Practical Nursing Certificate


Practical Nurse Program (PNC)

College of Saint Mary has a program for the preparation of practical nurses. The practical nurse program is a full-time, 12-month, calendar year program leading to a certificate. Students will take general education support courses that will enhance the understanding of the practical nursing courses in the classroom and the clinical setting. Graduates of the practical nurse program will be able to provide direct nursing care to individuals with common health needs within a structured health care setting under the direction and supervision of a registered nurse or physician. Upon completion of the program, graduates are qualified to take the National Council of State Board of Nursing (NCLEX-PN) examination for practical nursing.

Practical Nurse Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the PN Program, the student will:

  1. Recognize abnormal alterations in clients across the life span.
  2. Contribute to health assessment, establishing nursing diagnoses, the development of individualized care plans, implementing the care plan, and evaluating the patient’s response to nursing interventions.
  3. Utilize nursing care plans as they relate to selected alterations in care of the individual client.
  4.  Apply therapeutic communication skills in interactions with the client and health care team.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the legal, ethical, and professional responsibilities related to the role of a practical nurse.
  6. Apply the principles of human growth and development in client care across the life span.
  7. Contribute to patient education as directed by the registered nurse consistent with the identified learning needs of individuals, families, and groups.
  8. Incorporate cultural and spiritual diversity principles while providing individualized nursing care.
  9. Implement basic management principles when working with members of the interdisciplinary treatment team.
Criteria for Admission
  1. High School graduate with GPA of 2.0 or GED with appropriate signatures.
  2. Official transcripts from all colleges attended.
  3. Completion of ENG 101.
  4. If transferring in A&P courses they must have been successfully completed within the last 5 years.
  5. Completion and documentation of an active and unencumbered CNA license.
  6. Completion and documentation of current BLS - CPR card endorsed by the American Heart Association (AHA) specifically for the health care provider. 
  7. From October through March applications will be reviewed for admission. Final review of applications will occur in March pending available spots in the program. Scoring rubrics and guides will be utilized on the criteria below to determine the top candidates for PNC admission. Completion of the following recommended coursework and having a cumulative GPA above 2.5 provides a competitive advantage to an application:
  8. Prior to program start:
    1. Meet Core Performance Standards (Policy 1.2) and Nursing Program Requirements (Policy 1.3)
    2. Completed health record, including immunizations and laboratory results, background check and drug screen.
  9. A personal interview may be requested by the Program Director.

Supporting Courses

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Sub-Total Credits

Prerequisite Course(s) to be taken before starting PN program:

ENG 099: (if needed by placement test)

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Sub-Total Credits

Some courses may be counted in more than one category. The student must still complete the specific total hours for graduation by taking additional electives.
Developmental courses cannot be counted toward graduation requirements.

Total Credits