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 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.
Graduates 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 $46,240 in May 2018. The top 10 percent earned more than $62,160.
Industries with the highest published employment for this occupation are:
|Industry||Employment||Hourly mean wage||Annual mean wage|
|Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)||210,850||$23.24||$48,330|
|Offices of Physicians||90,830||$20.79||$43,240|
|General Medical and Surgical Hospitals||89,760||$21.73||$45,190|
|Home Health Care Services||89,530||$23.02||$47,880|
|Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly||51,370||$23.01||$47,850|
Statistics reported in May 2018
Special Admissions Requirements
Students who do not meet the recommended high school subjects can work with a college advisor to prepare for the major. 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 selective admission criteria.
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:
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 1. Students transferring from other Colleges will have their nursing credits evaluated by Penn College nursing officials after acceptance into the major.
Tools, Uniforms & Supplies
Students accepted into this major will incur expenses for tools/instruments, a custom nursing kit (can be purchased at the College Store), uniforms, malpractice insurance, clearances, certifications, etc. Refer to equipment and estimated cost list.
Desktop or Laptop Computer (Windows 7 or higher, MAC OSX 10.4 or higher recommended)
Internet Connection (cable or DSL heavily recommended)
Additional plug-ins may be required (Information Technology Services - Student Help Desk available for assistance)
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
Some items are available for purchase through The College Store.
Clubs & Activities
Notice of Conviction
Students must meet technical standards 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.
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.
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, Nurse Manager, 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.