Nursing (NR)

(Effective Fall 2016)

This curriculum prepares graduates to assume beginning staff nurse positions in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health related institutions. Upon successful completion of the major, the graduate is eligible to take the registered nurse licensing examination (NCLEX-RN). With work experience and continuing education, the graduate may develop the ability to assume responsibility for administering or directing the health care of a group of patients/clients. This curriculum provides the foundation for a baccalaureate degree in nursing.

Advanced placement is available for qualified licensed practical nurses. Upon completion of additional required related courses, the licensed practical nurse may complete requirements for an associate's degree in nursing within two or three semesters. Advanced placement is not guaranteed into this major due to limited seat capacity and special admissions requirements noted below. 

Career Opportunities

Graduates find jobs in hospitals, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, state and federal health related facilities, private duty nursing agencies, and within the office practice of physicians, surgeons, and dentists.

Recommended High School Subjects

Prepare extensively in oral and written communication skills; take math every year, including Algebra II; science every year, including one year of chemistry (with lab and grade of 'C' or better) and one year of human anatomy and physiology; social studies every year, psychology recommended; score at least proficient on the State PSSA assessment in Writing, Mathematics, and Reading.

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 special admissions information. Applicants not having a 'C' or better in high school chemistry with a lab (within the past 10 years) must pass either CHM 100, CHM 108, or an adult education chemistry course at an approved high school prior to admission.

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 Bookstore); uniform, white lab coat, comfortable shoes (solid colored white, black, or navy), student nurse patch; and various smaller items. Refer to the estimated expenses and equipment costs list.

Technical Requirements

Operating Systems:
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 mnner. 

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)

Remediation Strategies

Any deficiencies identified from placement testing must be remediated prior to admission to the Nursing curriculum.

Transfer Procedures

Graduates of this major can transfer to Penn College's BSN major. This major is subject to the transfer standards established by the College. Exceptions must be approved by the school dean.

Official transcripts must be sent to Penn College's Admissions office.  The College may also request an official high school transcript or an official GED score report.  For Fall acceptances, transcripts MUST be recieved by June 1.  Students transferring from nursing programs at other colleges will have their nursing credits evaluated by Nursing Program Administration after acceptance into the major. 

International health credentials/licensure, sciences courses, and most math courses will not be accepted to satisfy requirements of this major. Please see additional information for international students applying to Health Sciences majors.

Program Goals

A graduate of this major should be able to:

  • practice professional behaviors when functioning in the nursing role with consumers, interdisciplinary team members, members of the profession, and society-at-large.
  • manage consumer-centered care effectively when providing care to persons of all ages and developmental levels with diverse cultural, ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • formulate individualized consumer-centered health teaching.
  • display effective use of the nursing process while providing caring nursing interventions to health care consumers.
  • select appropriate informatics to provide high quality nursing care.
  • display effective modes of communication with consumers, support persons, and interdisciplinary health care team members.
  • use evidence-based practice in the delivery of caring nursing interventions.

Performance Standards

All nursing students are required to maintain a graduation grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 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 Nursing, Health, Biology and Chemistry courses.  If a lower grade is earned in any of these courses, the course must be repeated. 


First SemesterCredits
FYE101First Year Experience 1 
NUR182Foundations of Nursing 8 
BIO115Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4 
PSY111General Psychology 3 
ENL111English Composition I 3 
Second SemesterCredits
NUR184Adult Medical-Surgical Nursing I 6 
BIO125Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4 
MNAMath Elective (MTH124 or Higher) 3 
PSY203Developmental Psychology 3 
Summer SessionCredits
CMMCommunication Elective 3 
Third SemesterCredits
NUR214Adult Medical-Surgical Nursing II 5 
NUR270Childbearing Nursing 3 
NUR271Nursing Care of Children 3 
NUR287Essentials of Pharmacology 2 
NUR274Topics in Nursing 2 
BIO201Microbiology 4 
FITFitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1 
Fourth SemesterCredits
NUR229Adult Medical-Surgical Nursing III 5 
NUR270Childbearing Nursing 3 
NUR271Nursing Care of Children 3 
NUR272Psychosocial Nursing 3 
CSC124Information, Technology, and Society 3 

The sequence presented above for NUR270 and NUR271 may be reversed.

Notice of Conviction

Child abuse clearance and criminal background checks are required by some agencies involved in fieldwork and/or capstones. 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 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 associate degree in Nursing is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. For further information, contact the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) at 3343 Peachtree Rd. NE, Suite 850, Atlanta GA 30326; 404-975-5000.