Acceptance into this selective admission major is based upon additional requirements beyond College admission. Details are available on the Special Admissions Criteria and Process webpage.

All students offered a seat in this major are required to maintain a math/science grade calculation of 2.0 or greater and a cumulative graduation GPA of 2.25 or greater prior to entering the first nursing course. If a student does not maintain the required grade calculations, the student will relinquish his/her seat and be placed into the pre-nursing major. Re-selection into the major will be required during the next selection period and will follow the current selective admission criteria. In addition, all students must earn a “C” (2.0) or greater in all NUR and BIO courses; if a lower grade is earned in any of these courses, the course must be repeated.

The following grading system is applied to all nursing courses in this major. There is no rounding of grades: 

A = 90-100
B = 80-89.99
C = 75-79.99
F = 74.99 and below

Child abuse clearances and criminal background checks are required for this major as established by clinical affiliation agreements. Agencies can prohibit students from participating in clinical experiences at their sites if a criminal record exists or a positive drug test is noted. By virtue of contract for Pennsylvania College of Technology students to be at clinical sites, agencies have the right to ask for random drug testing. Inability to complete clinical, fieldwork, or intern educational experiences will result in the inability to meet program and course outcomes. For additional clarification, students can speak with their program director.

The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing advises that a drug-related conviction and/or conviction of a felonious act or two misdemeanors might result in denial and/or revocation of a license to practice nursing. In accordance with the Professional Nurse Law, Act of 1951, P.L. 317, No. 69, as amended, the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing shall not issue a license to an applicant who has been convicted of a felonious act prohibited by the Act known as "The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act" or convicted of a felony relating to a controlled substance in a court of law of the United States or any other state, territory or country unless at least 10 years have elapsed from the date of the conviction.

Transfer standards established by the College require a minimum of a “C” in transfer courses. Official transcripts must be sent to the Penn College Admissions office. The College may also request official high school transcripts or an official GED score report. For fall acceptance, transcripts need to be received by June 1. Students transferring from other Colleges will have their nursing credits evaluated by Penn College nursing officials after acceptance into the major.

View general transfer information

Alternative Credit refers to academic credits earned through means other than traditional college course completion, including: credit by exam, articulation, proof of competency gained in high school, work/life experience, and advanced placement.

Visit the Alternative Credit Options page for requirements and procedures and for information on credit through Advanced Placement.

Students in this major are expected to purchase a dual head stethoscope, a custom nursing kit (must be purchased at the College Store), uniforms, malpractice insurance, medical insurance, clearances, certifications, and various smaller items. Refer to equipment and estimated cost list.

Technical Requirements

Laptop Computer Required (Windows 7 or higher, MAC OSX 10.4 or higher recommended) 

  • Intel Core i5 or i7 (generation 5 or higher) processor (recommended)
  • 4+ GB RAM (recommended)
  • 250+ GB Solid State Disk (SSD) drive (recommended)
  • Webcam and microphone
  • Internet Connection (cable or DSL highly recommended)
  • Additional plug-ins may be required (Information Technology Services - Student Help Desk available for assistance)

*Chromebooks and other devices running ChromeOS are prohibited 

Operating Systems:
P.L.A.T.O. (Platform for Learning and Teaching Online) is Penn College's implementation of Desire2Learn/Brightspace LMS. It is a Web-based course management system that allows instructors to post course materials online, facilitate course communication, gauge student progress, and extend learning beyond the classroom. 

Browsers:
The fully supported browsers for PLATO are: Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari

Some items are available for purchase through The College Store.

  • Program Review Executive Summary

  • Students must meet Essential Functions for Nursing established by the Nursing Program, as well as health and safety requirements including, but not limited to, immunizations (MMR, hepatitis B, varicella, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, annual influenza vaccination, PPD), medical examination, 10 panel drug screen, CPR certification, and background clearances as established by clinical affiliation agreements.
  • Ms. Sharon Adams, RN, BSN, Manager, Patient Care ED & M/S Unit, UPMC Susquehanna
  • Ms. Lori A Berger, RN, BSN, '89, Director of Nursing Education, Evangelical Community Hospital
  • Ms. Cinde L Bower-Stout, RN, '94, Level 1 Heart Attack Nurse Coordinator, Geisinger Medical Center
  • Ms Jennifer K Flick, MSN, RN, PCCN, '09, Adjunct Clinical Instructor, Pennsylvania College of Technology
  • Ms Stephanie Fry, RN, Director of Nursing, The Williamsport Home
  • Ms. Juliann W Gombosi, Director of Nursing Education/Clinical Practice, UPMC Susquehanna
  • Ms. Kathy Harris, RN, BSN, MHA, '00, '13, Manager of Compliance/Quality Outcomes, UPMC Susquehanna
  • Ms. Susan Kemmerer, BSN, RN, '92, '00, Nurse Manager, Geisinger Home Health & Hospice
  • Mr. Gerald A Kriner, '80, Executive Assistant, Senate of Pennsylvania
  • Ms Kerri S Kubalak, Career Coordinator, Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, WATCH Project
  • Ms. Tammy E Lucas-Coleman, RN, CNDLTC, '04, Director of Nursing, The Williamsport Home
  • Ms. Andrea Reed, '06, '07, Nurse Manager, UPMC Susquehanna
  • Ms. Lou Ann Simpson, RN, BSN, '92, '01, Director of Nursing, Valley View Nursing Center
  • Ms. Jane Thompson, Health, Nutrition, Fitness Coordinator, Step Office of Aging