Health Arts: Practical Nursing Emphasis (HN)

(Effective Fall 2011)

This associate degree program is designed to be completed within 5 semesters. Prenursing students complete related AAS course requirements in the first two semesters to be included in the selective admission process for possible acceptance into the program. 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 program are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Exam for Practical Nursing (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 Advanced Placement option.

Career Opportunities

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.

Recommended High School Subjects

Students studying Practical Nursing via the Health Arts curriculum will need to meet Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing (PA SBON) requirements for Practical Nursing programs. These requirements include four units of high school English, three units of Social Studies, two units of Mathematics (one of which is Algebra, and two units of Science with a related lab or the equivalent).

Special Admissions Requirements

Acceptance into this competitive major is based on an admissions ranking process. To view detailed information on acceptance criteria, testing requirements, performance expectations, and the admissions ranking system, consult the certificate and associate of applied science degree practical nursing special admissions ranking information.

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.

Remediation Strategies

All students entering the major without prior college-level English and mathematical classes will be tested for deficiencies, and will be required to remediate the deficiencies prior to acceptance. Any reading deficiency also must be remediated prior to acceptance.

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 1st. 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.
  • Demonstrate a caring, empathetic approach to safe, therapeutic, and individualized care to clients of diverse ages, religions, and socioeconomic, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Collect holistic assessment data from multiple sources, communicate data to appropriate health care providers, and evaluate client response to interventions.
  • Effectively communicate with patients, significant support person(s), and members of the interprofessional health care team, incorporating interpersonal and therapeutic communication skills.
  • 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).

Performance Standards

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, HTH, BIO, and MTH 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.

A = 93-100
B = 85-92.99
C = 75-84.99
F = 74.99 and below

Curriculum

First SemesterCredits
FYE101First Year Experience 1 
NUR155Introduction to Practical Nursing Concepts 14 
BIO115Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4 
ENL111English Composition I 3 
TOTAL CREDITS 22
Second SemesterCredits
NUR165Nursing Care of Adults I 16 
BIO125Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4 
MNAMath Elective (MTH124 or Higher) 3 
TOTAL CREDITS 23
Third SemesterCredits
NUR175Nursing Care of Adults II 6 
NUR176Maternal Child Health Nursing 6 
PSY111General Psychology 3 
FITFitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1 
TOTAL CREDITS 16
Fourth SemesterCredits
HTHDirected Health Arts Electives 5 
CMMCommunication Elective 3 
CSC124Information, Technology, and Society 3 
GEAGeneral Elective 3 
TOTAL CREDITS 14

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.

Accreditation

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.