This associate's degree, Practical Nursing major is designed to be completed within five semesters. Pre-nursing students complete related AAS course requirements during the first two semesters to be considered for acceptance into the major. The curriculum prepares graduates to enter the field of practical nursing or to continue their nursing education at the associate or baccalaureate level. Graduates who successfully complete the major are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Exam for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) and work under the direction of a licensed registered 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 and simulation lab experiences in theory and basic nursing skills are 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. Those wishing to enter this major in preparation for continuing into the associate's or bachelor's degree major can read more about our LPN to RN option.

Career Opportunities

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.

Recommended High School Subjects

Students will need to meet Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing (PA SBON) requirement for nursing programs. These requirements include standard high school coursework 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)
  • 2 units of Science with a related laboratory or the equivalent

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 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.

Special Equipment Needs

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 the estimated expenses and equipment costs for a complete 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. 

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

Remediation Strategies

Students must complete all required remediation in math, English, and reading prior to being considered for selection into the major.

Transfer Procedures

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.

Program Goals

A graduate of this major should be able to:
  • Demonstrate behaviors of accountability and professionalism according to legal and ethical standards for a competent LPN; (Professional Behavior)
  • Demonstrate a caring, empathetic approach to safe, therapeutic, and individualized care to clients of diverse ages, religions, and socioeconomic, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds; (Consumer-Centered Care)
  • Collaborate with the RN and other members of the healthcare team to develop, implement, re-inforce and evaluate patient and family teaching across the life span; (Teaching and Learning)
  • Collaborate with RNs and other members of the healthcare team to organize and incorporate assessment data to plan, revise, and reinforce patient care, teaching, actions based on established nursing diagnoses, nursing protocols, assessments, and evaluation data; (Nursing Process)
  • Collect holistic assessment data from multiple sources, communicate data to appropriate health care providers, and evaluate client response to interventions.; (Infomatics)
  • Effectively communicate with patients, significant support person(s), and members of the interprofessional health care team, incorporating interpersonal and therapeutic communication skills; and (Communication)
  • Use current scientific knowledge, mathematical skills, and technical skills to implement patient care at the direction of RN, physician, or dentist through performance of nursing interventions or directing aspects of care, as appropriate, to unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP). (Evidence-Based Practice)

Performance Standards

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


First Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
FYE101 First Year Experience 1 .50 1.50 S REQ
MNA Math Elective (MTH124 or Higher) 3   S MNA
BIO115 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4 3 3 S REQ
ENL111 English Composition I 3 3 S REQ
FIT Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1   S FIT
Second Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
CSC124 Information, Technology, and Society 3 3 S REQ
PSY111 General Psychology 3 3 S REQ
MTR100 Medical Terminology Survey 1 1 S REQ
ENL121 English Composition II 3 3 S REQ
ENL201 Technical and Professional Communication 3 3 S REQ
SPC Speech Elective 14   S SPC
BIO125 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4 3 3 S REQ
Third Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
NUR156 Fundamentals of Practical Nursing 7 4 6 M REQ
NUR158 Adult Health Nursing I 7 4 6 M REQ
Fourth Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
NUR168 Adult Health Nursing II 16 8 8 M REQ
Fifth Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
NUR177 Maternal/Newborn Nursing 3 2 M REQ
NUR179 Child Health Nursing Concepts 3 2 M REQ
NUR178 Adult Health Nursing III 6 4 M REQ

Notice of Conviction

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.


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.