Nursing: RN

Allied Health & Sciences

Degree awarded: Associate in Applied Science

Essential Functions (PDF)
Behavioral Expectations (PDF)
Nursing Handbook (PDF)
TEAS® Test Information (PDF)
Student Achievement Data (PDF)

Program Narrative

The Associate Degree Nursing Program at NCC prepares graduates to assume entry level positions as registered nurses who provide safe, competent nursing care in the various settings of our dynamic, evolving healthcare environment. These settings can include, but are not limited to, acute care, long term care, home care, clinics, physicians' offices, or other agencies established to meet health care needs. Successful completion of the program qualifies graduates to apply to a State Board of Nursing for licensure as a registered nurse and to take the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®). This examination is used by the State Board of Nursing to test the entry-level nursing competence of candidates for licensure as registered nurses. When the candidate successfully completes the NCLEX-RN® exam, a license is issued. Information about the NCLEX-RN® exam is available at

The Associate Degree Nursing Program requires a minimum of four academic semesters to complete. Students are accepted into the program in fall and spring semesters. Students may choose to enter this program in either semester. The curriculum for the Associate Degree Nursing Program focuses on the art and science of nursing. Students attend class, skills laboratory and clinical simulation 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 Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas. Clinical settings include acute and long term care, in-patient and outpatient facilities. Class, lab and simulation experiences are scheduled during the day. Most clinical experiences are scheduled during the day between the hours of 6:30 am and 5:00 pm. The college reserves the right to schedule clinical experiences during the evening and/or on weekends if necessary.

The Associate Degree Nursing program is also offered on an evening/weekend schedule. Students are admitted to the evening/weekend alternative program in the spring semester of every other year on the even years.The next cohort of student will be admitted in spring 2018. Classes and college laboratory experiences are offered on campus during the early evening hours, between 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm. Clinical learning experiences for the evening/weekend program are scheduled on weekends between the hours of 6:30 am and 5:00 pm. The college reserves the right to schedule clinical learning experiences during the week if necessary.

General Education courses in the nursing curriculum are offered in traditional and online format during the day and evening. Students may elect to complete general education courses prior to entering the program. All students are encouraged to consult an academic advisor.

Accreditation Information

The Associate Degree 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, and has full approval of the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.

Program Outcomes

The graduate of the Associate Degree nursing program will:

  1. Demonstrate completion of the level outcomes:
    • Utilize the nursing process to provide nursing care through efficient and effective management of resources in a variety of health care settings.
    • Perform ongoing comprehensive assessments of patients' health status and changing needs.
    • Incorporate nursing interventions in the delivery of patient centered care.
    • Employ the teaching-learning processes in the provision of nursing care.
    • Communicate effectively with patients and the health care team through the use of interpersonal skills and technology.
    • Collaborate with patients, members of the health care team and community agencies to achieve quality, patient-centered care.
    • Make clinical nursing judgments based on critical thinking skills and evidence-based practice to deliver safe, effective nursing care through the nursing process.
    • Demonstrate professional accountability and commitment to standards of professional practice while practicing nursing within legal, ethical and regulatory frameworks
  2. Students will be prepared to successfully complete the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®).
  3. Students will be satisfied with their nursing education.
  4. Students will be prepared for and gain employment in a variety of settings.

Program Entry Requirements

Admission is on a selective basis. Applicants shall have completed work 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 (two of which are Algebra), and 2 units of Science with a related laboratory or the equivalent.

The minimum admission requirements to the program include:

  • Completion of high school chemistry and biology with labs and grades of B or better. An acceptable substitute for high school chemistry is NCC CHEM 135 with a grade of B. An acceptable substitute for high school biology is NCC BIOS 115 with a B.
  • Two years of high school algebra with a grade of C. An acceptable substitute for high school algebra I and II is MATH 022 and 026 or MATH 028 with grades of C.
  • TEAS® results submitted prior to the application deadline.
  • Courses used to satisfy admission criteria cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements.
  • Students applying to the program must have a minimum GPA of 3.00.
  • Primary consideration is given to those who have received a grade of B or better in the program sciences on the first attempt and have a TEAS® academic preparedness level of Proficient with Adjusted Individual Scores on Reading, Math, Science and English at or above the national mean. Additional information on TEAS® testing is available here.


In order to be considered for program admission, an application, all official transcripts, and official TEAS® test results must be submitted by September 15th for spring admission and by February 1st for fall admission. TEAS® results are valid for two years from the test date. 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 health requirements annually as outlined below.

  • Prior to the first semester students must submit the following documents to the Health and Wellness Center:
    • Completed physical examination
    • Two Step Tuberculin Skin Test - acceptable only if done after April 1st for fall admission and October 1st for spring admission.
    • Copy of current health insurance card (All students are required by the College to carry health insurance during the program)
    • Records of up to date immunizations or blood titers reflecting immunity against:
      • MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) – 2 doses are required if born after 1957
      • Td (Tetanus and Diphtheria) – last dose must be within 10 years.
      • Hepatitis B – series of 3 immunizations and titers
      • Varicella – 2 doses are needed (if received after age 13) or history of Chicken Pox disease.
      • Seasonal Flu
      • Additional immunizations may be required by clinical agencies.
  • During the first semester urine drug screen testing is scheduled and results are submitted directly to the Health Center by the service provider. The nursing program includes clinical experiences in a variety of healthcare settings. Clinical agencies require evidence of a negative urine drug screen before permitting a student to participate in clinical experiences at their facility. Therefore, any student with a positive urine drug screen cannot remain in the program.
  • Prior to the third semester the Two Step Tuberculin Skin Test must be repeated and results submitted to the Health and Wellness Center.
  • In the third semester urine drug screening must be repeated and the results will be submitted to the Health Center by the service provider.

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.

CPR Certification

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 the NCC Center for Healthcare Education and the American Heart Association.

Essential Functions

Students admitted to the Associate Degree Nursing program are expected to perform the same essential functions of an employment position as a licensed Registered Nurse. The essential functions are the basic cognitive, psychomotor, and affective activities that are essential to successful completion of the NCC Associate Degree 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 (PDF) is found in the online college catalog here (PDF).

Background Checks

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.

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 program. In these circumstances, the student's eligibility to continue in the program will be re-evaluated.

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:

  1. at least ten (10) years have elapsed from the date of conviction;
  2. the applicant satisfactorily demonstrates to the board that he has made progress in personal rehabilitation since the conviction such that licensure of the applicant should not be expected to create a substantial risk of harm to the health and safety of patients or the public or a substantial risk of further criminal violations; and
  3. the applicant otherwise satisfies the qualifications contained in or authorized by this act.

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.

Professional Conduct

Nursing students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner in accordance with the Policy on Professional Student Conduct found in the NCC student handbook, and the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics (PDF) and Classroom and Clinical Behavioral Expectations for the Student of Professional Nursing (PDF) documents found in the nursing student handbook.

Advanced Placement Program for LPN

The College offers an Advanced Placement program for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) to earn an associate degree and become eligible to take the National Council of Licensing Examination-RN (NCLEX-RN®).

To qualify for the Advanced Placement program, you must:

  • Have of C+ or better in Fundamentals of Nursing in the PN program
  • Be a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) with a current license
  • Meet the Registered Nursing program prerequisites
  • Submit TEAS® results prior to the application deadline.
  • Complete the General Education courses of the Registered Nursing program with a C or better.

Licensed practical nurses may elect to take approved challenge exams for select nursing courses for credit toward the associate degree. Once a student enrolls in a course they are ineligible to gain credit for the course by challenge exam.

Qualified candidates are admitted to the program on a seat available basis. Primary consideration is given to those who received a B or better in the program sciences on the first attempt and have a TEAS® academic preparedness level of Proficient with Adjusted Individual Scores on Reading, Math, Science and English at or above the national mean. Additional information on TEAS® testing is available in this document.

If all 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 Associate Degree in Nursing Program.


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 Associate Degree Nursing Student Handbook (PDF).

Nursing (RN)

Associate in Applied Science Degree

Course Code Course Title
BIOS 204 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
ENGL 101 English I
NURS 101 Introduction to Nursing
PSYC 103 Introduction to Psychology
Second Semester
BIOS 254 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
ENGL 151* English II*
MATH 140 or College Algebra or
MATH 150 Introductory Statistics
NURS 215 Nursing Care of Patients with M/S Problems
Third Semester
BIOS 202 Microbiology for Allied Health
NURS 223 Maternal Child Health Nursing
NURS 224 Care of Mental Health Patients
PSYC 258 Developmental Psychology
SOCA __ Sociology/Anthropology Elective +
Fourth Semester
CMTH 102 Speech Communication
NURS 231 Nursing Seminar
NURS 260 Integrated Concepts for Nursing Practice
NURS 261 Nursing Practicum
PHIL 202G Ethics and Moral Problems
Total Credits

Please note: A student is not permitted to progress to the next semester in the program without successful completion of general education courses in that current semester.

* ENGL151L (literature option) is recommended, but R-report writing and T-technical writing options of ENGL 151 are also available.

For the SOCA elective, students must select a SOCA course from the list of approved General Education courses - SOCA 102 or 103 is recommended.

  • One course should be designated as Diversity and Global Awareness (D).
  • Completion of PHIL 202G satisfies the Writing Intensive (WI) requirement.
  • Computer competencies are included in various courses in this program.
  • Thus, completing the program automatically satisfies the computing requirement for this program.
  • The Social Science (SIT) requirement and the free elective requirement have been waived for this program.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Responses to frequently asked questions about the RN program are available in the online catalog here (PDF).

Responses to frequently asked questions about the new admission requirement for TEAS® testing, directions for creating an ATI account and instructions for registering to take the TEAS® at NCC are available in this document (PDF).

For More Information Contact:

Nursing Department, Penn Hall 120 C, Northampton Community College, 3835 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18020. Telephone: 610.861.5376.

Transfer Potential

In partnership with East Stroudsburg University a BSN completion program is offered on the NCC Bethlehem campus. The program offers flexible evening part-time and full-time options for working nurses and can be completed  in as little as 18 months. For details on this program please visit

Seemless transition to a BSN completion program is also possible through articulation agreements established with several four year institutions including the following:

Cedar Crest College
DeSales University
Drexel University
Moravian College
Temple University

Career Potential

For information related to career potential, please visit Your Nursing Career on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Website.