Allied Health & Sciences
Certificate awarded: Practical Nursing
The Practical Nursing (PN) certificate program prepares graduates for entry into the nursing profession as a practical nurse and work under the direction of a licensed registered nurse, licensed physician or dentist. The program is offered at the Monroe and Bethlehem campus locations.
Graduates who successfully complete the program are eligible to apply to a State Board of Nursing for licensure as a licensed practical nurse and to take the National Council Licensure Exam for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN®). This examination is used by the State Board of Nursing to test the entry-level nursing competence of candidates for licensure as licensed practical nurses. When the candidate successfully completes the NCLEX-PN® exam, a license is issued. Information about the NCLEX-PN® exam is available at www.ncsbn.org/nclex.htm.
Northampton's Practical Nursing certificate program consists of 27 credits of nursing courses and 16 credits of general education courses. The program can be completed in one calendar year.
Students are admitted to the program once a year, in the fall semester. The program is offered on the Bethlehem and Monroe campuses. The curriculum focuses on the art and science of nursing and is taught in classroom, college skills laboratory, and clinical practice settings. Students attend class and college laboratory experiences on campus. Additionally, students participate in clinical learning experiences in various healthcare settings under the guidance of nursing faculty. Clinical learning experiences provide students with the opportunity to apply nursing theory in client care situations. These experiences are scheduled at a variety of health care agencies in the surrounding areas. Clinical settings include acute and long term care, in-patient and outpatient facilities.
Classes and college lab are scheduled during the day. Most clinical experiences are offered during the day between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The college reserves the right to schedule clinical experiences during the evening and/or on weekends if necessary.
General Education courses in the nursing curriculum are offered during the day and evening as well as in on-line format. Students may elect to complete general education courses prior to entering the program. All students are encouraged to consult an academic advisor.
Graduates of the program find jobs in a variety of health care settings, such as: hospitals, extended care facilities, home health care agencies, state and federal health-related facilities, the armed services, private duty nursing, and in physician and dentist office settings.
The Practical Nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc., 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326, 404-975-5000, http://www.acenursing.org and is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.
The graduate of the Practical Nursing Program will:
Program Entry Requirements
Admission to the Practical Nursing certificate program is selective.
Applicants must have coursework completed equal to a standard high school course with a minimum of 16 units including 4 units of English, 3 units of Social Sciences, 2 units of Mathematics (one of which is Algebra), and 2 units of Science with a related laboratory or the equivalent.
The minimum admission requirements to the program include:
Please note: Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the Nursing program. Primary consideration is given to those who have received a grade of B or better in the program sciences on the first attempt. If available spaces in the program are not filled by students who have met the aforementioned standards, the College reserves the right to accept students who have, in the judgment of the College, the potential to complete the Practical Nursing program.
In order to be considered for program admission, an application and all transcripts must be submitted by February 1st for fall admission. Applications received after these dates will be reviewed on a space available basis. Contact the Admission Office at 610-861-5500 for additional information.
Nursing Health Requirements
The nursing program health requirements are determined by the Nursing Department, affiliating clinical agencies, the College and by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.
Students are responsible for maintaining compliance with the health requirements annually as outlined below.
The Nursing Department reserves the right to withdraw the student from a clinical experience and ultimately the course and program if at any time the student's health requirements are out of compliance.
Documentation of certification in Basic Life Support (CPR) for Health Care Providers must be submitted to the Nursing Department prior to participating in clinical experiences in the first semester. Certification must remain current throughout the program. Certification courses are available through NCC and the American Heart Association
Students admitted to the Practical Nursing program are expected to perform the same essential functions of an employment position as a licensed Practical Nurse. The essential functions are the basic cognitive, psychomotor, and affective activities that are essential to successful completion of the NCC Practical Nursing curriculum leading to initial licensure as a nurse. Essential functions are categorized as: Sensory (tactile, visual, hearing and smell) communication, psychomotor (gross motor skills, fine motor skills, physical endurance, physical strength, mobility), intellectual and cognitive abilities (reading, arithmetic competence, analytic thinking, and critical thinking), professional and social attributes (interpersonal skills, and communication) and application of legal/ethical principles and professional standards. All students are required to meet these essential functions. Allowing for individual differences, and encouraging program completion for students with a documented disability, the Nursing Program will work with the student and Disability Services to provide any reasonable accommodation to meet these essential functions. Contact the Nursing Department at (610) 861-5376 if you have questions regarding these requirements. A detailed description of these Essential Functions can be found here.
All convictions and pending or new charges known to the program applicant must be reported to the Nursing Program Director immediately upon offer of program admission. These include all felony and misdemeanor convictions.
After acceptance, but before starting the program, students are required to submit results of Pennsylvania State Police, FBI criminal background checks and Pennsylvania Child and Elder Abuse History Clearances to the nursing department for review.
Program admission is considered conditional pending receipt and evaluation of the background checks and drug screen. Students with a positive urine drug screen or Child Abuse History are not eligible for program admission. PA State Police and FBI Criminal History Check results are reviewed on a case by case basis.
Please be advised that licensing and credentialing bodies may apply their own standards to determine what convictions would disqualify a candidate for licensure. A student with a positive background check who completes the program is not guaranteed licensure.
Act 1985-109 known as the Professional Nursing Law of the Laws of Pennsylvania declares the following: "...The Board shall not issue a license or certificate to an applicant who has been convicted of a felonious act prohibited by the act of April 14, 1971 (P.L. 233, No. 64), 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:
Sections 133.14. and 15.1 of the Professional Nursing Law imply the will of the legislature in relation to felonies and misdemeanors reflecting questions about moral character.
As used in this section the term 'convicted' shall include a judgment, an admission of guilt or a plea of nolo contendere. An applicant's statement on the application declaring the absence of a conviction shall be deemed satisfactory evidence of the absence of a conviction, unless the board has some evidence to the contrary.Contact the Admissions Office at 610-861-5500 or the Nursing Department at 610-861-5376 for further information.
A nursing student must inform the Director of Nursing Programs immediately if there is a change in the criminal background or child abuse clearance while enrolled in the Practical Nursing program. In these circumstances the student's eligibility to continue in the program will be re-evaluated.
Nursing students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner in accordance with the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics, the College Student Handbook and the Classroom and Clinical Behavioral Expectations for the Student of Professional Nursing documents found here.
A student must maintain a grade of "C" or better in all nursing courses. The policy addressing options for repeating a nursing course can be found in the Practical Nursing Student Handbook.
|Course Code||Course Title||
|BIOS 160||Human Biology||
|ENGL 101C||English I||
|NURS 101||Introduction to Nursing||
|PSYC 103||Introduction to Psychology||
|NURS 151||Medical-Surgical Nursing for the Practical Nurse||
|PSYC 258||Developmental Psychology||
|SOCA 103||Principles of Sociology||
|Third Semester (Summer)|
|NURS 205||Geriatric Nursing for the Practical Nurse||
|NURS 206||Maternal Nursing for the Practical Nurse||
|NURS 207||Mental Health Nursing for the Practical Nurse||
* Please note: A student is not permitted to progress to the next semester in the program without successful completion of general studies courses in that current semester.;
MINIMUM CREDITS NEEDED TO GRADUATE: 43
Frequently Asked Questions
Responses to frequently asked questions about the PN Certificate program are available here.
For More Information Contact:
Nursing Department, Penn Hall 120 C, Northampton Community College, 3835 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18020. Telephone: 610-861-5376.
Career Potential: LPN Program, LPN in: Medical-Surgical, Long Term Care, Physician Office, Outpatient Clinics, Mental Health