Curriculum Information

Programs A-Z

Practical Nursing

Certificate

PURPOSE: The Practical Nursing Certificate is designed to prepare a nurse who participates as an integral member of the nursing or health care team involved in health promotion and maintenance activities for the client. The practical nurse provides direct care for individual clients experiencing common, well-defined health problems with predictable outcomes, in structured health care settings with supervision. Upon satisfactory completion of the program, the student will be eligible to take the national examination for licensure as a Practical Nurse (LPN).

OCCUPATIONAL OBJECTIVES: Licensed Practical Nurse positions in long-term care, hospitals, physicians’ offices, and other comparable structured health care facilities and agencies

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS: General college curricular admission

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.

The following steps must be completed as part of the first stage of the application process:

1. Submit official high school transcript, GED, or certificate of completion of home schooling to Central Admissions and Records.

2. Select the Pre-Practical Nursing Career Studies Certificate (plan code 221-157-02) as the choice of curriculum plan on the Application for Admission to the college.

3. Submit official college transcripts, if applicable, to Central Admissions and 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 (#11-3006) must be submitted with the Application for Admission to the College. This form can be found under student forms on reynolds.edu.

4. Complete Reynolds placement tests in English and mathematics and all developmental coursework prescribed as a result of the placement tests. The Practical Nursing program requires that students have the following competencies: (1) competency in BSK 1 and math essentials, MTE 1-3, as demonstrated through the placement and diagnostic tests or by satisfactorily completing the required MTE units, or equivalent, and (2) competencies in reading and writing as demonstrated by placement in ENG 111 or placement in co-requisites ENG 111 and ENF 3 or completion of a college-level composition course.

5. Attend an information session within 6 months of applying to the Practical Nursing Certificate. This is the only way to obtain an Application to the Practical Nursing program. Information session dates are posted online in December.

6. Submit a completed application to the Practical Nursing Admission Specialist. The application deadline for fall 2014 is May 27, 2014. Students accepted will be notified of a mandatory orientation session to be scheduled during the summer. This class will begin the Practical Nursing curriculum in August 2014. For summer 2015, applications must be received by March 23, 2015. Students accepted will be notified of a mandatory orientation session to be scheduled in April. This class will begin the Practical Nursing curriculum during the 2015 summer session.

For applications to the Practical Nursing Certificate to be considered, the following requirements must be met:

1. Completion of all required developmental courses based on placement test results.

2. Completion of BIO 141 and SDV 100 with a grade of “C” or above: While it is advisable that students complete all general education courses prior to applying for the Practical Nursing program, this is not required. Students are advised to evaluate their learning style, lifestyle, and family and other commitments to determine the number of credits they can complete successfully in a given semester.

3. Successful completion of the Kaplan Pre-Admission Exam: Students must have a minimum score of 45 in reading and math and a minimum score of 35 in the science and writing areas to be eligible to apply to the program. Students who do not meet the minimum application Kaplan score on their first attempt are encouraged to meet with the program head. The program head will recommend remedial courses that may assist in the preparation for a second testing attempt. All applicants are limited to two (2) attempts on the Kaplan pre-admission test. A two-year interval is required before repeating this test.

4. Achievement of a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA .

Students must provide documentation of America Heart Association BLS Certification for Health Care Providers prior to beginning PNE 161, Nursing in Health Changes. HLT 105 - Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation meets this requirement. This training is also provided by several community providers.

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. 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 due cause. This will be done with advance notice except in an emergency.
  2. Proper uniform must be worn.
  3. Published hospital policies must be followed.
  4. Immunizations must be current.
  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 have a current American Heart Association BLS Certification for Health Care Providers.
  8. A criminal background check and drug screen are required of all entering students and may be repeated during the program of study.

PRE-ENTRANCE HEALTH REQUIREMENT: Accepted students will receive copies of the required health forms during the mandatory summer orientation. Students must be free of any physical or mental condition that might adversely affect their performance in clinical courses or as nurses. Required immunizations must be documented. Health forms must be completed and submitted on the first day of class. Validation of freedom from tuberculosis is required annually of all practical nursing students through skin testing or chest x-ray. Students who do not submit required health forms or do not meet the identified health standards or functional skills will lose their seat in the program.

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

  • Sufficient eyesight to observe patients, read records, manipulate equipment, and visually monitor patients in dim light.
  • Sufficient hearing to communicate with patients and members of a health care delivery team, monitor patients using electronic equipment, and hear necessary sounds during operation of equipment.
  • Satisfactory speaking, reading, and writing skills to effectively communicate in English in a timely manner.
  • Sufficient bilateral finger dexterity to manipulate equipment.
  • Ability to lift, stoop, or bend in the delivery of safe nursing care.
  • Satisfactory intellectual and emotional functioning to ensure patient safety and to exercise independent judgment and discretion in performing assigned tasks.

ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE POLICY:

  • A minimum grade of “C” is required for all courses in the Practical Nursing curriculum. A “C” is equal to 80% in courses carrying a PNE prefix.
  • 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
  • In accordance with VCCS policy, a student is limited to two attempts of the same course.
  • Additional policies for the program are listed in the Practical Nursing Student Handbook, which is given to students at the mandatory summer orientation.

PROGRESSION THROUGH THE PROGRAM: The college offers this program in affiliation with the healthcare 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 healthcare law, standards of practice, technology, and content of credentialing examinations increasingly 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.

COMPUTER COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT: All 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.

GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION: Please see www.reynolds.edu/curriculum/Gainful%20Employment/GE_Info_157.aspx to access gainful employment disclosure information for this program.

CURRICULUM:

COURSE

TITLE

LEC.
HRS.

LAB.
HRS.

CRS.
CRE.

BIO 141

Human Anatomy 
and Physiology I

3

3

4

SDV 100

College Success Skills

1

0

1

TOTAL

4

3

5

BIO 142

Human Anatomy and Physiology II

3

3

4

ENG 111

College Composition I

3

0

3

PNE 116

Normal Nutrition

1

0

1

PNE 1611,2

Nursing in Health Changes I

4

9

7

TOTAL

11

12

15

PNE 162

Nursing in Health Changes II

6

15

11

PNE 1731,2

Pharmacology for Practical Nurses

2

0

2

PSY 230

Developmental Psychology

3

0

3

TOTAL

11

15

16

PNE 163

Nursing in Health Changes III

5

9

8

PNE 296

On-Site Training

1

3

2

ITE 1153

Introduction to Computer Applications and Concepts

3

0

3

TOTAL

9

12

13

Total Minimum Credits for Certificate in Practical Nursing 49

06.01.14

1 Students must be certified in Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers through the American Heart Association prior to the first PNE course.

2 Students satisfactorily completing PNE 161 and enrolled in PNE 173 will be eligible to take the CNA Exam.

3 CSC 155 will substitute for ITE 115.