Students in class

Practical Nursing


PURPOSE: The Practical Nursing Certificate is designed to prepare a student to work as a practical nurse. A student who completes the program is eligible to take the national examination for licensure as a Practical Nurse (LPN).

OCCUPATIONAL OBJECTIVES: To prepare students to work as licensed practical nurses, participating as an integral member of the nursing or health care team involved in health promotion and maintenance activities for the client. The LPN provides direct care for individual clients experiencing common, well-defined health problems with predictable outcomes, in structured health care settings with supervision. Long-term care, hospitals, physicians’ offices, and other comparable structured health care facilities and agencies employ LPNs. 

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS: General college curricular admission, plus program-specific requirements below. 

PROGRAM NOTES: Students must have a high school diploma, GED, or certificate of completion of home schooling to apply to the Practical Nursing Certificate program. 

Program Admission Steps

The following steps must be completed to submit an application to the Practical Nursing program:

  1. Submit official high school transcript, GED, or certificate of completion of home schooling to Central Admissions & Records.
  2. Current certification as a nurse aide in Virginia, with no practice restrictions. A copy of your C.N.A. license must be submitted with the application.
  3. Demonstrate competency through MTE level 5, through the Reynolds placement and diagnostic tests or by satisfactorily completing the required MTE units or equivalent.
  4. Submit official college transcripts, if applicable, to Central Admissions & Records. Courses taken at other colleges that contain equivalent content and credits may transfer to satisfy a program requirement. If a student has attended another VCCS college, a Request for an Evaluation of a VCCS Transcript form (#11-0036) must be submitted with the Application for Admission to the college. This form can be found under student forms on
  5. If a non-native English speaker, complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT) with a standard score of 84 or above and minimum speaking score of 26. Completion of ENG 111 does not satisfy this requirement. Documentation must be submitted with the application.
    • These scores are based on recommendations from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing for the level of English proficiency required to perform entry-level nursing safely and effectively.
    • TOEFL iBT scores are valid for two years.
  6. Attend a Practical Nursing information session within six (6) months of applying to the Practical Nursing program. This is the only way to obtain an Application to the Practical Nursing program. Information session dates are posted online at
  7. Complete BIO 141, ENG 111, PSY 230, ITE 115, and SDV 100 or SDV 101 with a grade of "C" or above. The GPA for these five (5) courses must be 2.5, or above.
  8. Achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher and a curricular GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  9. Complete the Kaplan Nurse Entrance Test, which is free and available through the Reynolds Testing Center.  Testing Center dates and times are provided at  The Kaplan Nurse Entrance Test may be repeated once.  After the second attempt, a student must wait at least 24 months before reattempting. A Kaplan Nurse Entrance Test study guide may be purchased in the Reynolds Bookstore. The minimum scores required for an application to be considered are as follows:
    • Reading 55% (weight: 30%)
    • Math 45% (weight: 30%)
    • Science 45% (weight: 30%)
    • Writing 45% (weight: 10%)
  10. Submit a completed application following the directions received at the information session by the deadline date.  
    • Fall application deadline is the 4th Monday in May.

Admission Process:  Admission will be ranked based on Kaplan admission scores (see above for score weighting). These sub-scores are combined to create an applicant’s "admission score” used for ranking. 

Accepted students will receive an acceptance letter with additional program requirements information to complete prior to enrollment during a mandatory orientation session. It is important to meet the deadlines identified in this letter. Additional program requirements include the following:

  • Physical exam
  • Evidence of immunity to Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella, and Hepatitis B, and evidence of Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis immunization within the past seven (7) years.
  • Tuberculosis screening, with negative results (two-step process required)
  • Annual flu vaccination
  • Current American Heart Association BLS Certification for Health Care Providers (C.P.R.)
  • Background check
  • Drug screening
  • Signed Assumption of Risk form
  • Additional program and clinical agency forms

LEGAL REQUIREMENTS: The Virginia Board of Nursing has the authority to deny licensure to an applicant who has violated any of the provisions of 54-367.32 of the Code of Virginia. Health care agencies used for clinical learning experiences also have the right to deny a student participation in direct patient care. Any student entering the program who has committed illegal offenses other than minor traffic violations should discuss these matters with the program head for clarification prior to admission. Criminal background checks are required of all applicants to the Practical Nursing program. Inability of a student to be placed in a clinical site due to a negative background check will result in removal from the program. 

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF CLINICAL FACILITIES: Clinical facilities used by the program have additional requirements for students that include updated immunizations, dress codes, and compliance with professional standards. In general, contracts include the following:

  1. Clinical agencies reserve the right to dismiss a student from their agency at any time with good cause. This will be done with advance notice except in an emergency.
  2. Compliance with Practical Nursing Dress Code standard.
  3. Maintaining all published hospital policies.
  4. Compliance with health care agency physical exam, immunization, TB, and flu requirements.
  5. The student releases the facility, its agents, and its employees from any liability for any injury or death to self or damage to personal property arising out of the clinical agreement or use of the facility. (Assumption of Risk document is signed and on file once the student is accepted into the program.)
  6. The student is financially responsible for any medical care that may be required while in the clinical setting.
  7. The student must maintain a current American Heart Association BLS Certification for Health Care Providers.
  8. Completion of the required criminal background check and drug screen and any re-screening as identified.  

FUNCTIONAL SKILLS REQUIREMENTS: Students entering the Practical Nursing program must possess the following functional skills:

  1. Sufficient eyesight to observe patients, read records, manipulate equipment, and visually monitor patients in dim light;
  2. Sufficient hearing to communicate with patients and members of a health care delivery team, monitor patients using electronic equipment, hear a patient’s whisper, and hear necessary sounds during operation of equipment;
  3. Satisfactory speaking, reading, and writing skills to communicate effectively in English in a timely manner;
  4. Sufficient bilateral finger dexterity to manipulate equipment;
  5. Ability to lift, stoop, or bend in the delivery of safe nursing care;
  6. Satisfactory physical strength and endurance to stand for extended periods, push equipment, and move immobile patients; and
  7. Satisfactory intellectual and emotional functioning to ensure patient safety and to exercise independent judgment and discretion in performing assigned tasks.


  1. A minimum grade of "C" is required for all courses in the Practical Nursing curriculum.  A "C" is equal to 80% in all practical nursing courses.
  2. Students must obtain permission from the program head to continue in the program under the following conditions:
    • repeating a nursing course with a grade below "C"
    • withdrawing from a nursing course for any reason
  3. In accordance with VCCS policy, a student is limited to two attempts of the same course.
  4. Additional policies for the program are listed in the Practical Nursing Student Handbook, which is given to students at the mandatory orientation.

PROGRESSION THROUGH THE PROGRAM: The college offers this program in affiliation with the health care agencies and practitioners in the communities the college serves. The college relies on its community affiliates to provide clinical education opportunities for its students, expert clinical preceptors, and course instructors for many courses. The often rapid changes in health care law, standards of practice, technology, and content of credentialing examinations increasingly may necessitate sudden changes in the program’s course content, policies, procedures, and course scheduling. As a result, the college cannot guarantee every student continuous and uninterrupted clinical and course instruction as outlined in the printed catalog curriculum for this program. Circumstances beyond the control of the college may necessitate the postponement of course offerings or changes in the sequencing and/or location of scheduled courses or clinical assignments. Additionally, the college may have to change the instructor for courses after instruction has started. 


Tuition (41 credits @ $162.85/credit)*


Books, equipment, supplies


Special testing across the curriculum


Uniforms and shoes


Background, drug screening, and electronic document manager  


Health requirements

100.00 – 400.00

Licensure applications


Travel to clinical sites



$9,446.85 - $9,746.85

*Please note that tuition may change.


NCLEX-PN licensure examination pass rates for Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses are provided below for 2012 – 2017:




NCLEX_PN Pass Rate

2016 - 2017




2015 - 2016




2014 - 2015




2013 – 2014




2012 – 2013




The Practical Nursing program prepares students to practice in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic community as demonstrated by the college and community demographic data. Upon successful completion of the program, a student will be able to:

  1. Provide safe care in multiple settings with a variety of patients including those with cognitive and physical limits (Safety).
  2. Support desired health outcomes in patients while respecting dignity, diversity, and self-determination of patients and families (Quality).
  3. Collaborate with patients, families, and the interprofessional team to assist in planning, delivery, and coordination of patient-centered care to assigned patients (Team/Collaboration).
  4. Demonstrate caring and respect in culturally appropriate, individualized interactions with patients, family, and health care team. (Relationship-Centered Care).
  5. Manage system resources to support optimal care for patients (Systems-Based Care).
  6. Reflect on individual and professional areas of practice which support self-fulfillment (Personal/Professional Development). 

GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION: Please see to access gainful employment disclosure information for this program.

COMPUTER COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTAll applicants to the Practical Nursing program must either pass the computer competency exam, administered in the testing centers at each campus, or successfully complete ITE 115 or CSC 155. Students not passing the computer competency exam may retake the exam only once. Students who do not pass the exam after retaking it once must then complete ITE 115 or CSC 155.


The Practical Nursing Certificate is undergoing curriculum revisions.  It is anticipated that the revised program will begin enrolling students in the spring semester of 2019.  The new, approved curriculum and other revisions for the program will be posted on as soon as available.

Name Program Email Phone
Christina Blottner Practical Nursing C 804/523-5015
Carolyn Parrish Practical Nursing C 804/523-5626
Melinda Ripley Practical Nursing C 804/523-5762
Lisa Stone Practical Nursing C 804/523-5758
Christina Blottner Pre-Practical Nursing CSC 804/523-5015
Carolyn Parrish Pre-Practical Nursing CSC 804/523-5626
Melinda Ripley Pre-Practical Nursing CSC 804/523-5762
Lisa Stone Pre-Practical Nursing CSC 804/523-5758


Common Job Titles1: Charge Nurse; Clinic Licensed Practical Nurse (CLINIC LPN); Clinic Nurse; Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN); Licensed Practical Nurse, Clinic Nurse (LPN, Clinic Nurse); Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN); Office Nurse; Pediatric Licensed Practical Nurse (PEDIATRIC LPN); Private Duty Nurse; Triage Licensed Practical Nurse (TRIAGE LPN)

Labor Market Statistics (Richmond, MSA)

Projected Employment (2028): 4,536

Current Wage Range (Entry - Experienced): $34,100 - $46,500

Bright Outlook Bright Outlook occupations are expected to have rapid growth over the next 10-years (employment increase of 10% or more in the Richmond, MSA over the period of 2018-2028) or are expected to have a high demand (projected to have 750 or more job openings in the Richmond, MSA over the period of 2018-2028).

1 This program may prepare you for one or more of the listed jobs; however, graduates may not be qualified for all of the jobs listed in this section.

Reynolds Community College makes every attempt to provide students with the best, most accuarate information possible. The data was sourced from external agencies (O*NET and JobsEQ) on August 15, 2018.