This 17-month major is designed to prepare graduates to enter the field of practical nursing or to continue their education at the associate or baccalaureate level. Graduates who successfully complete the program are eligible to take the Practical Nursing licensing exam (NCLEX-PN) and work under the direction of a licensed professional nurse, licensed physician, or dentist.
Practical Nursing education is a process through which the student has the opportunity to acquire knowledge, skills, attitudes, and judgment in order to provide safe nursing care. Classroom instruction in theory and basic nursing skills is provided on campus. Clinical experiences are obtained at area hospitals, nursing homes, and health care agencies. Under the guidance of College faculty, students gain valuable experience in the care of clients of all ages.
About the curriculum
View the classes you will be attending in the College Catalog.
Accreditation & Industry Connections
The AAS Practical Nursing major is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and has full approval 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.
The AAS practical nursing major was evaluated for re-accreditation by ACEN in September, 2015 and was compliant in all ACEN standards and received continuing accreditation through fall 2023.
Graduates of the program find jobs in a variety of health care settings, such as: hospitals, extended care facilities, home health agencies, state and federal health related facilities, private duty nursing and in physician and dentist office private settings. Completion of this major and earning an associate of applied science degree could help graduates advance within an organization, enjoy more job related options or have a competitive advantage for jobs or promotions.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses was $45,030 in May 2017. The top 10 percent earned more than $61,030.
Industries with the highest published employment for this occupation are:
|Industry||Employment||Hourly mean wage||Annual mean wage|
|Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)||208,740||$22.61||$47,030|
|Offices of Physicians||94,610||$20.42||$42,470|
|General Medical and Surgical Hospitals||91,770||$21.23||$44,150|
|Home Health Care Services||88,480||$22.27||$46,320|
|Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly||50,960||$22.46||$46,710|
Statistics reported in May 2017
Special Admissions Requirements
Students will have earned a GED credential, or High School Diploma and completed work equal to a standard high school course with a minimum of 16 units, including 4 units of English, 3 units of social studies, 2 units of mathematics (1 of which is algebra) and 2 units of science with a related laboratory or the equivalent. Students who do not meet these requirements can work with a college advisor to prepare for the major. Students must meet technical standards established by the School of Health Sciences and the Nursing Program. One criteria required for selection into the nursing major is the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS exam). Prospective students can register for the TEAS exam by creating an account at www.atitesting.com and purchasing the TEAS exam through the ATI Testing online store. The TEAS exam is offered at Pennsylvania College of Technology several times each semester. See the ATI Testing online store for other testing dates and locations. Students may take the TEAS exam up to three times, with a minimum of 30 days between attempts, in a one year time period. The TEAS exam score is valid for one year. Applicants with less than 12 college credits will be evaluated for selection into the major based upon the high school selection criteria. Please refer to the special admission information for a complete list of selection admission criteria.
All practical nursing students are required to maintain a graduation grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 quality points to remain in the major. Students with less than a 2.0 GPA will be placed on academic probation as stated in the college catalog. In addition, all students must earn a “C” (2.0) or higher in all NUR and BIO courses; if a lower grade is earned in any of these courses, the course must be repeated.
The grading system for health sciences is applied to all nursing courses in the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Practical Nursing. There is no rounding of grades.
B = 80-89.99
C = 75-79.99
F = 74.99 and below
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 1st. Students transferring from other Colleges will have their nursing credits evaluated by Penn College nursing officials after acceptance into the major.
Tools, Uniforms & Supplies
PLATO is a web-based system that is fully certified to work with Windows and MAC Operating Systems.
The fully supported browsers for PLATO are: Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Safari
Internet Connection Speed:
A high-speed internet connection is highly recommended in order to avoid problems with course content loading on your computer in a timely manner.
Desktop or Laptop Computer (Windows 7 or higher, MAC OSX 10.4 or higher recommended)
Internet Connection (cable or DSL heavily recommended)
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
Headset with Microphone suggested
Additional plug-ins may be required (Information Technology Services - Student Help Desk available for assistance)
Special Equipment Needs
Students accepted into the AAS Practical Nursing major will incur expenses for tools/instruments, lab supplies, uniforms, malpractice insurance, clearances and certifications, etc. Refer to the estimated expenses and equipment costs list.
Some items are available for purchase through The College Store.
Clubs & Activities
Notice of Conviction
Child abuse clearance and criminal background checks are required by some agencies involved in clinical practice experiences. Agencies can bar students from their sites if a criminal record exists or a positive drug test is noted. By virtue of contract for Penn College students to be at clinical sites, agencies have the right to ask for random drug testing. Inability to gain clinical or fieldwork or intern education experiences results in inability to meet program objectives and 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.
Nursing Advisory Committee
- 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. Patricia A Campbell, Director, Outpatient Nursing and Coordinator Nursing Affiliations, Geisinger Medical Center
- 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
- Mr. James Haywood, Business Consultant, PA CareerLink
- Ms. Gaye Jenkins, M.Ed., '96, '97, Academic Specialist, WATCH
- Ms. Susan Kemmerer, BSN, RN, '92, '00, Care Coordinator, Geisinger Home Health & Hospice
- Mr. Gerald A Kriner, '80, Executive Assistant, Senate of Pennsylvania
- 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
Advisory committees, which act as recommending bodies to the faculty and administration, consist of in-field professionals who act as partners in the development of curriculum. Their curricular and equipment advice as well as their industry connections and internship opportunities are invaluable to our students and to the growth of our institution.